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Drop Dead Gorgeous Paperback – November 15, 2008
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More About the Author
Wayne's work has since been published in the UK, Austria, Germany, Spain, Turkey and North America. His bestselling zombie novel, FLU, was serialised by Sirius XM's Book Radio.
As well as writing fiction, Wayne is a regular contributor to Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine and PR/ Marketing chief for Infected Books. In 2013 and 2014, Wayne co-produced the popular Scardiff Horror Expo.
Wayne now lives in Wales with his ghoulfiend and their Jack Russel terrier, Dita. Look out for him at various genre, music and tattoo events or visit him online: www.waynesimmons.org
Top Customer Reviews
Admittedly, I have never really gotten into reading the horror genre. The only experiences I have with zombies have been "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," and the Charleton Heston film "Omega Man," and so I don't have that much to compare "Drop Dead Gorgeous" to. This beats both of those experiences like an angry amputee wielding a broken appendage.
This book starts out with Star, a tattoo artist, whose client dies while being tattooed. She finished the tattoo, and then noticed everyone else in her parlor had similarly kicked off! She explores her surroundings in the center of Belfast, Northern Ireland, trying to make sense of what has happened to the general populace in her nihilistic way. She ends up in an anarchic-enclave in the bus station, with Sean the DJ, Tim and Caz the teen lovers, and Barry (the man with a sordid past). They go on loot, and have a grand old time in the finest hotel in Belfast, generally keeping to themselves.
Contrast this with Royal Irish Ranger Roy Beggs, who's collected followers on the road to Belfast the first night after the apocalypse. Roy has picked up Maraid Burns, who is a former IRA operative, and reluctantly entrusts her with a sidearm. They are holed up in an elementary school, where Sylvia Paterson plays the role of comforter, manipulator, and head cool-aide dispenser. The school seems like it will turn into an Irish Jonestown.
Not to spoil anything, but the book details what happens to both enclaves, as the Zombies emerge. "Drop Dead Gorgeous" is a fantastic read. It has language some people might find objectionable, having very grown up themes. This is not one for the kiddies.
To the participants of the Freedom Book Club: Many thanks for suggesting this book! It was select as the Summer Read for 2009.
My experience with Permuted Press up till now has been David Moody's Autumn Quartet and a slew of press releases about books that have made me say, every time, "man, I have got to read this." Oddly, I never saw a single press release for Drop Dead Gorgeous, the first novel from Irish novelist Wayne Simmons; I stumbled across it in my local Half Price Books. (There is a small-press horror fan in my area who routinely sells stuff there. Whoever you are, bless you.) I actually found three Permuted titles the same day and snatched them all up. I knew the other two (D. L. Snell's Roses of Blood on Barbwire Vines and Z. A. Recht's Thunder and Ashes) well by reputation, but this one I'd never heard of. So I cracked the cover on this one first. And after I'd finished it a couple of days later, the only word I could come up with was "DAY-um." This is not at all what I expected from the original publisher of the Autumn books. This is bloody awesome.
First off: ignore the jacket copy, which makes it sound as if the story centers around Star, the tattoo artist who graces the wonderful (if amateurish) cover. Instead, like the Autumn books, Drop Dead Gorgeous is an ensemble drama rather along the lines of Autumn but somewhat better-structured. We start off with the sudden and unexplained death of billions (once again hearkening back to David Moody and the beginning of the small-press zombie revolution) and a handful of survivors, including Star, who eventually find one another. But we also have a second storyline that runs parallel involving a former Orangeman and a former IRA member who are forced together in leadership positions with another band of survivors in a smaller town a ways up the highway from the first band.Read more ›
On the other hand, I think I'm suffering from some kind of cross-culture perception lag. Lemme 'splain. This will seem like a diatribe against the book, but it's not. Bear with me.
(SPOILERS AHEAD, I think)
The setting of DDG is modern-day Béal Feirste (Belfast, you wanker) a metropolis of, all-told, a half-million people. So, being a native of Chicago (now living in Austin) when ninety percent of the population ups and dies at the wheel or walking around or on the train, etc, I foretell massive carnage on an almost Biblical scale. Fires, explosions, dogs and cats living together. You know. But, since Belfast is about a fifth of the size of Chicago (or a third of the ATX) the results are . . . different. The largest city in Northern Ireland dies with a sigh, almost.
And while I can wrap my head around that, there are bitter rivalries left over from all the IRA/UVF business that I just don't understand, and I doubt that anyone that isn't directly affected by it -really- does. So, the scenes of tension between a pair of opposing-camp characters started to fall a little flat for me. Just a little, though . . . before dipping into DDG, I'd just read Pete Hamill's THE GUNS OF HEAVEN, which at least gave me a working knowledge of who was fighting who and why.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From the moment I started listening to Drop Dead Gorgeous, I was hooked. Apart from the fact that the story moves along at a good pace, the narration was so good AND with an Irish... Read morePublished on January 1, 2013 by Kat
Coming across something new or even refreshing is difficult within a genre such as horror. Many filmmakers and even novelists plump for tried and tested ideas and the major... Read morePublished on November 4, 2012 by John Milton
Wayne Simmons has managed to create a new kind of zombie. Plus he has managed to write a novel that makes the zombies the nice people. Read morePublished on January 6, 2012 by Mr Dave Lightfoot
DROP DEAD GORGEOUS has to have one of the best kick ass female characters that I have ever read. Star is not just an anti-hero, she is feisty, outspoken and the woman your mother... Read morePublished on July 25, 2011 by Clack
This book is very enjoyable, and as someone who likes horror books, but is fairly picky about them in general, it definitely lived up to my expectations. Read morePublished on July 8, 2011 by Alexa Macdermot
Another well done horror/zombie novel from an extremely talented writer. This book has a twist on the classic zombie tale which is quite refreshing. Read morePublished on April 10, 2011 by J. Sroka
I went into DROP DEAD GORGEOUS expecting a b-movie style slasher, and not much in the way of brains. This couldn't be further from the truth. Read morePublished on November 19, 2010 by Christopher Bowsman
So let me start of by saying, the first one hundred pages were tough for me to read. They were not bad just a lot of setup but once I hit page 101 wow, this book took off and... Read morePublished on August 31, 2010 by Richard
I didnt have any experience with Mr. Simmons work but I wanted another Zombie story when I finished my last book. Read morePublished on August 22, 2010 by Jt Bentzen