offering is fascinating, insightful, and intelligent enough to rival any
published examination of social and religious sciences as they relate to
genre cinema, a thinker's companion piece to the films themselves, and
without its presence on the book case shelves of a true zombie fanatic you
can deem his library incomplete.
From the introduction,
Paffenroth states "....the monstrous zombies created
by our imaginations, whether in a logician's thought experiment or a
director's frame, may yet save us from our own misguided and arrogant urge
to degrade and dehumanize ourselves into soulless machines." But aside
from social comparisons to zombies themselves, the author takes us
into a clear and detailed analysis of other important elements the films
display-- the human characters, their symbolisms, interactions, and a study
of the world around them on both personal and global scales.
For myself, personally, this work offers a refreshing
and enlightening perspective on Christian ideals as they relate to a subject
most Christian fundamentalists view very adamantly as Satanically inspired,
something Christ demands us to ignore, to stay away from, to have nothing to
do with. In stating his case, Kim takes measures to present the
subject matter in a very Christian reader-friendly way, for as graphic and
exploitive as these films can be, he takes great care to keep his content
clean, concise, entertaining, providing valuable lessons for us all to pay
attention to and learn regardless of our beliefs.
That said, there are reasons why it seemed difficult
writing this review as well as Maberry's Ghost Road Blues, until I
combined them. You see, I have the same things to say of both authors,
and I always veer away as best I can from being redundant, so now I can say
it all here:
I had an epiphany not very long ago involving doing
these book reviews, and up until then I hadn't done one since high school.
I can't imagine being paid to do one, and part of my motivation in doing
them in the first place was to discipline myself into reading, period, and
perhaps to teach and give an ear to books rejected for reviews elsewhere
because of their self-published status. But as I've often taught in
lectures or in providing simple advice to writers who wish to go that
route, the real value I see personally in doing reviews lies beyond
acquiring free books and flexing your literary muscles to voice opinions
about them, to have them quoted on the backs of other's books so your name
can get around. Letting the
world know you do reviews exposes you to a deeper appreciation of the works
of others and invites potential greatness to your doorstep. Not having
heard of them previously, both Jonathan Maberry and Kim Paffenroth, within
maybe a month of each other, came to me to review their works. It's
commonplace these days for anyone to approach me for a review, and I have to
this date indeed reviewed some pretty damn good stuff. But in reading
their works, and through some correspondence, in seeing what these two are
about on their websites and perusing over their accomplishments, I can say
concerning the both of them that greatness has found its way to my doorstep,
and it probably wouldn't have been the case if not for doing reviews.
Call it an affirmation.
Check out their books, check out their websites, and
you'll see what I mean.