Apr 21

BreathersThe biggest problem with Breathers, a great new zombie book released last month, could be that no one knows what genre it belongs to. It’s about zombies, but it’s not exactly a horror book. It has romance, but it’s no love story. It’s a dark comedy, sure, but it’s more than that. Some reviews are calling Breathers a Rom-Zom-Com, short for a zombie romantic comedy, but even that seems like a stretch.

Breathers is contemporary, humorous and sophisticated. If it weren’t for the zombies, this book would be on the shelf next to Nick Hornby‘s latest and Fight Club. Why? Because I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the genre it belongs to is the poorly understood male ennui: A bored man struggles through a depressing existence, eventually learning how to take back his own life. Except the main character is a zombie, so he’s actually taking back his undeath.

And there’s no mistaking it — Breathers is definitely a zombie book. The story is told in first-person by Andy, a rotting corpse that lives in his parents’ wine cellar after reanimating, wandering out of the mortuary and getting locked up with the other itinerant undead at the SPCA. Between dull days and nights of watching bad television while drinking expensive wine and shampoo, Andy commiserates with other zombies at Undead Anonymous. Hilarity and poignancy ensue.

Breathers is cool and fresh new fiction. It’s the kind of zombie book you could loan to your mother. As long as your mother is okay with a little violence, irreverence and necrophilia — assuming it’s necrophilia if both parties are dead. Or undead. Whatever.

I’m giving Breathers five brains, then subtracting a half brain because, like zombies, the book starts off a tad slow but will get you in the end.

4.5 out of 5 brains

Further reading: Breathers has a pretty cool web page, Undead Anonymous, which has some good literature on coping with undeath.

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Apr 15

It’s hard to make zombies kid-friendly, but this animated version of It Was a Dark and Silly Night, a comic written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Gahan Wilson does the trick. The animation is adapted from a story in the comic series Little Lit, edited by Art Spiegelman.

And sure, the zombies in the story are really just reanimated corpses and they’re more interested in dancing than brains, but it’s a great demonstration of the potential of zombies in all facets of pop culture. Zombies can now be seen in everything from romance to reality TV to kids’ fiction. Here at Zombie Slash, we can’t wait to see what genres zombies will invade next.

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Apr 08

Today is the official release date of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen. As I mentioned last week, I was super excited to read it. I’m actually a bigger fan of Austen than I generally admit, so combined with my love of zombies, I thought I’d be the perfect demographic.

The problem is that I might just be too big a fan of Austen and too big a fan of zombies to fully appreciate the combination. It’s like making a sandwich with peanut butter and bacon. They’re both delicious on their own, but together?

I know people were saying all this before the book came out, but I didn’t believe them. Because, you know, everything is better with zombies. And the zombies in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are great. There just aren’t enough of them. But, to make room for the zombies, there is also less of Darcy and Elizabeth, the characters that make Pride and Prejudice so lovable. As a result, romance and mayhem are in competition.

That said, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was thoroughly enjoyable. It was funny and gruesome and had lots of ninja vs. zombie action. Grahame-Smith’s interpretation of Regency England included ongoing humor about vomit and balls. (Historical note: “Balls” once referred to social gatherings at which guests danced, rather than, “heheh, balls.”) Really, I couldn’t put the book down.

Grahame-Smith’s literary mashup, though not wholly seamless, is a fun and fantastical take on the Austen’s classic novel. Austen was a progressive woman with a sense of humor, but she feared that Pride and Prejudice was “rather too light, and bright, and sparkling.” Had she lived in modern times, maybe she would have realized that zombies were exactly the soiling the novel needed. Maybe.

I’m giving the book four brains out of five.
4 brains out of 5

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Apr 01

Although Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is not due to release until April 8, some booksellers are selling the book in advance. Publishers are usually not happy with these unofficial pre-releases because they can lower the book’s first week sales, but they can also increase buzz if the feedback from early sales is good.

I am personally thrilled with P&P&Z‘s accidental pre-release — it means I got my copy last night!! I’ll post a review here once I’m done, and hell, I’m so psyched, I’m even posting pictures of my book after the jump.

For those stuck waiting till the official release, the publisher has released the first three chapters online for free, and more reviews are pouring in. Boing Boing recently gave the book a mixed review, but this is mostly because Cory Doctorow doesn’t like Jane Austen. I am an Austen fan and am loving the book so far.

Continue reading »

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Mar 31

What will you do when the undead hit your neighborhood? Get some practice with these choose-your-own-zombie-adventures!

The Outbreak is a choose-your-own-adventure zombie film that was released last fall. The film is interactive and online, which makes for at least fifteen minutes of fantastic entertainment. Although the production is B-movie quality, the interactivity and availability give it an A in zombiliciousness. (Hint: if you don’t survive the feeding frenzy on your first attempt, click “chapter select” to go back a step.)

Check out the trailer below, or go straight to the site for zombie action.

If you’re looking for a more traditional choose-your-own-zombie-adventure, look no further than the newly released Zombie Bank Run. The story follows Samuel Nelson, a man who lost it all in the Great Depression, and might just lose his life too in the zombie apocalypse.

As you might expect, Zombie Bank Run isn’t the finest literature out there, but it definitely gets bonus points for creativity and, of course, for zombies, and provides at least a good hour of zombie fun. Get started on the adventure here!

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Mar 25

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (P&P&Z)

With just two weeks until the highly anticipated release of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the book reviews are beginning to come out. They include excerpts that reveal some plot details, including chivalry, minor characters, and … ninjas!

Entertainment Weekly‘s review gives the book an A- and discusses opposing Chinese and Japanese zombie fighting techniques in Regency England. Its excerpt reveals some of the nuances involved when Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy slay zombies together.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune‘s mostly positive review borders on giving spoilers when it comes to a few of the book’s minor characters (Wickham and Collins). It mentions that the end of the book contains a “Readers Discussion guide”, that actually asks, “Can you imagine what the book would be like without the zombies?” Yes, the reviewer can: “Something like Pride and Prejudice.”

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Mar 25

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has illustrations! Check out the first, where we’re guessing the Bennet sisters are slaying some zombies at the Meryton Assembly.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Illustration 1

The book comes out this April 8, 2009! We have pre-ordered our copies and we’re all over this book like Caroline Bingley after some Darcy lovin’.

(Image is via Irreference, the book’s publisher.)

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Mar 18

We’re psyched that the upcoming film Dead of Night, which is based on the Dylan Dog comic books by Tiziano Sclavi, is currently being shot in New Orleans. In the film Dylan Dog, a private detective who gets drawn into a dark world of zombies and vampires, is played by Brandon Routh of Superman Returns. Kevin Munroe directs and Sam Huntington, who also starred with Routh in Superman, will play his sidekick.

If you’re like us and can’t wait to see Sclavi’s zombies in action, check out this awesome animated version of the Dead of Night comic book.

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Mar 16

Coming your way in 2010 may be the most epic and ambitious zombie film yet, World War Z, based on the novel by Max Brooks. We’re waiting for news about the casting (and crossing our fingers for some Brad Pitt!), but in the meanwhile, really dig this alleged concept art by Dan LuVisis.

The Battle of Yonkers (World War Z) by Dan LuVisis

Above: The Battle of Yonkers

Although some of the details here are sketchy compared to the book (Soldiers on roofs? And where are the portajohns?), I love its scale and action. Here’s hoping the movie looks something like this.

Check out io9′s story and image gallery for more info and detail shots of this huge digital painting.

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Feb 23

If you’ve read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (aka Harry Potter 6) you might remember the dramatic scene where Harry and Dumbledore escape a cave infested with reanimated corpses, which are called inferi in the Potterverse. But if you’re a zombie fan, you might also have asked yourself, “Reanimated corpses? Aren’t those … zombies?”

With the sixth movie due in July, new clips and trailers are constantly showing up on the internet. In the most recent trailer, we get our first look at the inferi — looking pretty zombie-like if you ask me.

You can get a glimpse of them in action around 1:38 in the trailer. We’re looking forward to seeing the full scene in the movie!

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