Horror: 100 Best Books by none other than notorious gore-king Shaun Hutson, the nature thriller The Totem is the third novel from David Morrell, and his first in the horror genre. Morrell isn't a huge figure in modern horror fiction - although he wrote one of my favorite horror stories ever, "Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity" - but he created one of the '80s hugest and most recognizable pop-culture fictional figures, one John Rambo, the protagonist of his 1971 debut title, First Blood. Although I've never read that, I know you can dig this first edition paperback of it:
with all edits restored. I read the 1985 Ballantine
books paperback (seen below; at top is the first paperback, Fawcett Crest August 1980, fantastic cover, thanks to Secondhand Horror) so I don't know first hand what was "missing," and
don't think the book needed much more than it had: it's a dour,
no-nonsense, single-minded tale that grimly presents flawed and
frightened men trying to forget past failures as they confront... well, somethings from the hilly wilds just above a small Wyoming town, something making mincemeat, and more, of innocent citizens. There is disease running through the veins of these somethings, a new kind of rabies - but it brings the same old kind of death.