Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Paul is Undead

Paul Is Undead Alan Goldsher

Basic premis-- zombies walk among us. There are different types of zombies, depending on where the zombie was created. Some function well in living society, some are scary death monsters. Some play a mean guitar and turned some other good musicians into a band. Because Liverpool zombies are strong and artistic.

Except Stu, Stu became a vampire. And Ringo, Ringo's a ninja. (Yoko is, too.)

John Lennon had a vision of the first undead rockband. A zombie band, which caused some friction with another Liverpool band that was made up of living members, but called The Zombies.

Overall, it's the history of the Beatles, but with zombies. Pete Best gets fired because he refuses to turn. John didn't die in 1980, because he was already undead. Mick Jagger's a zombie hunter (they could have done a lot more with that plot line. It kinda fizzled.)

Overall... I liked most of it. The zombie stuff was pretty graphically gross, which isn't my cup of tea, but makes sense in a zombie novel. But there's also a lot of comic grossness, like that'll often rip their arms off to better beat each other with them. There's a good dose of teen boy humor in here.

I think Goldsher was really clever in how he made the zombie Beatle thing work. He especially excels at the strained relations between members. No one's dead, but everything still went down, so they're not exactly talking to each other and John's version of events often differs from other people's.

Format wise, it works really well-- (ok, the pictures were gross, but, that's a cup-of-tea thing, not an actual complaint.) It's an "oral history" so the conceit is that Goldsher is a rock journalist interviewing all the actors involved, and so it's all transcript form, piecing together different interviews like you would in a documentary. This really allows the strained-band-politics to shine. Interspersed are interviews with zombie experts, newspaper articles, and excerpts from books about zombies, to help with the world building, but in a really unobtrusive way.

My only real issue is that, after awhile, the premise wore thin and it wasn't enough to sustain such a long time span of band history or 300 pages of book. It got to the point where I was invested enough that I wanted to finish it, but had to slog through the last bit to get there.

Book Provided by... my wallet

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