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Bookworm 2013: Worlds of the Undead

Posted on | December 29, 2013 | No Comments

Max Brooks - World War ZThe undead were unusually thin on the ground this year, mostly because the market currently seems glutted with increasingly cheap and increasingly amateurish fare. However, I could not go a year entirely zombieless, and so I picked up one of the modern classics, Max Brooks’ World War Z. First off, slow zombies. That is always a plus, since fast zombies are clearly werewolves in disguise. A lot of people had a problem with the form of the book, although it is clearly advertised as interviews with the survivors. Yes, this means it removes some of the drama, since the people being interviewed, obviously, survived. Second, many of the stories contained in the book are not really stories in the classic sense, representing, instead, snippets of events in the greater story unfolding globally. If I had to complain about anything, it would be the stereotypization of characters, particularly regarding the non-american bits of the story.

JL Bourne - Day by Day ArmageddonThe same might be said of J.L. Bourne’s Day by Day Armageddon, with the lone marine turned survivalist pont-of-view character being oddly rational and calculated and professional in the face of, well, the world going to hell. However, for a book born from a Reddit thread, it flows amazingly well, to the point where it had me intrigued enough to pick up the sequel, Beyond Exile, but there is only so much to be done with a linear survival narrative before it becomes repetitive and uninteresting enough to call it quits on the rest of the series.  However, if you like reading survival horror with odd coincidences and events arranging themselves just-right for our intrepid heroes to survive, you will probably enjoy the hell out of the rest of the books.

Joyce Carol Oates - ZombieOddly, in Joyce Carol Oates’ Zombie there are no zombies. Okay, I knew this before I started reading, but I still felt a twinge of disappointment throughout, as I followed the adventures of our paedophile-psycho killer as he looks for the perfect subject for his zombie experiment. The book itself reads like a successful literary experiment, written in first person from the perspective of a, well, mentally divergent person, and it succeeds in the whole thing feeling real. The only problem I have with the book is that the many machinations, plans and adventures of our intrepid “hero” are followed by a rather abrupt ending, leaving a sense of incompleteness, as if Oates simply got bored of writing and stopped.

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  • Goodreads

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time
    The Ophiuchi Hotline
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    Green Eyes
    Crackpot Palace: Stories
    The Fractal Prince
    The Fecund's Melancholy Daughter

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