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Death by Zamboni

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  36 reviews
A sweeping American romance spanning five American generations in America.

Oh, wait, that's some other crappy novel. In Death by Zamboni, you'll follow our anti-hero Satan Donut through a world of mimes, TV stars, zombies, blockheads, mad scientists, riot girls, and werewolves. This genre-busting satire shish-kabobs the commercial-entertainment state which degrades our liv
Paperback, 176 pages
Published 2000 by Bedhead Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 365)
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I totally lied! Mea maxima culpa! I bare my tender flesh to the lashing of your angry whips.

When I originally reviewed this book however-long-ago, I gave it a fairly glowing review because back then I still cared about other people's feelings. But thankfully I've grown out of that annoying quirk (or, as you prefer, affliction) of my late adolescence. You see, I was 'friends' with David David Katzman, the author, and even met him in the real-life flesh a couple of times, and therefore I didn't fe
Arthur Graham
Before the Wall Street bailouts, after women's suffrage, before the world was forever changed by 9/11, after the invention of sliced bread, and before David David "Double D" Katzman became (in)famous for writing A Greater Monster, he wrote this farcical slapstick amalgamation of family drama, neo noir, and capitalist satire. It's an impressively masturbatory debut novella, and I would heartily recommend it to readers in the mood for something equal parts stupid and smart. It probably isn't neces ...more
Apr 25, 2010 Brad rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Manny
Recommended to Brad by: David Katzman
The Unauthorized Death By Zamboni Reader Qualification quiz designed to determine whether or not you should be allowed to buy a copy of Death By Zamboni or if you must wait for the Death By Zamboni mini-series on CBC.

Answer these questions:
0. No?
1. Have you ever clamped clothes pins on your genitals?
2. Do acid flashbacks accompany thoughts of the Gibb brothers?
3. Have you ever uttered "Zoinks" without intentionally referencing Saturday Morning Cartoons?
4. Have you ever fantasized about making lo
David Katzman
Aug 29, 2008 David Katzman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: Myself.
Recommended to David by: David David Katzman
I should read this.

Sometimes we play this little game around the dinner table. It is called "That's Absurd!" It is a fun game and we all take turns trying out our best lines. "I rode my plastic chicken to school while he laid candy eggs" is an all-time game favorite. So, when I first heard about Satan Donut I knew that good times were ahead, blue skies, candy corn smiles, and monstrous glazed turkey legs, that kind they breed to eat just at carnivals and fairs.

Thanks to this book, I am now going to win "That's Ab


Really...that's all I've got. And, I love zombies. And, Etta Donut was awesome.

D2, you're a strange man.
You can tell that David David had a hell of a good time writing Death by Zamoboni. This is one funny book. The word play is hilarious, bringing to mind Groucho Marx on crank. The story is a simple enough detective-trying-to-find-missing-spouse story line. The best thing about Zamboni is not necessarily the story line, but, instead the narrative voice (the singer not the song). Katzman is a very funny man. He gets so twisted up in some of his word play and surreal tangents that you wonder if he i ...more
This book is a lot like my most memorable poop. It announced itself in grand fashion as it splashed into the toilet like a man doing a belly flop into a pool. But it wasn't just any man doing a belly flop. It was a foot-long, chubby, cylindrical, brown man with pieces of corn and tomato stuck to him. This man smelled like death. His stench made many men and women (who happened to be in the unisex public restroom at the time) vomit and lose consciousness. His smell didn't bother me. In fact, I ra ...more
Lavinia Ludlow
Wow. Experimental. To the max. Hardcore. A bender of a trip. A unique narration, think about Christopher Moore breeding with Tarintino’s hyperactive and lacerating dialogue, and an avant-garde artist filled in the punctuation with random bouts of weirdness. Katzman has managed to piece together the chaos in his head and create something well-written, well-rounded (definitely), and surprisingly entertaining for anyone with a taste for edgy experimental fiction. He has introduced less conventional ...more
Robert Beveridge
David David Katzman, Death by Zamboni (Bedhead Books, 1999)

Death by Zamboni, a little self-published effort (as far as I can tell in my admittedly sloppy research), first came to my attention when someone-- I forget who-- joined a booklist I'm a member of and listed it as one of his favorite books. I have often wondered idly whether it wasn't the author doing a bit of self-promotion under an assumed name in the intervening years, but hey, I'm not going to castigate anyone for stacking the deck (
"Death by Zamboni" earns a place on the very exclusive shelf reserved for such works as Don DeLillo's White Noise , or Paul Auster's New York Trilogy . Here is an example of the kind of biting, mordant wit that you can expect to find therein:

Behind the front desk was a security guard whose nametag identified him as "Jimmy". I took out the corn on the cob I had in my pocket and struck him on the head with it. The cob broke, but he went down like a ton of bricks. Jimmy cracked corn, and I don't
this is the zaniest thing I've ever read...?*&%$#@!

Shit I just added a whole bit to this review and lost it! How did that happen?!
all right...trying again:
my advice: read it in one sitting. or two. Best to not break the rhythm. I didn't do this and found it harder to re-enter Katzman's zany world. I might've been better prepared if my parents hadn't deprived me of television and cartoons when I was a kid (always useful to blame the parents). I had to come up for air quite often...
Katzman is
DDK's books remind me how much I like reading, laughing, thinking, pink sprinkly donuts, and breathing.

I pulled this little guy off my bookshelf and re-read it. I first read Death By Zamboni 10 years ago, when I was a high-spirited wild-child (well...child-ish anyway). Since that first reading I have grown into a cynical and materialistic wild-adult (well...wild-ish anyway). Death by Zamboni reminds me that it's ok to be cynical and materialistic, but it's so much more fun to be a child.

The bo
Jan 26, 2010 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who like donuts, mimes, TV stars, zombies, mad scientists, riot grrls, and warewolves
Recommended to Kate by: David David Katzman
Private Eye Satan Donut goes on a treasure hunt to solve a mysterious disappearance. While he's on this fantastic voyage, a lot of very strange things happen including but not limited to the fact that Satan and his sister, riot grrl and writer of bad poetry, Etta Donut, must dress up as Mini and Mickey Mouse respectively in order to hunt down the Hebraic Hitmen, who are the only ones who can tell them where to find the mimes that will eventually lead them to the person they're looking for. Don't ...more
Jen Knox
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Signed by Author!

Ok. This is a very quick, intensely twisted, trippy novel of a private detective who is quite likely out of his mind.

Katzman's novel reads like a lucid dream, or a drug laced spoof on detective noir. Similar to what Scary Movie was to Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer....

Jun 26, 2014 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who thinks they'd enjoy it
Recommended to Katy by: Coral
Book Info: Genre: Satire/Parody of PI Noir
Reading Level: Adult
Tense, Person, POV: Past tense, first person, POV of narrator
Recommended for: people who like bizarro and satire/parodies

My Thoughts: This book is... I don't even know what to say about it. Bizarre. Crazy. Disheveled. And I quite enjoyed reading it. Be sure to check out the "sponsored by..." located next to each chapter number. Honestly, there are times this book reminds me of a short parody of a PI novel that I wrote back in high sch
This is not your average sweet American tale about a young man's journey for redemption. No seriously, it's not even close to's better and much more hilarious. My advice is to strap on a pair of Depends undergarments or just read while on the pot because you're going to laugh so hard you'll pee. I'm not sure how Katzman's does it, but his tongue-in-cheek humor is effortless and plays on so many expressions that we've grown up with, listened to, and as children wondered what the hell do ...more
Stephanie Rigsby
Death by Zamboni sleuths in capers like Encyclopedia Brown if he were a noir Bugsy, winking nods at the far side, while doing the pee dance with a Monty Python.

Now that I've gotten your attention, let me just begin by saying that DDK didn't write this book- I did. At least that's what echoed out of my head as the inside read words he'd placed there. That is to say, it is a book for all seasons and great minds alike. It's quite something to discover your very own twin exists inside the author of
Daniel Clausen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martin Gibbs

I love bizarro stories, I love wild and crazy—I mean, so wild and crazy that you completely forget your own name. But I also like a complete story, an adventure, a quest, a mystery to solve.

This book melds both perfectly together.

Throughout we have the mystery of the missing man, and our PI is hot (well, not hot, more like lukewarm, well no, more like cold coffee warm, no, not really. He’s really cold, but he still isn’t too bad). Anyway... there is a definite storyline here that is struc
Exhaustively - and often exhaustingly - funny, this novel uses every comico-literary trick in the book: mixed metaphors, wildly over-extended metaphors ("You can't see the metaphorest for the trees"), parody, surrealist riffs on just about anything that pops into the author's head: they're all there. (A technical note: I love the ongoing game with speech verbs and, at one point and to great comic effect, their absence.) Genre-hopping from hard-boiled-private-eye-meets-dark-lady to mad-scientist- ...more
I had a tremendous amount of fun reading this book. The humor is excellent and I love how fluid Katzman is in transitioning from one improbable idea to another. I do have to warn readers not to be misled by the title to be expecting zambonis, knowing how upset zamboni fanatics get when they are promised zambonis that never arrive, but anyone who loves wild and bizarre humor will dig this book. I had fun and Katzman is more David than I will ever be, primarily because I only have "David" once in ...more
Oct 10, 2012 Chuck rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chuck by: J. L. Black
This is a book of dark humor. In other words if you are young you will love the book. Since I am not young I plan to have myself committed or at least in therapy soon because I liked it. There is not a sentence in this Zamboni epic that you can skip because you'll miss a clever and probably obscene point. If my kids read this review, please read the book, if my mother or business associates read this review, I was forced at gunpoint to write this.
I enjoyed the Marxian (as in Marx Bros) word play and silliness, the inventiveness and weirdness, the mother (& father) on the phone telling her son about their day as he is about to be killed/mutilated/transformed into an insect. I liked the satire on modern capitalism and culture. But the pace was too frenetic for an old man like me. David David Katzman you are fucking nuts.
Victor Giron
Chicago author David David has one of my favorite names, twice, so I guess I might be biased. I'm not always drawn to weird, silly books, but this one is just crazy good. It kept a puzzled smile on my face the whole time. It's like a detective story gone bonkers. Reminds me of Exponential Apocalypse by another contemporary mad-scientist author guy Eirik Gumeny who's equally as crazy, but doesn't have as cool a name as David David. Reading for pure fun and entertainment doesn't getting any better ...more
Excellent use of language and pun-related cleverness. I rather liked the fact that in some places I couldn't tell if I didn't get it because it was just absurd and there was nothing to get, or if I didn't get it because the author was referencing something I wasn't familiar with.
I caught at least one spelling error, (doberman pinchers), but then I found words spelled wrong on purpose to make a joke and I wasn't sure if there was some hilarious pincher joke I was missing out on.

I could have don
Awesomely funny absurdist adventure in the vein of Mark Leyner's "Tetherballs of Bougainville."
My over all impression: a trite, vulgar read, but the chapter headings are so fun who cares?

What I liked:
page 135 where there is "yes-I-voted-Republican-to-hasten-the-end-of-the-world" sex, I think between Satan Donut and Custard? but its a little hard to tell.

The notes on Custard's apartment are pretty funny, including everything you wanted to know about whatever the hell happened to Sean Cassidy (Justin Bieber might want to read this part of the notes)

What my two star rating means to me: "I
Kimberly Cain
I've just started reading & yes, straight up, from the very beginning, I'm laughing out loud. I feel the same sensations I felt as a teen, sitting next to my friend on the back pew at church, occasionally tuning in to the sermon (just so I could converse enough with my parents to assure them I was there), yet continually, & ineffectively, stifling the laughter aroused by the friend's irreverent humor. We were quite annoying to many, as I'm sure this book would be. What fun!
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“Time is our mortal enemy because it makes us mortal. Yet without time we wouldn't exist. And it would be damn hard to figure out what's on TV. Two-minute eggs would be right out.” 1 likes
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