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Posts tagged ‘zombies’

The Characters might be the (Un)dead but the Writing is Alive and Kicking

“To what strange talismans we cling during our times of need.” (Brew)

A review of: Braddock, Bill. Brew Permuted Press, 2013. Print

Looking for a good but very gory book to get you in the mood for Halloween?

If you can stomach blood, gore, and profanity, but love phenomenal writing, I highly recommend Bill Braddock’s zombie thriller, Brew. And before you read on, realize I am serious. This is not for the weak hearted. But indeed promises a fun and fast read.

The story? Think of two Pennsylvanian classics, Dawn of the Dead and Penn State University meeting head on. However the setting in Brew is not a shopping mall or University Park but rather a college town called College Heights. Having grown up in my beloved Pennsylvania and witnessed the frenzied excitement on game weekends only to be followed by severe states of zombie-ism the following morning, I had no problem suspending disbelief from page one onward.

But what I particularly enjoyed, was Braddock’s talent as a writer. Brew’s pace, characterization and ability to cliff hang is something writers in any genre can learn from. Throughout the book, characters convey subtle messages. For example, on the hero’s first rendezvous with the heroine, he observes her from a distance: “It was a private face, Steve knew, a pensive, artless default.” (Brew, 22)

Favorite lines:

“This is the way the world ends, Steve thought, not with a bang, not with a whimper, but sitting quietly on the couch together.” (Brew, 131)

“To what strange talismans we cling during our times of need.” (Brew)

“How could someone without herd mentality succeed in a pasture of sheep?” (Brew, 217)

That being said, this is a zombie book and, I confess, my first. Though I have watched my fair share of horror flicks over the years, I find reading more terrifying than watching. At least in the cinema, I can shut my eyes and block out the graphic scenes. No chance here.

But over the years one thing that has bothered me about the horror movies is the often disappointingly flat storylines. It’s like if you show enough blood and guts, the story doesn’t matter. Some lead characters are so unbelievably annoying, that the audience is actually cheering for their demise so that the audience can be put out of its misery. And that’s not the case with Brew. Take out all the blood and guts, and you still have a really great story.

Scare if you dare.

Oh, yeah, and Prost!

Happy Halloween! Print This Post