Keeping an open mind is pretty darn important. For instance, when I got a copy of Zombie Guts and read the description, I really didn’t think it would be for me. At all. Purple, grape-flavored crack turning users into zombies? That just sounds like something a bunch of bored teens would come up with (and the immediately get bored of and move on). But do you know what? I actually quite enjoyed this brief novella about drug abuse in the zombie age.
The thing is that the cause of the zombie apocalypse is rarely a terribly important part of the story. Sure, it might have some meta-textual weight, especially when it comes to using zombies to examine our society at large, but by and large it’s immaterial. The important thing is the people who get stuck in the middle of things once the zombie freight train gets rolling.
Of course, there are hints of some social commentary here. The thing that gets everything started is strain of crack that’s flavored like artificial grape. It’s cheap, and thrives in low income areas. The fact that it’s both highly addictive and flavored with a cheap, candy-like taste immediately conjured up notions of some sort of weapon targeted specifically at inner-city poor. But when the purple crack starts flowing out of the ghettos and into the middle and upper-class neighborhoods, that’s when people start getting upset. They don’t have too long to be mad, however, since the zombies show up in short order.
The story begins just as things are getting really bad. Mike and his friends are having one last get together while the world in just starting to crumble around their ears. They think they’re safe at a run down old pool hall (which they have also barricaded for additional safety), but as with all zombie stories, danger finds them soon enough. And, like many stories like this, they have inadvertently brought the danger with them.
The story is fairly conventional (with a few jumps due to the protagonist hurting himself), and short enough to tear through in a single sitting. Despite this, I left Zombie Guts thinking the writer, Andrew Crevier, has a hell of a lot of potentional.
Interesting! Just curious, where does the title comes from? Is there some kind of connection to the story or is it just a catchy made-up name?
I should have included that.
Guts is a card game they play in the book. There are instructions for how to play after the story.
Sounds cool, let me guess… the loser gets to feed the Zombies?
Hah, I guess that would all depend on what the bet was.