If Quentin Tarantino wrote a Zombie novel, Eden by Tommy Arlin and Tony Monchinski would be it. The narration is dark but rich and made me feel that I was watching the story rather than reading it.
The main protagonist, Harris, is bitten in the first line of the novel. We know instantly that his fate is certain death and reanimation but we can only watch and hope that Harris can find his would-be killer before he succumbs to this fate. His quest for revenge is the only arc that follows a linear timeline and is the backbone that all other arcs center.
The bulk of the novel is a series of flashbacks, or rather flash-arounds, that fill in the gaps of information about Harris’ life before the zombie apocalypse, as well as events leading up to his attack. Like the movie Pulp Fiction, the story progresses in an episodic style that provides very plausible details and adds layers to already complicated characters.
Typically out of sequence, we see characters die before we see them arrive at the fortified city known as Eden. More than once, I found myself talking back to the book during a scene as its relationship to the timeline became clear.
Something I also found very appealing was the incomplete episodes with characters and events unrelated to the main arc. Arlin and Monchinski use these episodes to show to events of the fall of society yet do so from individual perspectives. Each character gets a name and a history and is relatable enough for the reader to care about the life and death of these characters.
In addition, Arlin and Monchinsk unleash terrifying zombies into his world. There are three types: a) traditional slow moving walkers, b) runners that do not stop the chase and c) lurkers that seem to have enough intelligence to stalk prey rather than simply attack. In addition, some zombies awaken as screaming versions on the three classes. These screamers have the same characteristics of the others of its kind, but have an unending wail that warns of its approach. The sounds of the zombies are a permanent fixture of the setting and its constant reference intensifies the tension the details and slow pace create.
This non-linear but deeply engrossing novel is at times gripping and emotional and at others violent and vulgar. The depths to which Arlin and Monchinski are able to drag the reader into their world make this novel a must read.
This sounds really interesting. Looks like we both got unconventional zombie books this week, Angie.
It was really great! I always say I love stuff but this one is definately a top 5 book.
Glad to hear it. I’m going to have to circle back to this one.
Screaming Zombies… brrr… that does sound terrifying.
Let me guess… the best way to describe their scream would be the sound of fingernails scraping chalkboard? (hehehe –> sadistic laugh)
your comment made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Good job!!
Great review. I’ve been dying to read this. It’s on my ever growing to read list.
It is really dark but very good.
imagine the joker durring the zombie apocolipse, if he was a zombie he’d scare me half to death, and if he was alive, he’d be mistaken for a zombie
The Arkham City Joker is super scathe. He gave me nightmares.