I read. A ton. It’s important for a lot of reasons. One, it makes you think a little more than just watching the idiot box. Not that I have anything against the box itself, its robbed me of my fair share of hours. Really its the garbage that pops up rather regularly on the bloody thing that zaps your brain cells into little piles of gray goo. Excercise your brain, stretch those mental faculties. Hell, stretch the students and maintainance guys while you’re at it.
Oh, and the other reason? I’m trying to be a professional here. Want to write? Have to read. Point A, meet B. It’s not rocket science.
Anyways, I mentioned in the not too distant past that I grabbed some new reading material in November. Did it really help me accomplish my NaNoWriMo task? Not a bit. Did I spend much time thinking about how reading the new stuff would benefit my desired career choice? Not even close.
I was too distracted by the cannibals.
I’ll give you a moment for that to sink in.
And no, it’s not the sort of “Hey stop chewing on me so I can read my book!” sort of distraction either. I don’t read with cannibals. It’s a personal choice. I’m talking about content. Yeah, cannibals in the book. Right.
Double Dead by Chuck Wendig.
This post’s title, not misleading at all. And yeah, I did use ‘ain’t’. Not because I like it, but it made sense right? It just felt good to use. Less refined, more appropriate to the subject matter. Forget it.
In all seriousness however, this isn’t the same sort of vampire you’ve been seeing in the movies and big print these days. Wendig has made a complete turn, or is it total half turn? He’s taking a different direction. (Yeah, smooth)
If you haven’t had any exposure to Wendig, be warned. His writing is not for the easily offended. If you get a bit squeamish when profanity pops up in your novel, (and not just from a characters mouth) than Coburn, and his snarky half-cocked creator, may just be a bit too bad ass for you.
Right from the get go Wendig hits you. He hits you with a lead pipe made of viscera and adrenaline. And lead. And he doesn’t stop, you don’t have time to lay there and bleed out, you’ve got places to go: New York, Texas, California. It’s a coast to coast thrill ride through Undead America. The United States of Who the Hell Can Tell Anymore?
I’ve read plenty of zombie stories and a great good smattering of post apocalyptic settings and Wendig’s picture of a broken, flesh-eating America is truly original and stands out for me as one of the better ones.
And as for the cast, there isn’t a better bunch of odd pairings for a drunk-on-power vampire to herd about. The characters feel and that’s the thing. They’re people you could get behind. People you may know. People you could invest your time in.
So that gives us:
1 part flesh-eating super zombies
1 part Walmart lording cannibals
1 part RV tour of America
1 part vampire
and probably a fifth of Jack
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Enjoy