Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death by Zamboni” as Want to Read:
Death by Zamboni
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Death by Zamboni

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  39 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Death by Zamboni, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Death by Zamboni

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 06, 2010 David rated it did not like it
Shelves: feces, low-calorie
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
Oct 14, 2013 Arthur Graham rated it really liked it
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 smart and stupid. It probably isn't neces ...more
May 08, 2009 Brad rated it really liked it
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 l
If you've ever read a book other than the Holy Bible, you've probably heard this one before - a statuesque blond walks into a private investigator's office. Yawn. But, Katzman manages to throw a whole new spin on this old chestnut, mainly by having the blond utter aloud the always implied but never overtly stated subtext - "I need you to find my missing husband. And I'll have sex with you if you succeed."

What follows is a bizarro tale featuring both nifty one-liners and groan-inducing puns. Ther
David Katzman
Aug 20, 2008 David Katzman rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: Myself.
Recommended to David by: David David Katzman
I should read this.
Jan 19, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it

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

Apr 15, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it

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

D2, you're a strange man.
Jan 18, 2010 Lance rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 17, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
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
Dec 30, 2010 Lavinia Ludlow rated it really liked it
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
Nov 29, 2011 Nefariousbig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
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 (
Aug 01, 2010 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010
"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
Feb 18, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: gr-authors
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
Dec 18, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
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
Dec 11, 2009 Jen Knox rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it
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....

Mar 03, 2012 Katy rated it really liked it
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
Stephanie Rigsby
Feb 17, 2010 Stephanie Rigsby rated it really liked it
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
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
Daniel Clausen
Feb 19, 2010 Daniel Clausen rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martin Gibbs
Mar 23, 2012 Martin Gibbs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro

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
Oct 14, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 07, 2013 David rated it really liked it
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
Sep 14, 2012 Chuck rated it really liked it
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.
May 08, 2009 Alan rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, read-in-2009
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
May 13, 2011 Victor Giron rated it really liked it
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
Jan 03, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Jan 19, 2008 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2001
Awesomely funny absurdist adventure in the vein of Mark Leyner's "Tetherballs of Bougainville."
Brian Spath
Nov 17, 2016 Brian Spath rated it did not like it
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bucket of Face
  • The Egg Said Nothing
  • Muscle Memory
  • Lick Your Neighbor
  • Grundish and Askew
  • The Doom Magnetic! Trilogy
  • Uncle Sam’s Carnival of Copulating Inanimals
  • Sex Dungeon For Sale!
  • Archelon Ranch
  • The Beard
  • Vacation
  • Rotten Little Animals
  • A Million Versions of Right
  • Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy
  • Electric Jesus Corpse
  • The Cannibal's Guide to Ethical Living
  • House of Fallen Trees
  • Lost in Cat Brain Land
I'm an obsessive creator, whether it be writing, painting or performing improv.
More about David David Katzman...

Share This Book

“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
“I'm a vegetarian, you see, not because I love animals, but because I hate plants.” 0 likes
More quotes…