Crawlspace. Herbert Lieberman

by Herbert Lieberman. McKay: 1971.

I read this book as a teenager and remembered it as scary. On this reading, however, the book is merely inane.

The flaw with this book is that the two ‘adoptees’ of the psychopath living in their basement do not behave within any boundaries of normalcy whatsoever. The novel is touted as one of “growing menace and terror” but is instead one of growing ridiculousness and boredom.

The psychopath is a fairly interesting character, however, although he’s not really in the book too much as an interactive character. (Perhaps that’s why he is good – the author didn’t have a chance to wreck him.) The villain of the book (the corrupt small-town sheriff) is a boring stereotype who at best reflects the author’s disdain of small towns.