Ryan Mecum, |
There are a few gems amongst the offal.
I mean, how could this idea not work? Haiku, that beautiful and delicate Japanese poetic form, as written by a zombie -- I mean, that's creative gold.
But the book by Ryan Mecum -- which is, with the exception of some notes hastily scrawled by the zombie-beset guy who found the journal, entirely made up of haikus -- doesn't succeed as well as you'd hope at first glance.
The central character is a haiku poet who writes down everything he sees and experiences in the five syllable/seven syllable/five syllable form. He is at first too distracted to notice the zombie apocalypse around him -- shades of Shaun of the Dead -- but he is eventually bitten and transformed. Even so, he still writes down his thoughts, albeit with a few more blood stains than before.
But, for every haiku gem, readers have to wade through a lot of haiku dreck. I suppose it's too much to ask that a brain-dead zombie be a poetic genius, but I had higher hopes going in.
Here are a few samples:
I grab a quick meal
Full marks for a creative new slant on the zombie craze. But the novelty wears off before the book runs out of pages. (And it's not a very long book.) Some reviewers complain that Mecum's work lacks the subtle nuances of true haiku, but I have to give him a pass on that one; I mean, come on, zombies aren't known for being nuanced thinkers.
Because no clever idea can survive in this world without immediate and frequent repetition, it has spawned sequels -- Vampire Haiku, Werewolf Haiku and Dawn of Zombie Haiku, all by Mecum, Pirate Haiku by Michael Spradlin and Brains for Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku by K.A. Holt and Gahan Wilson. I don't think I'll read them.
book review by
20 August 2011
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