Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten

Harrison Geillor, 2010, Night Shade Books

The town of Lake Woebegotten, Minnesota, is an ordinary little town, populated by ordinary little people. Or so it appears, until the zombie apocalypse arrives, after which it becomes apparent - given the local population includes an ex-military dominatrix, a gun-crazy conspiracy theorist, a car-humping Mayor, a born-again Norse fundamentalist, a housewife who dreams of becoming a serial killer, and an actual serial killer (and septuagenarian mayoral candidate), among others - that, even without the walking dead to contend with (zombie bears, even, you betcha!), Lake Woebegotten has never been a remotely ordinary little town. Still, the townsfolk are going to have to put all that aside if they hope to survive the coming zombie onslaught...assuming they can survive each other, of course...

The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten is, quite simply, one of the funniest, most enjoyable books I've ever read. If George A. Romero and Stephen King had collaborated on the novelisation of Fargo, you'd probably get something pretty close to Geillor's novel: the prose and dialogue are a joy to read, and rich with gentle, observational humour; the plot twists and turns along at a satisfying pace; the wonderful characters - while undoubtedly comic - never quite stray into the realm of stereotyping or outright lampoon. And the zombies do what zombies do best: kill and feed, in as gory and entertaining a manner as possible.

If you only read one zombie novel a year...then you're not reading enough zombie novels. Regardless, put The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten up the top of your Want List: it's absolutely brilliant, and (dare I say it?) my pick for an instant classic of the zombie genre.


Harrison Geillor said...

Praise like that makes me kinda twitchy, but I thought the book came out pretty okay, so I'm glad you liked it too.

Dana said...

I'm reading it right now. Mr. Levitt's a hoot! Hope a zombie bear gets him. LOL