Sunday, 21 November 2010
Zombie Apocalypse! by Stephen Jones
Much like Max Brooks' World War Z is told by numerous eyewitnesses, so too is Zombie Apocalypse!, although this covers many different formats to tell the complete story - text messages, e-mails, blogs, letters, diaries and transcripts. Also, it should be noted that Stephen Jones has gathered about twenty other authors to lend their voice, making this as much an anthology as a single work of fiction. It is a device that works very well as it adds authenticity to the many contributors included in this document.
As with most anthologies, some stories work better than others and this is certainly the case here. One of my favourite accounts comes near the start of the novel. It is written by Paul Finch in the style of a police sergeant's report of the events of one unforgettable and incident-packed night. There is a palpable sense of menace in the narrative and you just know that things are going to get a lot worse... and they do.
Most anthologies fail to link their stories in such a cohesive and meaningful way as Zombie Apocalypse! does. The stories, accounts and reports are laid out in a chronological order, each with their own layout style and font, making this a very visually attractive book. With so many authors involved the tone of the narratives vary from sad and sombre to laugh out loud funny (Kim Newman, I'm talking about you here. His zombie novelty track selection near the end of the book had me in stitches!).
Zombie fans ought to have a treat reading this highly recommended novel. I found it very hard to put down once I got into it. The stories are all fairly short, some just a page in length, that it is so easy to carry on reading to the next story, and the one after, and the one after that and so on!
Zombie Apocalypse! is published by Robinson and costs £7.99. Once again, I'd advise you to shop around online, where you can get it much cheaper. I ordered my copy from Amazon.UK for just £5.69, saving me over two quid. It is a book that should find a place on the bookshelves of all fans of zombie literature.