Frederick Brooke's Reviews > Aftereffects: Zombie Therapy

Aftereffects by Zane Bradey
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Apr 21, 12

Read from April 17 to 21, 2012

Zombie aficionados will not want to miss this extraordinary book. Dr. Victor Frenzel is a psychiatrist with a grudge. A horde of zombies dragged his wife out of the car and devoured her. Now that the plague has been halted and the zombies cured, he has a special quest: to try and find the individuals responsible for her death.

The book reads like a series of portraits, as Victor asks each patient to try to remember exactly what happened the day they got infected. The drug they have been given enables memory, but many of the cured zombies still need psychological counseling. The second part of Victor's treatment requires the patient to tell him about their own attacks after becoming a zombie. Get ready for some gruesome and detailed descriptions.

Most zombie books portray zombies as monsters without feeling or thought, in other words inhuman. Then it's a band of survivors working together to fight off hordes of zombies. What is unique about Aftereffects: Zombie Therapy is seeing zombies go from being human, with feelings and thoughts and distinctly human weaknesses, to being bone-crunching cannibals--and then back to being human again.

Some of these portraits are priceless, like the one about Philip Irving. Philip is a henpecked husband, so when the zombie plague comes and he and his wife Laverne are camped out on the roof of their house to wait for rescue, Philip has no qualms about giving Laverne a little push. She falls down into the waiting crowd of zombies, and Philip spends the whole night fantasizing about being free at last from Laverne's incessant nagging. Only in the morning he discovers she's not dead at all, but has been infected. When Philip takes a few swings at her with a two-by-four, loses his balance, and falls to the patio below himself, Laverne gets her sweet revenge. And this is the story the psychiatrist, Victor, has to listen to when Philip and Laverne come to his office for counseling of the aftereffects.

You get the picture. Lots of fun and satire and blood and guts here. It's the year of the zombie, so pick it up.

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