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28 March 2011

Dying to Live (2006)

I'll come clean and say that I didn't enjoy this book in the slightest. I only finished it so that I could write this review. I wish I hadn't bothered.

Dying to Live is 'a novel of life among the undead' by Kim Paffenroth. It's a Permuted Press offering and that was the main reason I bought it; I'd kind of been hoping for something a little different. Well I got that alright!

If Ned Flanders ever wrote a zombie book, then this would be that book. Kim is obviously a religious man. I do wonder how he ended up writing zombie fiction; The two don't really mix. I found Kim's relentless soul searching and biblical philosophising tiresome to say the least. And listening to Kim swear is just plain wrong.

The first half of the story is slow and fairly uneventful. The second half is faster, but unfortunatley it's just pants. The plot all revolves around our hero (who might just be called Jacob Cain if I remember rightly). When we meet him he is virtually mad from a year on the run from zombies. He catches up with a small community of survivors hiding out in an old museum and joins the group. Having fallen in love with one of their number, he does some deep thinking, gets into some scrapes, wonders about God, and well, are you starting to spot the flow?

There were some ideas in this story that really didn't do much for me. Take Milton, a kind of zombie Gandalf: I'm not sure that the story really needed a Jesus-like king of the zombies with a fetish for toes. Likewise, when the goodies come across the baddies at the 'correctional facilty', I think I was close to an overdose on dodgey stereotypes. You've been watching too much bad TV Kim!

Anyway, I feel like a heel for pulling this book to pieces; Kim's probably a great bloke. But you know what, he'll probably forgive me... That's just the sort of guy I think he is. Oh dear! But what if he's a Scientologist! Jesus, I'd better double-lock the door and take the phone off the hook. This could get messy!

On the Triple-B I'm going to emit a pungent 3. Ooooh! Stinky!

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