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Night of the Crabs (Crabs #1)

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  391 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
The Welsh coast basks in summer tranquility, then the drownings begin... Not until the monstrous crustaceans crawl ashore, their pincers poised for destruction, does the world understand the threat it faces....
Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 2nd 1976 by New English Library (first published 1976)
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Sea Monster Books!
20th out of 93 books — 140 voters
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Community Reviews

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1. This book is called “Night of the Crabs.”

2. This book is NOT called "An Meaningful Exploration into the Depth and Meaning of Classic American Literature."

3. This book's cover shows a giganto, ill-tempered CRABosaurus sporting a stool-dropping "don't come hither" look in its glowing, red eyes.

4. The publishers of this book chose for its marketing tag line to be "In The Tradition of Rats"

The above should clue you that we are dealing with a
Sep 02, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Welsh fishermen, crab-lovers, crab-haters, anyone who likes Doritos Locos Tacos

This is Guy N. Smith:

Guy N. Smith

I can't tell if he's trying to be serious here, but he's a very seriousprolific author who seems to be going gangbusters with the ebook rights to his out-of-print pulp paperbacks.

So, is he a sadly underrated British writer whose work deserves wider literary acclaim? You be the judge!

“I don’t, I can’t believe it!” Pat Benson was close to hysteria. “It’s just not possible! It’s a nightmare! Cliff, please tell me it isn’t real!”

“It’s real enough,
Let me preface this by saying that this book was a blast! So why am I only rating it 3 stars, you ask?

Even though this book was a lot of fun, it's not exactly well written. I wasn't expecting horror literature, so that was okay with me.

I'm not sure if it was an editing issue, or if the original text was messed up, but there are a lot of weird things going on in the Kindle edition with exclamation points, capitalized letters in the middle of sentences and other things like that.

This book was wr
Mar 27, 2008 Eva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've noticed something really special about reading the "Giant Crabs" series by Guy N. Smith out of order... it doesn't matter. It means nothing. Nobody ever learns a fucking thing about these crabs and passes it to the next book. Even the main character in "Night of the Crabs" the first of the crabs books, shows up in the second crabs book and really has no information to offer. Except "guns don't work" and "they come out when the moon is full", but anyone who knows anything about crabs knows ...more
Jubilation Lee
So it’s Memorial Day weekend, and about a thousand degrees out, and our air conditioning system is not being turned on until at least June, dammit, and so as I huddled in my bathroom occasionally sticking my whole head under the water faucet in an attempt to keep my brain from boiling… I decided it would be a good time to actually sit down and read Night of the Crabs.


This is a terrible, terrible book.

Terribly, terribly awesome!!

But no, really, also just terrible.

I recommend you read it for y
Kirsten *Don't Be A Grinch*
I absolutely loved this book! It's not very long but it took me back to my childhood watching great classic American and British monster movies. (I also watched a lot of Japanese ones too, but this book is more in the vein of the American and British ones.)

The giant creatures that start attacking people.
The scientist who is the only one that understands the danger.
The girlfriend who stand by him.
The isolated location (a small island off the coast of Wales).
The stupid military officers who discou
Oct 19, 2014 Pamellia rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of 1970s horror
Recommended to Pamellia by: HR Group read
Shelves: 2014
Night of the Crabs
October 18, 2014 to October 19, 2014
Group Read @ Horror Readers

Review theme: Since when is sex more important than Giant Crabs!

Oh goodness gracious, this is the most fun I'm had reading a book since I don't know when. Sorry Mr. Strand, you're just going to have to bow down to the author of Night of the Crabs.

Written in the 1970s. Wow, was this what horror was like wonder I wasn't into horror back then. This is one of those stories that takes itself just a little too
Jun 20, 2009 Dreadlocksmile rated it really liked it
First published back in 1976, 'Night Of The Crabs' was the novel that really launched Guy N. Smith as a writer iconic pulp horror writer. Spawning four subsequent sequels and one insightful prequel, the movie production company Amicus later even bought the film rights to the 'Crabs' idea in 1976.

The tale begins when Professor Cliff Davenport, marine biologist and an all round stand-up guy, travels to a small piece of land known as Shell Island on the Welsh coast, to investigate the strange disap
Nachts kommen die Riesenkrabben - „A seafood cocktail for the strongest stomachs“

Badeurlaub? In England? Ich? Bestimmt nicht! Nicht nach Guy Smiths glaubwürdigem Bericht über das SLIME BEAST, und erst recht nicht nach seinen Enthüllungen über unkaputtbare Riesenkrabben an Wales schöner Küste. Wie sang Frank Zappa schon: „Bullets cant stop it, rockets cant stop it, we might have to use nuclear force”. Einstweilen sieht es aber nicht so aus, als ob das Militär die Bewohner und Urlauber (!) auf She
Rhys Thomas
Jun 13, 2010 Rhys Thomas rated it it was amazing
This was one of the first books I ever read and it's a pretty good place to start in the pantheon of the world's finest literature. It's about giant crabs coming out of the sea to attack Wales.

Exciting, poetic and bristling with tension, this is the finest book to have ever been written about giant crabs, bar none.

I wish books like this still got published
Dustin Reade
May 13, 2012 Dustin Reade rated it liked it
MAn was this ever a stupid book!
I mean, sure, I knew it wasn't going to be great based on the title, plot line, cover-art and all, but boy howdy did it turn out to be stupid!

I mean, at one point, the author refers to the main characters genitalia as "his warm moistness" and, later, he writes about sex in a sort of creepy uncle elbowing you in the ribs sort of way, complete with a goofy ass exclamation point!

I have read one other Guy N. Smith book, and it was really hard to get through. I mean
Mark Hodder
Nov 26, 2015 Mark Hodder rated it did not like it
This falls squarely into the “so bad, it’s almost good” category. It has all the characteristics of pulp fiction: the writing is atrocious, the plot is thin, the characters are cardboard, the melodrama is at high volume, yet it rattles along like any yarn should and there’s plenty of fun and (unintentional) hilarity along the way. The day after the male and female protagonists meet, they have sex on the beach, and: “‘I’m more than glad I let you come with me tonight,’ he whispered as he zipped ...more
Thomas Strömquist
Sep 20, 2015 Thomas Strömquist rated it liked it
Shelves: book-collection
Horribly funny mid-70's shocker with all the ingredients; mutated creatures (perhaps due to nuclear testing!) on the rampage, gore, sex, odd dialog and inexplicable actions by the characters.

While in no way great literature, there is no surprise whatsoever that the book and author has a real cult following.

And for me there's really no pity that no-one made this into a microbudget b-horror in the 80's; I've seen it scene-by-scene in my head already!

Recommended to all that know what to expect and
Don Massi
Mar 31, 2014 Don Massi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rollicking, drive-in movie of a novel! Monstrous, blood thirsty, nigh invulnerable giant crabs attacking the English coast! The armed forces are useless, machine gun fire, mortars, tanks, all have no effect on the sea creatures. And they've developed a taste for human flesh! The brave, handsome biologist is mankind's only hope! Throw in a little tawdry sex and this is the perfect book to read at the beach. I thoroughly enjoyed this short, fast paced novel.
Sep 26, 2013 Karl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forward By J.F. Gonzalez Introduction by Guy N. Smith. This may have started the Crab migration. Today we have "Clickers" and "Crustations" by other authors. This book is as close to a 50's horror movie as you can get. How can you not love a bunch of hungry Crabs out for a quick bite.
I purchased this book from the author at his Black Hill Books bookstore, where, the last time I looked , he had almost fourty of his books for sale (which he will gladly sign if asked).
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 28, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it
This book isn't what I'd call scary, but it's incredibly fun to read, like watching a low-budget horror film. You know it's cheesy but it's still a blast to laugh at it and have fun with it. Nobody can fault Night of the Crabs for having no entertainment value. :)
Mark McLaughlin
Dec 28, 2012 Mark McLaughlin rated it it was amazing
I usually don't tell people they should get CRABS, but in this case I'll make an exception! ;-) These are crabs you'll be sure to enjoy.
Mar 23, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok
When I was younger, I remember seeing Guy N. Smith's Night of the Crabs on my brother's nightstand. At the time, I was only reading high fantasy, but I remember thinking that it looked awesome. It looked like it would be as much fun as the movies I loved to watch. Of course, by the time I turned my attention to horror fiction, the book was nowhere to be found in the house, not in the house and not in the stores, which is why I got so excited when I saw it had been released on Amazon for the ...more
Christopher Fulbright
I went into this knowing exactly what to expect, and getting little more. It was a fast, enjoyable read -- no doubt serving as the template for the current rash of SiFi (SyFy) Channel movies that have been foisted upon us for years now.

The characterization was thin, and there were a few ludicrous moments, but let no one point their finger at me and say "You DID read the title of the book and know how this was going to go, right?"

That said, the writing was very smooth, the pace very fast, and the
J.R. Park
Nov 14, 2014 J.R. Park rated it it was amazing
This was the book that started my love for Guy N Smith's work, as I'm sure it is for many people. Certainly this was his break out title back in a summer before even I was born, yes really that long ago.

This sets up for me what to expect of a Guy book. Sex, gore and some quirky off beat humour just to show that even the author isn't taking his tale too seriously.

This is great entertainment. It reads like a golden age exploitation movie and can be finished in one evening sitting. Just the way pul
Carl Timms
Remember reading this when I was 14 then lending it to a friend (who later became a marine biologist) who proceeded to tell me how inaccurate it was scientifically. I think he missed the point.

This book is a graphically violent book about sadistic giant bullet-proof crabs that eat human flesh. If that description doesn't immediately make you want to read this, you are not it's audience.
Chris Carroll
Apr 12, 2016 Chris Carroll rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Fun, campy, and oh-so-'70's...Night of the Crabs is like staying up late as a kid and watching the Friday night creature feature on TV.
Susan Gallagher
Sep 07, 2016 Susan Gallagher rated it did not like it
Bad. Really, really bad
Mar 14, 2014 Chris rated it did not like it
I should begin by saying this is the worst book I have ever read in my life. It would be impossible for me to list all the ways in which it is awful; I just don't have time. The book is only 144 pages long but the mistakes, discrepancies and examples of bad writing are so numerous that I couldn't list them all without re-reading the book which I never intend to do!

When a book is this bad it is hard to know where to begin to pull it apart, I suppose the most obvious place is the basic story itse
Nathan Rom
Nov 28, 2016 Nathan Rom rated it liked it
“They're as big as bloody cows!” Rocket fuel for schoolboys. A good, defiantly trashy, stepping stone between Enid Blyton and James Herbert (via Graham Masterton’s The Wells Of Hell) and just the thing to get 11 year old boys going gosh-wow again at prose fiction. Read it as an adult and it’s naïve, post-Jaws, nonsense which resolves Professor Cliff’s numerous dalliances with Pat (don’t worry, they’re getting married) with a very Freudian spray-gun. But it delivers the required crabpocolypse, ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Russ rated it really liked it
The cover of my paperback copy says “In the tradition of The Rats.” But this is a much better and tighter narrative adventure than the sleazy, booze-induced vignettes of The Rats.

Cliff, a scientist, goes to the coast of Wales to investigate the disappearance of his nephew and his girlfriend, both strong swimmers. While observing the coast, he is arrested by military personnel who think he is spying on them. Eventually cleared, he is released.

He meets Pat, a young widow, who teams up with him to
K.T. Katzmann
Apr 09, 2016 K.T. Katzmann rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: B-Movie Fans
It's war.
 photo war_zpscwsnkqn7.gif

If this was a movie, It'd be a cult classic on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

I became aware of the Crabs series as a kid, where I found a copy of Crabs on the Rampage on a hotel bookshelf. How could a young K.T. have resisted a book with a cover like this?
 photo Crabs on the Rampage_zpskncnsxzh.jpg
I remembered my preteen self being shocked at the level of gore inside. When the crabs started to come to my attention again this month, circling by conscious on the blogosphere, I knew it was only a matter of time before I found myse
Roddy Williams
When Professor Cliff Davenport’s nephew takes his girlfriend for a dirty weekend in Barmouth the last thing he expects is fir the two of them to get chopped up and eaten by giant crabs.
When a search can find no trace of the pair, the Professor sets off for Wales to investigate. It isn’t long before the somewhat mature Professor discovers claw marks in the sand that can only have been made by a crab the size of a cow.
More disappearances are reported along the coast between Barmouth and Rhyl. The
Ian Pattinson
Oct 03, 2015 Ian Pattinson rated it really liked it
Ah, the glory of mid-seventies horror pulp. I'm sure I read this as a teenager, but the only thing I remembered from it was the sex in the dunes (don't look at me like that, I was a teenager).

A young couple on holiday in Wales go missing whilst swimming. The readers know that they didn't simply drown- something violent happened- but no-one else does.

The uncle of the dead boy- and boss of his girlfriend- drives down to Wales to try to find out what happened. Here he meets hot divorcee Pat, who ta
Mar 28, 2014 Graham rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, monster
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Around the Year i...: Night of the Crabs, by Guy N. Smith 1 10 Oct 09, 2016 01:13PM  
  • Crustaceans
  • The Swarm
  • Yesterday's Gone: Episode 10 (Yesterday's Gone, #10)
  • Clickers
  • Deluge: The Conqueror Worms II
  • The 9th Fortress
  • Slither
  • Domain (Rats, #3)
  • Erebus
  • Monstrous: 20 Tales of Giant Creature Terror
  • Johnny Gruesome
  • Deception (Dr Steven Dunbar, #2)
  • The Deluge
  • Texas Chainsaw Mantis
  • Leviathan
  • Scissors
I was born on November 21, 1939, in the small village of Hopwas, near Tamworth, Staffordshire, England. My mother was a pre-war historical novelist (E. M. Weale) and she always encouraged me to write.
I was first published at the age of 12 in The Tettenhall Observer, a local weekly newspaper. Between 1952-57 I wrote 56 stories for them, many serialized. In 1990 I collated these into a book entitled
More about Guy N. Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Crabs (8 books)
  • Killer Crabs
  • The Origin of the Crabs
  • Crabs on the Rampage
  • Crabs' Moon
  • Crabs: The Human Sacrifice
  • Killer Crabs: The Return
  • Crabs' Fury

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“They did not like the sensation of having things vibrating on their shells, though. It made them angry. Very angry.” 0 likes
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