Dead Drunk by Richard Johnson – 4.5 stars
Charlie Campbell was your average, balding, thirty-year-old alcoholic with a dead-end job and a penchant for shambling through life one mistake after another. However, none of that mattered following the sudden arrival of a mysterious sickness that brought with it infected mobs of zombie-like creatures thirsting for the flesh of the living.
Trapped in a Chicago apartment the morning after a raucous bachelor party, Charlie and his old fraternity buddies must battle for survival against the cannibalistic horde, a military invasion and their own rampant stupidity.
With supplies, common sense and brain cells dwindling by the hour, the motley crew — including a racist cop, a Sri Lankan used car salesman, a stoner landlord and a pet raccoon — must pull out all the stops to avoid joining the ranks of the dead.
If you like zombies, action and humor, crack a beer, pull up a barstool, and prepare for one wild ride.
Everything that this book promises is delivered. It’s a zombie novel about a guy I wound up rooting for even though he’s a loser. The humor is lowbrow, the beer flows freely, and the silliness quotient is high (literally, part of the time). In many places, this book is entirely preposterous, and that’s exactly how it should be.
I found myself laughing out loud at several points. Although the antics of the survivors can be over the top at times, it’s still hilarious. Be forewarned there is a lot of drunk guy humor, guy sex humor, and some drug humor. These guys drink, use assorted drugs, and talk about sex and genitalia a lot.
A few scenes did bother me a tiny bit, ones depicting mildly disturbing violence. Obviously, there are zombies, so there’s violence, and that’s not what I’m referring to. The survivors engage in and discuss some morally questionable activities that sensitive readers will blanch at. Their choices aren’t always the ‘heroic’ ones, which is probably the reason any of them manage to survive.
The only things I actually disliked about this book were some odd scenes out, all of them jam-packed with backstory. One of them even confused me, because I had no idea what was going on until the end of the chapter. Aside from the one major hiccup, the tale is woven well and the characters are well done.
I recommend this for people who like Shaun of the Dead and similar stories.