Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Blog

I'm still not sold on the idea of blogs in general, but I've decided to give it a try. Here I will post news and thoughts related to my non-fiction zombie work, Gospel of the Living Dead. There will also be news on future zombie and horror-related projects, especially my zombie novel, Dying 2 Live. I hope we all have a constructive conversation. As part of entering the zombie, blogospheric community, let me say that if you link to my blog and let me know, I'll link to yours.

First, let's start with some reviews of GotLD.

Here are some print ones. The first is from Rue Morgue (Sept 2006):

A study of Romero's classic zombie quadrilogy, as well as Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, the book puts forth a compelling argument that the films parallel Dante's Divine Comedy as an epic journey into the fallen human condition and its scant chance at salvation in a world beset by sin, temptation and demonic entities. The analysis is thorough, smart and comprehensible to the average reader, but only a diehard fan or academic will likely want to wade in deeper than the 25-page introduction, which succinctly lays out Paffenroth's main arguments. Having said that, the subsequent chapters offer their own delights. Paffenroth provides a synopsis, shooting history, and analysis of each of the films, showing their relation to the nine rings of Dante's Hell and to the lesser-known terrain of Purgatory. Many critics have sussed out the subversive elements in Romero's zombie films, arguing that individually and as a series they portray a racist, consumerist America literally eaten alive by its own irreconcilable appetites, but Paffenroth offers a fuller, more humane look at the modern zombie. She [sic] is especially adept at showing how often Romero blurs the line between living and dead, human and zombie, reminding us that the only thing separating us from our shuffling brethren is a few degrees of skin temperature and our target scores at shooting range.

This is from Publishers Weekly (Oct 2006):

You don't have to be a fan of zombie movies to learn from them, but it probably helps. Paffenroth, an associate professor of religious studies at Iona College, is one fan who has turned his fascination into a detailed narrative analysis of the George Romero zombie films (Night of the Living Dead; Dawn of the Dead; Land of the Dead), which he calls "secular descendants of Dante's Inferno." He finds ample social criticism and illustration of old-fashioned "sin" in each film, which gives him optimism for the future of the zombie genre. Written with academic rigor but not with academic jargon, Paffenroth invites us to search the sometimes silly and profane zombie films for deeper religious meanings about how we, the living, act with less humanity at times than the "undead." Paffenroth weaves Christian theology, social criticism and allusions to Dante's Inferno throughout his discussion of films that feature cannibalism, mayhem and terror—a feat that probably has to be read to be believed. This is an excellent resource not just for fans of low-budget zombie films, but for anyone who wants to understand the appeal of the genre.

Links to other reviews, interviews, and articles about the book:

Now, as for the novel, here's the pitch that I have posted on Publisher's Marketplace: If you're for real and not someone trying to sell me on self-publishing, subsidy publishing, book doctoring, or otherwise trying to take my money (as opposed to someone legitimate in publishing, who would be seeking to give me some money), then drop me a line.

And if you're a fan, post a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Kim - looking good! I've got you linked up over at my blog. I'm expecting great things from this next novel of yours...

10:12 PM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

Thanks, Matt. Only time will tell. I've quickly learned that my success in non-fiction might get my sample chapter read by an agent or editor, but it's still going to be really hard to get published in the world of fiction.

10:37 PM  
Blogger John W. Morehead said...

Kim, I think your book is great. We need more Christian scholars interacting with pop culture, especially in the genres of horror, sci fi and fantasy. I'm looking forward to your book already out and hope you can find the right publisher for the non-fiction project.

11:05 AM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

Thanks for the encouragement, John, and thanks for putting me in touch with the Cornerstone people.

2:41 PM  

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