Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let's Talk Zombies

Okay, so, here's the thing. It has become exceedingly apparent that Zombies have won over the world's hearts, and nightmares. But, I have to wonder, what would most of us do if a Zombie Apocalypse ever actually occurred? How would we react? Heck, at this point I wouldn't be surprised if we were all enthralled! A quarter of the population would be thrilled that they were right, probably saying "I told you so" right up until being surrounded by the living dead.

But, humorous speculation gets old after a while. I mainly came to talk about a few books which illustrate, both realistically and not so much, the Zombie mythos. At the forefront of these books is, of course, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith. Turning the Regency era on its head is the book about Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy, who are both trained martial artists and Zombie killers. "The Stricken" roam the english countryside, and so on, and are viewed by the general public as little more than a deadly nuisance. The story is at once dramatic, action-packed, and hilarious, as only Quirk Classics could muster. The book already has a movie in the works, a published sequel, and has single-handed ignited a long and explosive movement of classic mash-ups. Let's just say you're going to want to read this book.

Next on my list would be good ol' World War Z, by Max Brooks. This hauntingly realistic, yet somehow fictional, account of the "Zombie War" is frightening, exhilarating, well conceived, and pretty epic if I may say so. The story begins with one Max Brooks fielding government questions concerning, and lobbying for production of, his complete documentation of  The Zombie War. The reader is then thrust into several accounts of the very beginnings of the worldwide Zombie outbreak. These alone are enough to make you want to put the book down for a day or two, yet you're compelled to keep reading. Then, of course, the journey expands and elaborates in every way possible, until culminating in battles simultaneously intense, emotional, and jaw-dropping. World War Z makes you wonder how--in this world of advanced technology, pharmacology, and politics--this hasn't happened already. This book is a very important must-read!

Now, I feel like commenting a bit on a couple (out of many) of the probably-humorous-zombie-guide-type-books, which unfortunately surprised next to nobody by hitting the market. Arguably the best, and most often purchased, of these would be the one also by Max Brooks, entitled "Zombie Survival Guide". He jogs through organized lists of survival tactics, equipment, weapons, and so on. Overall, I would say that this book is also realistic, but there are indeed a few flaws. Have fun finding them, haha!
     Next book on this smaller list is called "U.S. Army Zombie Combat Skills", by Cole Louison. This "survival-guide-type-book" wanders a bit further into the humor realm, but not too far. I think that Louison's book blends a good combo of humor and realism, whereas Mr. Brooks' survival guide might take itself a bit too seriously.
      Last, I would like to point out that there are also dozens of zombie-related/themed books and things currently on the market, and very popular. For example, I have seen: Zen of Zombie, Better Living Through The Undead; Zombie Haiku (a book of zombie poetry); Pride & Prejudice & Zombies journals and calendars; Breathers, by S.G. Browne (a zombie love story); and even several graphic novels either about zombies, or Jesus battling them. You read that correctly.

So, to conclude, the new-wave of Zombie fanaticism is basically everywhere. Especially in bookstores! This behemoth is growing exponentially, and traveling at the speed of, well, really fast zombies. Out of the lists of published works I just rattled off (and all the ones I *didn't* mention), there has to be something in there for everyone! So climb on board, get out of the way, or stand there and wait to be eaten!

This is Bonner, signing off.

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