Book Review: The Plants by Kenneth McKenney

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A "cli-fi" (climate fiction) book TW: Violence, death, fat phobia I picked ...

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A "cli-fi" (climate fiction) book

TW: Violence, death, fat phobia

I picked up The Plants at a thrift store recently for a quarter. It looked like a fun, short vintage thriller so I decided to pick it up and take it for a spin. The description compared it to Jaws and The Birds, but you know, about plants. Yes, those live, green, leafy things.  

In a small British town, a man lacking a green thumb grows an eleven foot squash overnight. The town is shocked and confused. Meanwhile, the local newscaster, his little girl, and the town "kook" think there's something more to the mysterious vegetable. As a scientist does research into the phenomena, the town's on edge as one of its own is found dead in the street. Weird things are certainly happening in the small town of Brandling, and the townsfolk are ready to find out what it is that's going on. 

First thing's first - this book is definitely a product of its time. There's a lot of fat shaming, and other little things that are reminiscent of the time. (Which is also some of the things that bothered me most about Jaws.) Outside of some problematic ideas, the book actually wasn't so terrible. It was corny, that's for sure. But the theme is actually pretty smart - it's about climate change, which is obviously an important topic today. But this novel was written over 30 years ago. So I enjoyed the relevant theme from an older novel in line with the classics. I'm actually really surprised this novel isn't a well-known one. I could've seen it in line with some of the bigger 80s horror novels and films.

"Don't you see? A lack of respect for the world we live in in the end indicates a lack of respect for ourselves." - The Plants, Kenneth McKenney

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The plot was really great, though the story wasn't executed perfectly. The writing isn't the best, by any means, but the point gets across. Plus it's super short, so it's a quick and easy read.

Goodreads rating: ★★★☆☆

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