Untcigahunk: The Complete Little Brothers by Rick Hautala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of Untcigahunk: The Complete Little Brothers by Rick Hautala
Reading this, my enjoyment was tempered by bittersweetness, since my first reading happened after the very untimely passing of accomplished author Rick Hautala. Just a few days before his death, I had read my first Hautala story, “Wildman,” and immediately determined to read his entire oeuvre, hoping of course that he would write for many more years to come. Then came the announcement of his passing, and the suggestion by Lou Pendergrast, moderator of the Goodreads Robert McCammon group, that members might read “Little Brothers” in memoriam, since Mr. Hautala had been a charter member of this group.
I’m so glad I finally read this; this particular volume incorporates the novel “Little Brothers,” along with several short stories themed around the “Untcighunk,” the Micmac Indian term for the Little Brothers of Native mythology and legend. I only wish I had read it years ago, and had been reading Mr. Hautala’s exquisite horror all along.
Five years ago Kip watched his mother die, torn to pieces by fast-moving brown creatures. Only seven then, he blocked the sight from memory. Now twelve, he learns, little by little, that the Untcigahunk, or Little Brothers, are on the move again. Like the Cicadas and Seven-Year Locusts, they have their own cycle, at five years duration. Kip’s dad Bill has determined to start again on building their new home outside of town (Thornton, Maine) at the site where his wife Lori died. Meanwhile, Kip suffers terribly at the hands of his older brother Marty (quite literally at his hands) and attorney Bill tries to be partial and objective—which doesn’t help Kip. He determines to run away for the summer; until he encounters a man who knows an awful lot about the Untcigahunk—the too often alcoholic Micmac, considered the town reprobate, John Watson.
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