Review: Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End
It’s hard to find a zombie novel that leaves an indelible impression, because let’s face it, the storylines are often indistinguishable: World Plague. Infected become zombies who can spread through biting. Lone or few survivors fight zombies and each other, revealing humanity’s ugliness. Either everyone dies at the end or there’s hope for a new beginning. APOCALYPSE Z, though, is one I’m going to keep in my box to re-read on occasion; the eloquent writing and sharp descriptions resulted in some of the most stunning, chill-inducing moments I’ve ever experienced in a zombie novel. The best example appears on pages 120 and 121 in the paperback edition, in which the protagonist finds a zombie baby stuck in a high chair (I’m not going to quote it here, just get this book and read those two pages. Amazing). And then there are more poignant moments; from page 185 of the paperback edition: “Packets of noodle soup had been torn open in the shuffle; the entire floor was covered with little stars. I don’t know why, but that image jolted me like an electric shock, more than any other atrocity I’d witnessed./I collapsed against a wall, exhausted, eyeing all that pasta on the floor. I remembered how my mother and I had fixed soup on rainy days. That memory was intense and painful. I’d stored away that anguish, but now it flooded me in an unstoppable torrent. I mourned silently, big tears rolling down my face.” Fine stuff. Loureiro has taken the zombie novel to an intelligent, literary level. As far as zombie novel’s go, this one’s unforgettable.