Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Wetwork

Philip Nutman, 1993 (TP reissue 2007), Overlook Connection Press

Black Ops agent Dominic Corvino is not having a good day. His latest mission has gone horribly wrong, with several members of his team dead and another suspiciously AWOL Plus, Corvino's just killed an enemy agent who appears to have already been dead. But then, there's a lot of that going around at the moment, as across the globe the hungry dead begin to rise...

One of the great things about the current massive popularity of zomfic is that many older, somewhat neglected classics of the genre are being given a second chance at finding the readership they deserve, and Wetwork certainly falls into this category. The darkly satirical plot, which reads as a savage indictment of the government, military, and society in general, follows the developing apocalyptic crisis through the eyes of various central characters, as well as through a series of stand-alone vignettes. Nutman's prose is almost poetic in places, an absolute joy to read, and additionally serves to contrast - and highlight - the extreme violence, brutality and gore that regularly punctuates the tale. His characters live and breathe (although generally not all the way through the novel!), and his take on zombies provides a major point of difference from other zompocalyptic tales, the risen dead portrayed as sentient flesh eaters, as damaged psychologically as they are physically; some anguished by what they have become, some revelling in their new found blood lust, others left subtly brain-damaged by their 'transition' - and if you think this makes them any less scary than the more traditional mindless cannibals, you're very, very wrong.

Wetwork is a bleak and nihilistic, yet thoroughly enjoyable novel that every serious fan of zomfic should read, and is available to purchase through Amazon.   

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