Looking for something to get you in the Halloween spirit? What’s better than a good zombie story? The Walking Dead has aired two seasons on AMC so far and the library owns both. Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma after being shot on duty to discover that while he was asleep, the world has changed. At least half of the population has been wiped out. There’s no more government, no military, and none of the comforts of the world he remembers. And what’s more, all those people who have died have woken back up as bloodthirsty zombies. Rick must struggle to survive and find his family who he knows must still be alive.
I’m not usually into scary or gory stuff, but this series is so compelling that I was immediately hooked. It reminds me of my all-time favorite show, Battlestar Galactica; at its heart, The Walking Dead is a drama about how people deal with the destruction of their world and figure out how to survive while still dealing with the issues of their past. If you can’t get your hand on a copy of the DVDs, the library also owns the graphic novels that the show is based on.
A list of excellent things about World War Z:
- Author Max Brooks (progeny of Mel Brooks) uses the word “decimate” appropriately – it means to kill one out of every ten people, usually as a show of force or intimidation and it is NOT a synonym for rampant destruction. The grammar nerd in me squealed with delight when I read that!
- Interview-style storytelling means a focus on plot that’s both exciting and quick to read (Corollary: if there’s a chapter that you don’t like, it’s over quickly and the next one won’t be about the same person, the same event, or even the same country)
- Rapid pacing keeps you on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put this down!
- Plausible and thoroughly reasoned geopolitical scenarios and global reactions to the zombie apocalypse
- It’s the zombie apocalypse. So it’s awesome.
There are only two “bad” things about it, really. First, there’s a hefty helping of military action and associated jargon; if that isn’t to your taste, be prepared to skim or skip those paragraphs. Second, the interview-style format means that there is 0 character development, so if you rely on relatable characters to draw you into a narrative, that’s not going to happen here. But these aren’t really weaknesses as much as they are features of the book – for every reader who hates those features, there’s one who finds them fascinating. If that’s you, this book is sure to please.
But I had no idea she was a highly trained zombie-killing Ninja!!!
It appears that Jane Austen may have left a few things out when she was showering her irony, wit and passive social consciousness all over the story of the five Bennet sisters and their adventures in society…for example: ZOMBIES! According to author Seth Grahame-Smith, the militia stationed at Meryton had a very specific reason to be there–to protect the village from a coming Zombie Attack. However, the officers really aren’t necessary because the Bennet sisters, particularly the two eldest, are known all over the countryside for their skills in kicking zombie butts. Other than that, the story strays little from the original Pride and Prejudice plot. Well… except for Mr. Darcy’s knack to crack inappropriate jokes. Yes, the author seems to have loosened up Mr. Darcy quite a bit, although in return Miss Lizzy is a very violent-hearted ice queen.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is more of a parody than a retelling, so those looking to be swept up in Regency romance and wit will not find it. I found myself reading it more to see how Grahame-Smith incorporated zombies into the plot then for the actual story. Expect a little gore and a lot of Jasper Fforde-esque humor.
More of a swamp thing than a zombie person? Check out Seth Grahame-Smith’s Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters!
To help get you in the mood for a deliciously frightening Halloween, the librarians at Davenport Public Library are going to share some of the favorite blood-chilling books and movies. Read on if you dare!
I’ll get things started with an episode from the late, lamented tv series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “Hush”, from the 4th season, has almost no dialogue, but it’s this very silence that adds to the horror. One night while everyone is asleep, The Gentlemen – tall, spectral figures dressed like funeral directors – magically steal the voice of everyone in Sunnydale. The people panic and chaos reins. The next night The Gentlemen, accompanied by their gruesome, Igor-like henchmen, go in search of their first victim. The trapped man is unable to scream for help and The Gentlemen cut out his heart. Of course, Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles and company soon find a solution, but not before everyone is thoroughly terrified.
There are two things that completely freaked me out about this show – the fact that no one could speak (and therefore were unable to call for help) and the fact that The Gentlemen, their skeletel faces grinning widely, floated above the ground as they wandered through the silent town searching for victims, their terrifying helpers limping along at their sides. I couldn’t look out the window after dark for months after seeing the show.
Written and directed by series creator Joss Whedon, this episode was nominated for an Emmy for Best Writing and is often included in lists of 10 best Buffy episodes.