Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Current zombie fiction

I started reading a bunch of stuff in the summer and when the semester first started. But it's all come crashing to a halt with midterms and papers and it isn't going to free up until Christmas break. But over the summer I read David Wellington's Monster Island. Awesome zombie novel with its own little personality and quirks. First person narrative, makes it really immediate and personal. If you know the geography of NYC, you'll love the local color as the protagonists run around the city - fighting, killing, and dying. The fights in the subway ("Oh - what's this big bag of nails and broken glass? Smells like..." BUH-WHAM!!! - I was laughing like mad) and in Central Park were classic. Then I read Max Brook's World War Z. This one's not about individual fights, but all about two things - political satire (biting and cold), and the minutiae of how to fight zombies. So if you want to see how Chinese communism, Soviet Communism, and American capitalism all have their pluses and minuses when it comes to dealing with the unexpected problem of billions of walking, cannibal corpses, and then you want to see how we deal with all the zombies walking around the bottom of the sea or frozen in Canada and Siberia, then this is the one for you. Recently I started The Road (not technically a zombie novel, but apocalyptic and bleak) and that's where the semester stopped me, but what I read was bleak and breathtaking. Imagine a margarita, only, after you pour the tequila and the ice into the blender, you don't add margarita mix, but instead you pour in the broken glass from the windows of a bombed-out church and add the tears of a thousand murdered orphans, and then when you hit "puree" you stick your hand in, so the blender blades whack off your fingertips. That's what his prose is like - gritty, painful, desperate, sad, exhilirating. I speak for all aspiring authors when I say I'd kill to write like that. I hope I can finish it over Thanksgiving, because it was so powerful. I hope your zombie reading is going well also.


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