Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, December 16, 2011

Zombie News

No, that's not Temple.

I just finished Alden Bell's novel The Reapers Are The Angels.  It was quite good.

The tagline was that it was Harper Lee mixed with Cormac McCarthy and George Romero and that's fairly accurate.  The writing always verged on purple, but never felt quite too overblown.  It was a spare novel at 225 quick pages, which might have accounted for the writing not getting to be too much.

The basic story is of a 16 or so year old girl named Temple who grows up after the zombie apocalypse.  She leaves a sanctuary in the first chapter and commences to find a group of survivors.  She kills one who tries to rape her and the dead man's brother tracks her across the wasteland.

For one thing, it reinforces a rule I discovered about zombie lit: The stories are either well written and compelling OR they paint a realistic picture of the undead world.  There were too many functioning gas stations and power grids in the novel for me.  What was missing was that sense of large areas of wasteland where mankind had slipped below the technological threshold of electrical power and combustion engines.

Aside from that, it was very, very good.  I would be shocked if the film rights were still out there.  It reads and plays very much like a movie, but very much better written.

Still, a very good book if you like Cormac McCarthy or Flannery O'Connor but with more zombies.

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