Melissa's Reviews > I, Zombie

I, Zombie by Hugh Howey
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Aug 26, 12

Read in August, 2012

Mr. Howey could market this as a weight-loss miracle: Thanks for the appetite loss, sir!

His descriptions are vivid, detailed and grotesque, painted in such a way that makes it impossible for one to self-imagine the text into a less gruesome version, or to stop reading. There is no filter, no idea shielded from the reader as the graphic scenes begin their merciless, shuffling onslaught, page after page, from the very first words to the very last.

He can’t say he didn’t warn us, right there, in the introduction.

I have to give him props. In a society that has become obsessed with graphic media, he still manages to shock. Movies, TV shows, the internet, pop culture itself with its new apocalyptic fanaticism has deadened us, desensitized us to the brutal truths of what a broken reality really could entail. With his extraordinary descriptive talent, Mr. Howey manages to jolt the reader at a primal level, not holding back, not apologizing, simply showing us a possibility in a truly horrifying, raw, and realistic way.
But the thing that truly, truly sets this work aside is Mr. Howey’s signature ability to tell multiple levels of stories. This is a finely honed skill he has shown us in his other works, notably the Wool series. He can weave a tale that, on a superficial, outside level can stand alone as simply a great read; entertaining, page-turning, and just a plain old good time. But there is a deeper level, another poignant, living truth within the body of the visible story. Hugh Howey has a greater purpose than just to entertain us. He is giving us a chance to pull back the outer layers of ourselves and have a look inside.

Within the grisly reality he has created, Mr. Howey finds away to cast a light on the things in our own selves that truly make us no different from the monsters of “I, Zombie” roaming the streets of New York. He takes on all natures and sizes of issues. To name a few: drug addiction, domestic violence, our dismal excuse for elderly care, mental health issues, 9/11, weight and obesity issues, greed, superficiality, even the simple life-sucking habits we do every moment that lock us into our same routine, day in a day out, shuffling after the things we think we want but believe will never come. These issues are the things that are deserving of our attention, our shock, and our horror.

Sure, this is a good zombie story. But the thing that makes it so much more is that there is something trapped within the monstrously disgusting, outer shell of this narrative. Something alive, something true, something real.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Mark Lloyd weight-loss miracle! So true!

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