Sunday, June 30, 2013

“I believe the dead are at peace, but it is not right to speak of them with levity.” ― Emily Bronté, Wuthering Heights

"Yes, A Questionable Shape is that zombie novel you’ve been hearing about, but don’t believe the publicity: Bennett Sims, the book’s author, is barely interested in genre at all. This isn’t even The Keep or Motherless Brooklyn—something that stokes the intellect while still delivering generic thrills. I get no sense Bennett Sims loves zombies.
     Mostly, this book is concerned with memory. The undead 'return to the familiar,' wandering 'to nostalgically charged sites from their former lives.' Do they understand why they remember what they remember? Do any of us? For all the talk about the undead, Sims uses very few tropes from zombie narratives—not even to subvert them. He demonstrates little affection for genre….
     Over and over again, Sims demonstrates astonishing skill with image. Shadows sweep 'back and forth, like a massive phantasmal broom.' The wax at the base of a candlestick looks 'as if a congregation of gnarled ghosts was kneeling in prayer before the flame.' These similes transform the familiar world into surreal gems, so concrete that I can feel each in my hand."
— Benjamin Rybeck, ElectricLiterature
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"Quirk Books’s spring catalog [2009] features at least one title I’d like to get my hands on: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. Like a DVD loaded with extras, the book includes the original text of the Regency classic, juiced up with 'all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem.'”
— Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times

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