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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  347 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Fire ants. Even when they're normal sized, they're horrible, wretched insects whose sting causes burning pain.

But these ants are far from normal. And the city of Tampa, Florida has become infested with the oversized creatures.

From the demented author of GRAVEROBBERS WANTED (NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY) and PRESSURE comes a relentlessly paced novel of insect terror. As the cit
Paperback, 212 pages
Published June 30th 2003 by Mundania Press LLC (first published August 1st 2002)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  347 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Aug 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, 2014
Unusually huge fire ants terrorize Tampa, Florida. Will anyone survive this plague?

Mandibles is a creature feature by Jeff Strand about large fire ants overrunning Tampa. That's pretty much it. It follows the lives of office works, people in a dentist office, a couple stickup men, and an entomologist during the rampage of the ants.

It might be that I've come to expect home runs at every at-bat from Jeff Strand but this one didn't make me want to sit outside his house and "pretend" to run into hi
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You might be thinking that I am a sucker for anything Jeff Strand...
Well, the man is absolutely brilliant, in my opinion. I did read a few reviews where people complained that it was very disjointed at the beginning, but I actually got it - weaving together so many characters was needed in this story. Yes, it had a bit of a B-movie creature feature feel to it, but I for one enjoyed it. As most people will tell you with this one, it is fast and a lot of fun.

Well, Tampa gets overrun by giant fire
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I’m beginning to think I haven’t read nearly enough Jeff Strand. This is the third book I’ve read by him (Haunted Forest Tour, The Sick House being the others), and every time he manages to make me laugh in pure delight at whatever he’s throwing at me.

I think if there is a single writer whose books can define ‘B-movie cheese’, it’s him. Sometimes other authors get lucky and nail it, but with them I’m noticing a trend toward feeling formulaic that’s made me decide to back off a bit. (I know creat
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, monster-fiction
Giant ants invade Tampa. Highly recommended for anyone who has fond memories of Them! and other big bug movies.
Todd Russell
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fire ants terrorize Tampa! Seems like a headline you might find in a 50s B-movie and I'm guessing Jeff Strand is a fan. Similar in frenetic pacing to Wolf Hunt, this one gets right into the ant vs. man carnage. Because so many different characters are introduced in the beginning I found it a bit harder to connect to anybody until additional scenes from characters already seen started happening.

Dustin, the entomologist, appears first to be the primary protagonist, but he shares a lot of time with
Deb Randolph
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Killer Ants

So, this was purchased as a horror book and it does have its share of killing but I was amazed at all the humor in it... laugh out loud humor. The ants are invading and they are vicious. Oh, and by the way, they come in lots of sizes...small, rat size, and big enough to ride. Simply put, I enjoyed this book. What a ride!
Aug 17, 2012 rated it liked it
An enjoyable, if somewhat disjointed, read from Strand. The book comes off as a campy B-movie from the 50's with giant ants attacking Tampa citizens. Well-written and fast paced, the story zooms along and provides plenty of action and gruesome scenes of violence. The beginning of the book is all over the place, with different scenes and characters that don't all take place in the present, which comes across as unnecessarily confusing. In the middle Strand includes a few too many needless scenes ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, horror
I took off a star mainly because the first third of the book was a bit disjointed and ran like a misfiring roadster. It was a bit disconcerting to say the least to be following several story lines only to find out that one of them, for no apparent reason, took place 8 years before the other action in the book. The prologue, although amusing, really didn't relate to the story. It was like a really good movie that suffered from bad editing. It leveled off after that and was smooth and fast to the ...more
Matthew Young
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another good book from Jeff Strand--one of my favorite writers. The story here is great and, after the necessary blood and gore, the plot actually develops into something quite interesting. I know Strand's a great writer, but I was really surprised with how well he strung this story together. I don't know what I expected out of the book before I started it, but the plot was much stronger than I expected, which is a really good thing.

My one complaint is that point of view jumps happen A LOT in th
Giant ants overrun Florida!! Giant stinging ants!! And I mean giant!!

Sometimes you just need some fun in journey life, and I for me this provided fun in bucket loads. This novel is the literary equivalent of all the bad things your not supposed to eat, but that taste oh so very good.

As you can tell I really enjoyed this book, it felt like I gave my mind a break and allowed it to spectacularly veg out. But this is a good thing! The book is all the b movie horror that you can imagine, but was sti
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mandibles is exactly what I like about a campy horror. It has giant monsters that chase people down and eat them in horrible ways! In this case, it's a man-made crisis in the form of super huge red ants. Add to that the fun fillers -random victims in their last moments, experienced in a paragraph or less-, the moments of "woah- did he really just off that character?", and the author's trademark dark humor, and you have a spectacular winner in Mandibles.

What else can I say? What more do I need to
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Read this some years back and really enjoyed it. I've been meaning to read more by Jeff Strand ever since and a thread in Horror Aficionados reminded me of this one. Giant man-eating fire ants invade Tampa. Anyone who has ever stepped barefoot into a hill of them know those little F'ers are mean. It's a nicely done homage to the giant bug movies from the 50's era creature-feature flicks. Only in the movies, you know the hero and his woman will make it through to the end and save the day, right? ...more
Jarrod Scarbrough
Mandibles is a non stop, no holds barred thrill ride that is guaranteed to simultaneously make you squirm, laugh, and gag! From the very beginning all the way until the end, action picks up, gaining speed, the gore and gross out factor just keeps going, the laughs roll in, and you simply can't put the book down! This is the epitome of B-movie greatness in literary form. I always have a great time with Jeff Strand, and highly recommend this one!
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars. So fricken good. Incredibly entertaining creature feature horror romp featuring giant fire ants. Fun plot and excellent well - developed characters. Very fast and very entertaining read. I can't wait to read more Jeff Strand.
Jessica T.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mandibles is like one of those cheesy giant critter movies from the 70's and it is set in my home town!!
Braden A.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Incredible fun. Strand has a great sense of humor. One of the fastest, most fun reads I've had all year.
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, kindle
Fun, fun, fun... it's like being at the drive-in watching a creature feature.
Kathy Jackson
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
The demented mind behind Graverobbers Wanter (No Experience Necessary) and Single White Psychopath Seeks Same is back with an another outrageous blend of the humorous and the horrific. Extremely large and vicious red fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) are on the loose in Tampa, Florida, and those who don't immediately become ant chow must figure out how to stop this attack before the entire city becomes overrun by the creatures. Whether you love ants, hate ants, or have no real opinion of them as lo ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super fun to read

Mandibles was excellent! It was horror mixed with comedy with the perfect ending. The 2 robbers Hack and Slash deserve their own story, I absolutely loved them!
Josh Warfel
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If Michael Jackson wrote giant ant books this would be Thriller.
Ken Crooker
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Tampa, Florida. Fire ants are a nuisance in the South to begin with, but when two-inch fire ants start showing up all over the place, people get a little freaked out. And with good reason. These not-so-little guys start eating campers, bicyclists, and anyone who gets in their way, and they start getting into office buildings and homes. Then they start getting bigger.

On the scene are various characters including a dentist, his hygienist, secretary, and root canal patient; a couple of data process
Adam Wilson
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jeff Strand is always a reliably fun author. If you are pissed off at the world and want to get some of that anger out and also find yourself in a good mood, read anything by Strand, or at least any of the ones I have rated so far. Mandibles falls very nicely into his category of B-movie/comedy/horror. How can you go wrong with ants attacking and killing people, especially when you have them constantly growing as the book progresses. You also can't go wrong when you create a surprisingly large c ...more
Mike Kazmierczak
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Strand's books might not be the scariest out there but they are always fun. And for creepiness, this one did involve enough ants to provide you with a large degree of it.

Taking a page from the radiation movies and the monster bug movies of the 50s and 60s, Tampa, Florida finds itself overrun with fire ants that measure two inches long. It starts off as a minor enough problem when it is only a few ants. However, their numbers continue to grow into thousands, making the problem much more significa
Sean Randall
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
My 6th Strand read, and I must say I liked it! It was, of course, shallow fun, but some of the scenes had me chuckling and although it's not knocked Benjamin's Parasite from my top spot of his works, it's certainly on a par with Dweller
Sean Grigsby
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I've known Jeff for years, but this is the first time reading one of his books. I don't know why GRRM gets so much fame for killing nearly every character. Jeff did just about the same in this fun, creature-feature read.
Angie Bulkeley
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Strand's 'Mandibles' is super fast-paced race for survival that absolutely needs to be made into a movie.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ants are running amok. But these are specially bred ants.

Loved the characters. Some heroic, some psychos.

It was a real page turner. Loved it
Josh Randell
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 5 star read but I think it could be a little better edited so half a star gets docked for that. Fun, awesome read and worth the money.
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Typical Strand, outrageous, funny, horrifying. An explosion of fire ants is bad enough but giant fire ants! Egads!!!
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
awesome book. great dialogue had me laughing at times.
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Author of a bunch of demented books, including PRESSURE, DWELLER, A BAD DAY FOR VOODOO, WOLF HUNT, SINGLE WHITE PSYCHOPATH SEEKS SAME, BENJAMIN'S PARASITE, FANGBOY, THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE, and lots of others. Four-time Bram Stoker Award finalist. Four-time Bram Stoker Award loser. Ten-time Bram Stoker Award Master of Ceremonies.
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