Daily Bookshot: A Zombie Infatuation



A Zombie Infatuation, originally uploaded by Robert Burdock.

Although my love for fine fiction, world literature and the classics is quite well known, few people know that I have a skeleton in my cultural cupboard. I say it’s a ‘skeleton’ but it’s a lot ‘fleshier’ than that. In fact the flesh is green and putrid, and well, still alive, but at the same time, dead. That’s right fellow readers it’s not really a skeleton that’s in my cupboard it’s a zombie, and I’ve had an infatuation with them for over thirty years.

My love affair first began in the late seventies when I was around twelve-years-old. A friend had got a hold of a pirate video of George Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and he invited me over to watch it. I did watch it and instead of being scared out of my wits I was utterly captivated, both by Romero’s incredible cinematography and the whole concept that the dead may rise from the grave one day and hold the living to ransom.

The ‘undead’ seed was planted, and from that day forward I consumed any and all zombie-flavoured movies. From George Romero’s superb creations to the zombie flicks of Lucio Fulci, and the satirical offerings of Edgar Wright’s ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and Peter Jackson’s ‘Braindead’ to bang up-to-date movies such as the ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake (nowhere near as good as the original) and ‘Zombieland’. I’ve watched them all and more or less enjoyed each and every one of them.

Not surprisingly my passion for zombies has also moved over into my reading, starting with a book I bought in the mid-eighties celebrating the zombie genre in cinema (I have that book around here somewhere but I couldn’t find it in time for this bookshot). Since then I’ve added a few titles to my bookshelves, including two of my all-time favourites shown partially in this bookshot – Max Brooks’ World War Z (Duckworth) and Z A Recht’s Plague of the Dead (Permuted Press). It’s the main book in this shot however that’s really got my juices flowing.

The main book is of course Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead, and as it’s name may suggest it’s a collection of Zombie-flavoured stories, all of which have been previously unpublished. The book is published this week by Piatkus (18th February), and it’s one I’m hugely excited about reading. So excited in fact that I went against one of my fundamental principles in order to get an early copy. Generally, I’ve been brought up better than to outwardly beg publicists for books. However, you can bet that when I heard about this upcoming title my principles went out the window, and I was straight on the hunt for the right person to speak too. Thankfully I found that right person, and that right person, who is now also wonderful, graced me with a copy of Zombie.

Now that Zombie is in my hands and I’ve had quick flick through I can tell you that I’m even more excited to read it. Not only is there nineteen stories in total in this collection – more than enough to keep my zombie fever at bay for a while – there’s also a story each from Joe Hill (who’s short story Abraham’s Boys I really liked) and the legend himself, Max Brooks. Does it get much better than that? I think not! But if there is any icing to be put on the cake, then it comes courtesy of that gorgeous (in a zombie loving way) cover artwork, created by Norwegian artist Per Haagensen.

As good as Zombie looks I know already that I probably won’t be declaring it my zombie-flavoured reading highlight of the year. That accolade will surely go to something even more exciting that’s coming along in the summer. And that ‘something’ is George Romero’s debut novel, The Living Dead (Headline). It’s a novel that’s long overdue from the zombie-meister, and it’s one which will once and for all establish the ‘back story’ for Romero’s apocolyptic zombie event, and give some meaning to that zombie infestation that I first fell in love with over thirty years ago. What a year it’s going to be!

So fellow reader, are you a closet zombie fan like me or do you wish that the whole zombie thing would just hobble off and die (if that were possible :))? And what about the movie of Romero, Fulci et al. Do you enjoy them? Have you fond memories of watching the first time around, or do they just disgust you?

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).

Comments

  1. Shaun of the Dead is about the extent of my zombie tolerance and maybe Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price. I don’t think I’ve ever read about zombies. Maybe one day … or maybe not. 😉

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      Ohhhh……Kristen! Come on live a little (or maybe that should be die a little :))
      Warmest
      Rob

  2. I need to get this for my husband! Great article. I love me some zombies as well.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      Good on you Pam! I take it your husband does too? You a real anti-zombie league there, unless you want to befriend them of course.
      Warmest
      Rob

  3. I love all things Zombie related. We celebrate George Romero’s birthday in our house like it is a National Holiday. I picked up my own copy of Zombie this weekend and look forward to devouring it as soon as I’m done with George Carlin’s “Last Word”. One of my favorite Zombie genre books is Max Brooks “World War Z”. It’s a great book that I’d highly recommend.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      Frank,
      Great to hear from such an ardent zombie fan. I get you on your World War Z recommendation. It’s in the shot above if you look closely :). It’s pretty much epic both in scale and scope isn’t it?
      Anyway good luck with Zombie. I’m one story down – Lazurus – and all is good.
      Warmest
      Rob

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