As we all know the market is saturated with zombie paraphernalia from movies to video games to books. And a lot of it really, really sucks… but not writer Scott Kenemore’s thought-provoking novel Zombie, Ohio: A Tale of the Undead. Kenemore takes a very simplistic approach to his zombie tale by covering the very specific events that happen to a very specific person. No broad analogy of government or the science-laden drivel of an explanation. Zombie, Ohio focuses on the narrator of the story, one sorry bastard named Peter Mellor.
“When rual Ohio college professor Peter Mellor dies in an automobile accidnet during a zombie outbreak, he is reborn as a highly intelligent (yet somewhat amnesiac) member of the living dead. With society decomposing before his eyes and violence escalating into daily life, Peter quickly learns that being a zombie isn’t all fun and brains. Humans -generally unsympathetic to his new proclivities – try to kill him at nearly every opportunity. His old friends are loathe to associate with him. And he finds himself inconveniently accdicted to the gooey stuff inside of people’s heads.
As if all this weren’t bad enough, Peter soon learns that his automobile accident was no accident at all. Faced with the harrowing mystery of his death, Peter resolves to use his strange zombie “afterlife” to solve his own murder.”
I was very impressed with the story as a whole and enjoyed it greatly. There were times though, where my affinity for Mellor was tried and often abused. Sometimes I could appreciate it, others not so much. Overall, I would recommend the read for the more introspective of zombie aficionados. Divided into three segments: Revelation, Rampage, and Redemption, Kenemore takes us through the afterlife of Mellor as he learns who he was and subsequently what he’s become. We watch as Mellor comes to terms with his new condition and fights with his baser urges and his lingering and conflicting humanity. While deep in its own way, Zombie, Ohio doesn’t skimp on blood, guts, and violence. There’s plenty to go around. A relatively easy read, Kenemore writes Mellor with a quick wit and a bit of a shithead attitude, making him both relateable and at times, loathsome. The actions of Mellor are even more horrifying in that he tells us what it’s like. What eating humans really means to a zombie and how the ecstasy of brains can break even the most intelligent of zombies. Kenemore also leaves more questions than he answers, and I kinda like it. The story isn’t concerned with why Peter Mellor can think and speak and feel. The story isn’t concerned with why there are zombies and what’s happening with the rest of the world or what the deal is with the turkey. Kenemore takes a microcosmic view of the zombie apocalypse and tells a compelling story of redemption, death, love and a little bit of insanity through the eyes of a man who needed to die to find out what kind of man he could be.