Published: April 18, 2012
A fun collection about ghouls, ghosts, zombies, and an advice column featuring dead letters from the lovelorn! You’ll want to steer clear of Bubba’s Cafe after you find out what they serve, and if you teach Group X, you’ll be leery of job postings for Certified Zombie Instructors. Quiver, quake and chuckle at these quirky tales of the paranormal.
Susan approached me a little bit ago about reviewing Fried Zombie Dee-Light!, and I thought it would be the perfect book for opening up the Fraterfest-Read-Athon, four days devoted to cleaning up the scary, ghoulish or generally pulseless creatures in our TBR stash. Holy cow, this book was perfect! Okay, so I wasn’t cowering in fear, but there were zombies. Awesome, ridiculous zombies.
This book isn’t a single story but rather a collection of various types of writing. There are little short stories, one that’s a bit longer, a monologue, a poem and song lyrics. What they have in common for all their brevity is a sense of tightness, that exactly the right amount of story is in front of you. I never left one story or vignette thinking that there should have been more to it to make it better.
I have to confess though, the humor here is totally me. I’m pretty sure the author is tired of hearing it by now, but quirky is undoubtedly the best way of describing it. Just when you think something is normal, it takes a turn for the, “holy crap, what was that?” Susan is obviously an expert at blending the mundane with something startlingly absurd or just plain weird. I’d be relating to something and then laughing as something hideous and outrageous was dropped in, just matter-of-factly.
I was thinking of giving an example of a particular little story I loved the most, then I thought of another I preferred, then another that made me laugh out loud (and made my son roll his eyes at me when I tried to explain what I was laughing about). For a relatively short collection, there was a lot of variety, from the unexpectedly gross story about the cheerleader who wasn’t quite right anymore to the hilarious opening piece about a Zumba instructor who may have misread a help wanted ad and gotten in over her head; the slightly macabre song lyrics about Fried Zombie to an almost tender little story about a beloved pet. I never knew what to expect as I went from page to page and it was a lot of fun.
My Summary: Earlier this year because of time constraints, I had to pass on reading Susan’s book Cursed when I interviewed her in conjunction with the launch of World Weaver Press. After getting a taste of her talent with Fried Zombie Dee-Light!, I’ve bought it and now, will make the time to get to it.
My Rating: A