There may well never have been a bigger understatement in the history of official book summaries. Combining horror and comedy in such a way that neither overpowers the other is a delicate operation, but it’s something author Jeff Strand has demonstrated time and again he is a master of doing with surgical precision. And you gotta know when a book starts with a meat cleaver rampage that things can only go in one direction intensity wise, and Strand doesn’t disappoint.
After attending the funeral of one of his students, the perpetrator of the meat cleaver rampage in fact, high school teacher Benjamin Wilson begins to feel, well… odd. At first the changes affecting Benjamin are merely an inconvenience; namely, the inability to control his cravings for sex and candy. But hey, how can more sex and candy really be a bad thing, right? There are also stomach pains, however, which Benjamin initially writes off as the result of the massive candy consumption.
Except that the pains don’t go away when he goes cold turkey on the candy, they actually get worse. Considerably worse. So much so that, after collapsing at work with incapacitating pain, Benjamin ends up in the hospital, where he receives the news he has an intestinal parasite… one that x-rays reveal looks like “a squid monster” much to Benjamin’s horror. Surgical removal being the only option, Benjamin is prepped for surgery and whisked to the OR. And this, folks, is where business picks up and things go seriously awry.
Kidnapped from the OR at gunpoint by a female bounty hunter named Julie who’s been hired to bring him back to the secret lab that created the parasite, Benjamin quickly finds himself in a downwardly spiraling succession of events. After a high speed car chase Benjamin is kidnapped from his kidnapper by a pair of hitmen brothers whose extreme incompetence would be funny if they weren’t also bent on extreme violence.
Reacquired by Julie, Benjamin endures a disturbingly Deliverance-esque side trip, an increasingly aggressive parasite that Benjamin comes to believe is actually communicating with him, an airplane/skydiving sequence worthy of James Bond, and a mutant, rampaging Franken-cow (yes, you read that correctly) as the story rockets along to its diabolically demented conclusion.
No doubt about it, Strand has delivered yet another masterpiece in Benjamin’s Parasite.
Benjamin’s Parasite: Book Trailer