Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Somehow it seemed nobler to die naked like a savage than with a terry cloth towel around my waist.”
So, I’ve read several really emotionally taxing books lately, and with a few more of those lined up, I needed a break. I needed pure entertainment. I needed a brain vacation. I needed…
I needed some zombies.
If you read my reviews, dear friend or follower, you know that I adore a good zombie novel. I don’t know why. I think maybe it’s because I like being scared, a little bit, but knowing that it’s so far-fetched that I don’t really have to worry. Zombie books don’t really give me nightmares the way serial killer or plague or psycho clown books do, because I’m more convinced of the possibility of running into one of those latter three in my day-t0-day life.
Additionally, most zombie books have quite a lot of humour written in. It’s like those who write these things know that we aren’t taking it all that seriously, and so they’re willing to not take themselves over-the-top seriously either.
Did I mention I’ve written some zombie fiction too? It’s about a woman and a ton of dogs and an angry cat in a pink van and… oh I’ll get to that later.
But this book definitely has lots of funny to go around. I was laughing before the main character even saw his first zombie. Well, before he saw much of one anyway.
“I see a tongue! Some asshole is licking my peephole.”
Michael Talbot is a pretty ordinary suburban guy. He has a grown daughter and two almost-grown sons, and a wife that is pretty much hilarious and snarky and whom I really like. He used to have a corporate job, til he got downsized and wound up in manual labor. He was a marine for a while, which is pretty much his and his family’s salvation, because terrible things are afoot in the world, thanks to a little-tested flu vaccine that is having some pretty terrible side effects.
One of the best parts? The people know what freaking zombies are. In so many zombieverse novels, no one in the world has heard of zombies and so they make up all kinds of names for them. Walkers, for example. Here, not only did our main character know zombie lore, he was all prepared for it.
“My quasi-nightmare dream had come true. ZOMBIES were afoot.”
Not that he was a prepper, but he had some plans (and thank goodness).
One of the worst parts? There’s some serious gore and icky-ness going on in this book. Some of it is gratuitous, and I’m not ashamed to say I skipped over those parts. Some is for effect. Some of it is both funny and terribly yucky at the same time. If you’ve just eaten, you might want to skip this next quote:
“If you, the reader, really, REALLY, want to know what was going on in Little Turtle, go feed your dog or your neighbor’s dog some chili, slathered in hot sauce and maybe throw in some chocolate cake. Okay wait for it, WAIT. Now about a half hour later, your dog’s innards are pretty much going to rupture, so make sure he’s outside. Now while this steaming pile of shit is still warm and fetid, place it in a plastic shopping bag—DON’T TIE IT UP! Now place the carrying handles one on each ear and inhale deeply. You must walk around with this bag draped across your face continually. Is this starting to punch through? Now, every time the dog crap begins to harden up and lose some of its edge, go grab yourself another refreshing pile of fresh dog offal. While you are breathing deeply of this savory concoction, try to eat some enchiladas or maybe some lasagna. Oh hell, just try to sleep with that thing affixed to your face.”
The whole book is incredibly entertaining. If you liked the movie Zombieland (Devon, I’m looking at you here) you’ll like this book.
It’s a getaway within two covers. Is it superbly written? Nah, but the author is a damn fine storyteller. He can weave a yarn that will get you involved, for sure. So if you’re looking for fun rather than high literature, this is a good stopping point. You’ll only come out the other side covered in a little gore.
“It looked like we had gone through a car wash designed by Stephen King.”