Just in case you’ve never done this (and how can that be possible?), reading zombie books before bed can result in some pretty trippy dreams. Did I just say “Trippy”? Sorry, it won’t happen again. I meant gory, hide-in-the-closet, zombie-killing, wake-up-screaming dreams. This is especially the case when the author parks you, your Kindle, and your chocolate-caramel coated pretzels right in the middle of the story. Those weren’t my pretzels, by the way. Honest! I don’t know how they got there!
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Dead: The Ugly Beginning by TW Brown
In TW Brown’s book, Dead: The Ugly Beginning, he starts off with a forward, acknowledging the greats of the Zombie genre, and establishing himself as a fan, which matters. I, too, am a true zombie fan, and have been for decades; yes, even before it was cool (What? Zombies have always been cool!). That’s why it is easy for me to see Brown’s love and veneration of zombiedom in his stories, and it’s also why he is able to make those stories so viscerally real.
As I am writing this, I can still see the intro scene in the main character’s apartment playing out in my head, and it is wonderfully disturbing! It is, and I say this with all due reverence, one of those great scenes of zombie gore that I will never forget. Sincerely. Don’t worry, though; I won’t spoil it for you. I couldn’t do it justice in these few words if I tried. So for his ability to put me in that room, and implant phoney memories of the scene in my little mind, I salute Mr. Brown.
That’s why this next part is difficult to write. I have a problem, and I know it is my problem, but I can’t control it. Do you remember the little kid in that movie who saw Dead People? He didn’t want to see them. He didn’t ask for that, but the dead kept pestering him, and he had to deal with them.
That’s me. I’m that kid. But instead of dead people, I see grammar. I see missing commas. I see misplaced, misused, overused, and abused commas. I see head-hopping, split infinitives, subject-verb disagreements, and… Dear God in Heaven save me, I see tense changes. My God! The Tense changes!!
At this point, I’m just talking in general terms about my affliction. I am not saying that I found all of these things in Dead: The Ugly Beginning; far from it. I’m just pointing out the depth of my malady.
There were a few things that I think should have been caught by the editor, though. I’m not going to point them out here, because first, some of them might have simply been tools that TW (if I may) used to control the pacing of a scene. I’ve done that before, too. It’s called artistic license, and it’s certainly worth the benefit of the doubt. Second, just because I notice these things, doesn’t mean that most readers will, and with all of the 5 star reviews this book has garnered, I’d wager most haven’t, and won’t.
So here’s my problem: even though most of the… let’s call them “issues”, can easily be overlooked, ignored, and forgiven, I still noticed them. I took the time to highlight them on my iPad and make notes. This pulled me out of the story that Brown had so skillfully immersed me in. So, while none of the “issues” I noticed were deal breakers, if Brown’s world hadn’t been so real to me; if his story telling hadn’t been so strong; if my palms hadn’t actually started sweating, and my heart pounding, the editing issues were recurrent enough that I might have considered closing the book.
Fortunately for me, Brown IS a gifted story teller and a master of the genre, and so far, I am working through my affliction. I’m glad, too, because I have only read the 1st part, which is about 22 pages, or 9% of the book, according to the bottom of my kindle screen, and it is so engaging, that I don’t want to miss any of it.
Tonight, though, I’ll be switching back to Dee Dee Scott’s Carats and Coconuts, and will also be starting a new book for a reader’s group on Goodreads.com, which I’ll tell you all about in my next post. Next week, I’ll post Tuesday and Thursday with reading updates, and probably an impromptu post on another day, so I hope you’ll check back and keep me company. Really! I’m still a little scared, so don’t go yet. Okay?
Meanwhile, I have a zombie question for you. How much thought have you given to what you’ll do when the Zombie Apocalypse comes? Will you be a survivor, or one of the nasty beasties trying to eat the survivors? I want to know what’s in your brains… your delicious BRAAAINS!