Audiobook Review: Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore

19 01 2012

Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore

Read by Danny Campbell

Tantor Audio

Length: 10 Hrs 53 Min

Genre: Zombie Apocalypse

Quick Thoughts: Despite its unevenness, Zombie, Ohio is a fun look at the life of a Zombie, peppered with dark humor and offering insights into things such as love, friendship and social status within a zombie horde. This latest zombie perspective novel doesn’t ever let the listener forget that the main character enjoys the taste of human brains, and may just find the proper justification to make yours his next meal.

Grade: B

I will always have a special place on my heart for Bub. With the recent influx of Zombie fiction and writers trying to put a new twist on a recognizable genre, I just knew we would be getting some Zombie Bub Fiction. If you don’t know who Bub is, you need to stop now, and go rent the Romero’s Day of the Dead. I will be honest, Day of the Dead was probably my least favorite of the original Romero trilogy. If it wasn’t for the inclusion of Bub, I probably would have let it slip from my mind long ago. In Day, zombie apocalypse survivors come upon an underground military facility. Inside this facility, scientists are trying to figure a way to combat the Zombie Apocalypse. One of the scientists believes that, with training, Zombies can become harmless like animals. Hence, Bub, the misguided scientist star Zombie pupil. Watching the sequences of this movie was the first time I actually considered what it would be like to experience a Zombie Apocalypse from the perspective of the Zombie. Recently, we have had some excellent fiction delving into the mind of the zombie. Books like Warm Bodies introduce us to Zombie culture from the insider perspective. We’ve delved into Zombie politics in Raising Stony Mayhall, and even contemplated, in Maberry’s Dead of Night what it would be like if our consciousness was trapped inside a zombie unable to exert any form of control, just witnessing its horrible actions. With these novels, we have begun to experience the world through the perception of the walking dead.

The latest, at least for me, of these Zombie perspective novels is Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore which is perhaps the most Bub worthy. In Zombie, Ohio we follow the undead life of Peter Mellor, a Philosophy professor who died after a questionable car accident. Peter is a bit of a statistical freak, he’s a zombie, but unlike almost every other member of the undead, he retains the ability to talk, and reason. One of the things I really likes about Zombie Ohio is that, despite Peter’s human level consciousness, Kenemore never forgets he is a zombie. Like most zombies, Peter lusts for human brains, but struggles with the morality of it, often creating justifications for partaking in his new favorite meal. I really enjoyed Peter’s interactions with the zombie hordes, and there are even a few touching moments between Peter and some of his undead brothers. Yet, despite my enjoyment of many of the aspects of Zombie, Ohio, there is an unevenness to the whole thing. The book switches directions in an almost dizzying manner that it’s hard for the listener to adjust. I never really knew what the author intended the novel to be. There is an underlining dark humor, but the true laugh out loud moments are rare. There are touching moments between Peter and his best friend Sam, as well as girlfriend Vanessa, yet these interactions are broken up between other tangents the book goes on. Even the character of Peter is overly malleable. It seems that his thought process radically shifts to suit the author’s needs, with only minimal justification. Yet, in the end, I think Kenemore finds a way to pull all the pieces together, using Peter’s memory issues to great effect by creating an interesting thought experiment on how much memory makes the man. Despite its unevenness, Zombie, Ohio is a fun look at the life of a Zombie, peppered with dark humor and offering insights into things such as love, friendship and social status within a zombie horde. This latest zombie perspective novel doesn’t ever let the listener forget that the main character enjoys the taste of human brains, and may just find the proper justification to make yours his next meal.

I really enjoyed Danny Campbell’s reading of Zombie, Ohio. Being a first person account from the perspective of a zombie, Campbell did a good job capturing the voice of our undead protagonist. I especially enjoyed his rants when Peter was with the hordes about the superiority of zombies, and his delivery managed to get a laugh at me, particularly during one scene at a grocery store. I like that Campbell transformed Peter’s voice the further we moved along in the story, matching with the physical deterioration of the character. Campbell hasn’t narrated a lot of fiction titles, but he does a winning job with this one. Fans of Zombie fiction should definitely check out Zombie, Ohio, especially is you are getting a bit of undead fatigue from more traditional Zombie Apocalypse novels.

 

Note: A special thanks to the good people at Tantor Audio for providing me with a copy of this audiobook for review.

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2 responses

27 01 2012
DevourerofBooks (@DevourerofBooks)

I can’t remember, did you read Warm Bodies? How does this compare to that? I was surprised how much the zombie POV didn’t bother me there.

27 01 2012
theguildedearlobe

I think for the most part, Peter here basically thought like a human, with a few Zombie urges, where in Warm Bodies, you had more of the zombie-esque perspective. I loved Warm Bodies, it was in my top 5 of 2011.

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