As much as I love monsters, I’m pretty burnt out on the whole zombie craze that really needs a pickaxe through the brain at this point. So I cracked open Nick Redfern and Brad Steiger’s The Zombie Book: The Encyclopedia of the Living Dead without a load of enthusiasm. I was relieved to learn it’s basically mistitled, though I’m not sure what would have been a better name for an eclectic encyclopedia that gathers together plenty of zombie-related entries (films such as Night of the Living Dead and Shaun of the Dead, alleged real-life voodoo practitioners such as Papa Jaxmano and the Chickenman, “zombifying” diseases like Mad Cow, etc.) and a lot of stuff that really doesn’t have much to do with its ostensible topic. True blue-skinned zombie devotees might get frustrated with entries covering monsters (space aliens and Texan gargoyles) that don’t have much in common with zombies. They may question the inclusions of AIDS, human cannibals like the Donner Party, and the Apocalypse, or wonder where genuinely zombie-related items like “Tales from the Crypt” and The Song of Ice and Fire/“Game of Thrones” (with its zombie “wights”) are. They may also get exasperated with an entry on Armageddon that not only has nothing to do with zombies but has nothing to do with Armageddon either (it’s about the U.S. Marine Corps’ detestable practice of having biblical quotes inscribed on rifle sites at great expense to taxpayers). As a reader who wasn’t really looking forward to immersing himself in an endless orgy of zombienalia, I really enjoyed the off-topic facts, myths, and rumors and the lively, often humorous way Redfern and Steiger share them.
Get The Zombie Book: The Encyclopedia of the Living Dead on Amazon.com here: