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Beasts of Valhalla, The (1985)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Beasts of Valhalla, The (1985) by George C. Chesbro 1985. What a wild book! The main character, Mongo, is a superhuman dwarf with a black belt in karate, an expert in gymnastics-a college professor and a world famous New York Detective! On a trip back to his home town, to attend the funeral of his nephew, he discovers that the boy was murdered. Those responsible work for a mysterious corporation that's just outside the town. There's a huge building but no one is ever seen coming or going into it. All its employees are flown in from other areas of the country.Well, Mongo sneaks in and discovers they are doing genetic experiments-and is almost killed by a huge Silverback gorilla who can talk. He escapes and confides in his brother, who is a New York Policeman. Together, they embark on a harrowing journey across the country. At one point they are forced to drink a concoction-and it turns out to be a formula which steadily devolves them into creatures. Mongo's eyes become like those of a snake and he starts getting scales and webbed appendages. His brother becomes harrier & stronger, turning into a Neanderthal-type being. Yet they still retain their minds.They encounter all sorts of monsters along the way.Their months long journey ends in California, where they finally confront the scientist responsible for their misfortune. His plan is to devolve all of humanity so they can start over again, undo the damage they are doing to themselves and the planet.Of course, the brothers, along with a secret-agent acquaintance of theirs, stop all this from happening and they eventually regain their original bodies. After I finished this book I realized this was the fourth of Chesbro's books that feature Mongo. THE BEASTS OF VALHALLA is a very enjoyable, fun read, along the lines of BUCKAROO BANZAI in the sense that everything's thrown in this novel but the kitchen sink!
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