by Carlton Mellick III
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Sci-Fi
When the zombie outbreak caused the collapse of society fifty years ago, Neo New York was formed, along with the four quadrants; Platinum, Gold, Silver & Copper. Copper, home to the dredged of society became easy pickings for the contestant pool of a sick and twisted TV game show. A group of people wake up in the "Red Zone" after having been drugged and abducted. Now contestants in the game, they are told by a recorded voice they have three days to navigate to a helicopter that will transport only one person off the mainland and the winner will be granted access to live in the coveted platinum quadrant.
Each contestant is provided a bag with food, water, and a weapon. But the weapons are assigned specifically tailored to each contestants fighting prowess. From the irony of a small dagger to rocket launchers, contestants attempt to fight their way to the finish line.
Some volunteered themselves, some volunteered someone else and found themselves in the game, and the rest were victims of unfortunate circumstance.
A hippie wife and her author husband, an R&D nerd, a scorned game employee, merc punks with gadgets, Mr T (?!), a sexual deviant, a white supremacist, a gang leader and select members of his crew, a lizard mutant girl, a devout Christian, an ego maniacal self-proclaimed genius, an underage prostitute, and a few more are pitted against each other in addition to the most vicious pack of undead I've ever seen. Not to mention the wildly creative cyber zombie dogs, zombie pigs and elephants, smart zombie cars.
It's been a while since I've seen zombies begging for brains reminiscent of the 1985 campy Return of the Living Dead. Braaaaaains! Man oh man, did I laugh when one of the zombies began whining for brains in Spanish. Cerebros!
Carlton Mellick has a knack for creatively describing zombies. Readers are given living corpses, radioactive corpses, corpses with items melded into their skin after fifty years of no stimulation. Oh, and did I mention Mr. T?!
"When Charlie looks, he sees a naked man staggering through the weed-coated parking lot. His skin has melted off of his body, his face nothing but a skull buried in fluffy pink meat, his intestines wrapped around his neck like a scarf."
There was only one scene in the book that was too much for me. Reading about the sex/poop activity. I'll leave that to your imaginations. And as you read this and assume you've figured it out, I assure you, you haven't even scratched the surface. I may have vomited in my mouth a bit...just saying.
I bow to Mellick's masterful creation. Zombies and Shit fed my need for a down and dirty gore-fest. Chapter after chapter I fell deeper in blood-lust and salivated for more disgusting content. I think I have whiplash from trying to follow all the action. If you think you're reading about a main character...you're wrong, because no one is safe from a disturbingly gruesome death.
Zombies and Shit is a jaw dropping experience in which the action never ceases. At 400+ pages! I couldn't stop reading. I kept reading in the car, sitting in the doctors office waiting room, at the grocery store...there was no way I was allowing real life to come between me and my love affair with this book.
Five stars on fire isn't enough for this book...I rate this an infinite amount of stars. If I were to be completely blunt, this may very well be the best piece of zombie fiction I have ever read. Not since Iain McKinnon's Demise of the Dead have I had to stop mid-read and shout from the rooftops (or more specifically...shout a tweet) my love for a book. If you value my reviews and use them to select books, then do not miss this one.
The Bookie Monster's Rating:
Twenty people wake to find themselves in a boarded-up building in the middle of the zombie wasteland. They soon discover they have been chosen as contestants on a popular reality show called Zombie Survival. Each contestant is given a backpack of supplies and a unique weapon. Their goal: be the first to make it through the zombie-plagued city to the pick-up zone alive. But because there's only one seat available on the helicopter, the contestants not only have to fight against the hordes of the living dead, they must also fight each other.
Zombies and Shit is Mellick's craziest book to date. A campy, trashy, punk rock gore fest that is as funny as it is brutal, as sad as it is strange. An edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that mutates the zombie genre into something you've never seen before, but always wanted to.
His books are released on a quarterly basis (every January, April, July, and October).
Best known as one of the leading authors of the bizarro fiction movement in literature, he is also one of the most prolific authors of his generation with over 40 books in print since 2001. He won the Wonderland Book Award for his novel "Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland" and has had short stories make it into The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror and The Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade.
Although many of his earliest works are on the surreal and experimental side, his current style is to take the most ridiculous concepts imaginable and approach them with complete sincerity, as if they are not intended to be ridiculous at all. Always full of tongue-in-cheek humor, social satire, and told in a simplistic straightforward prose style similar to that of children's literature or early pulp fiction, Carlton Mellick III's work is one of a kind, to say the least.
He lives in Portland, OR, the bizarro mecca.
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