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Rich Baker, Jr
on May 16, 2013 :
Rating: Four Zombie Heads
One of my criteria for a whether a book is good not is how often I complain to my wife that she’s keeping me from finishing it with her questions or comments. Now, before you think I’m an insensitive man, she does the same thing to me when she’s wrapped up in a good book, so it’s a goose-and-gander thing. Having said that, the last third of this book was declared a ‘no interruption zone’ and every time my wife had a question she was met with a “Shhh! Finishing this book.” or a “I can’t finish this book with you interrupting me.” I read it through dinner and stayed at the table until I was done.
There were some typos (and one incomplete sentence) in the version I have - and they may be unique to this version, so take that with a grain of salt - but those things tend to pull me out of the moment. That’s really a comment on the editing and not the quality of the writing. I mention it only because it was noticeable and I don’t want anyone reading the book based on my recommendation to think I overlooked these issues.
That aside, Frisch is adept at quickly developing sympathetic protagonists and merciless villains. There was some awkwardness, I felt, in the development of the character Billy - there seems to be some back story I missed because his personality took a turn I wasn’t expecting, but without divulging any spoilers I get why it had to be this way. Other supporting characters are relentlessly human - they are in turns brave, flawed, cowardly, treacherous, devoted and heroic. In other words, they are like any people you or I might know, and that’s part of what makes this novel so gripping.
Frisch writes with the pace of a runaway train. She sets the story in motion and it steadily picks up speed to the point where I didn’t feel like I could read the pages fast enough. I actually had to force myself to slow down because I was skimming rather than reading. The zombies are fantastically horrible, the gore is gruesome and the smells she describes are palpable. Again, I won’t divulge details, but I will tell you that after I read Cure, I am immensely glad to already have in my possession the sequel, “Afterbirth.” I can, with no reservation, say that if you pick up this book you won’t be disappointed.
(review of free book)