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Paul Is Undead Paperback – June 22, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Are readers ready for a world in which the Beatles just wanna eat your brains? Goldsher (Hard Bop Academy) thinks so, and he may be right. In this humor-filled splatterfest, the rise and fall of the zombie Beatles unfolds through eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, and interviews. Violence and music go hand-in-hand as the zombiefied Lennon, Harrison, and McCartney fight, eat, and rock their way to fame and popularity while ninja lord Ringo Starr tries to keep them out of trouble. Nothing can stop them--not even a vampiric Pete Best, zombie-killing Mick Jagger, rival ninja Yoko Ono, or bad reviews. In fact, their only enemies may be one another, as personal conflicts threaten to break them up for good. Roughly paralleling the real-world career of the Beatles, this alternate history reimagines successes, failures, and rivalries with over-the-top bizarro charm.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the zombie Beatles. In Goldsher's alternate universe, the British Invasion takes on new meaning as undead Paul, John, and George and ninja Ringo Starr take the U.S. by storm. Music journalist Goldsher begins the story by “interviewing” Lennon's mother, Julia, who died in 1958 but was reanimated by John the following week. Zombie Lennon's fateful meeting with McCartney in 1957 is another bloody affair, in which the merging of their gray matter creates an unparalleled songwriting team. Shortly thereafter, with the zombification of George and the addition of Ringo, the band begins its assault on the States. Things start to go awry when Lennon begins dating Ninja Lord Yoko Ono and the Zombies (led by non-zombie Rod Argent) begin to hunt them down. The horror mash-up publishing craze is still spreading like a plague, and while some of its most popular products seem like easy ways to digest the classics, this clever take on the subgenre will bring music nerds into its fandom. --Carlos Orellana

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439177929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439177921
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,585,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Goldsher is the author of ten novels, including "Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion" (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster), "A Game of Groans" (St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books, as George R.R. Washington), and "My Favorite Fangs: The Story of the von Trapp Family Vampires" (St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books). Written as A.M. Goldsher, his chicklit books "The True Naomi Story," "Reality Check," "Today's Special," and "No Ordinary Girl" were released by Little Black Dress Books in the U.K. and Marabout in France between 2008-2011. His non-fiction titles include "Hard Bop Academy: The Sidemen of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers" and "Modest Mouse: A Pretty Good Read."

As a ghostwriter, Alan has collaborated on projects with numerous celebrities and public figures, including actor/comedian Kevin Pollak ("A Few Good Men," "The Usual Suspects"), film director Tobe Hooper ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"), Chef Stephanie Izard, and jazz guitarist/vocalist George Benson.

His music journalism has appeared in Bass Player and Guitar Player, and his sportswriting has been seen in ESPN The Magazine,,, and He also reviews books for Kirkus.

During his 10-plus years as a professional bassist, Goldsher recorded with Janet Jackson, Cypress Hill, and Naughty by Nature; toured the world with Digable Planets; and performed at the 1994 Grammy Awards.

Alan lives and writes in Chicago. Visit him at

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Bingle on August 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
There's no doubt about it. A clever title and a cool concept can sell a book to publishers and customers alike, but while there are highlights of inspired silliness (most revolving around Ringo's Ninja status), the execution of the book as a whole left me flat. The author certainly knows his Beatles history and personnel, so those who know already about the "butcher's cover" and the various "fifth Beatles" will get a bit more out of the book than the average (or younger) fan, but there are two key problems that pull the tale away from ever becoming great. First, because it is a zombie version of Beatles history, there is no plot to propell the story forward--merely a chronological recitation of what happened in what year. Second, the author goes for gross-out and scatalogical humor at every opportunity, which gets old fast. By the way, when you get to the end of the book, you will find that the incident referenced in the preface to hook the reader is never even mentioned again and seems internally inconsistent with the zombie mythology elsewhere in the book--which feels like a bit of a cheat. Fun in parts, icky in lots of parts, but lightweight and tedious in too many parts.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Gazala VINE VOICE on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's easy to shrug off this novel as a funny book about the most famous and influential rock band of all time. Look deeper. You'll see scribe Alan Goldsher veils stunning truth behind humorous fiction in his tome, "Paul Is Undead."

Were three of the Beatles really zombies? Before shaking your head no, examine the connection between the band and author Edgar Allan Poe. In his immortal 1967 song "I Am the Walrus," John Lennon cries out, "Man you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe." Less renowned but no less pertinent is Paul McCartney's shout-out to Poe in his 1968 song unreleased by the Beatles, "Thingumybob." This tune's title is a blatant reference to Poe's "The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq." Combine these unassailable facts with Poe's most famous tale, "The Fall of the House of Usher," noted as "the basis of zombie mythology in modern pop culture" (see [...]), and one conclusion alone raises its rotting head: Goldsher is dancing around shrouded truths, not beguiling lies. In the Beatles-Poe nexus, Poe was the legendary "Fifth Beatle" who ushered the band in all things zombie.

Still unconvinced the Beatles were zombies? Find a vinyl copy of the band's 1966 album "Revolver." Play the song "She Said She Said" forwards on a standard turntable at precisely 33 and 1/3 RPM, and confession emerges clear as day to the astute listener: "I know what it's like to be dead." Kudos to Goldsher for venturing where no Beatleologist before him dared.

That said, no way Ringo's a ninja. That's just silly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By theEPICrat on December 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have yet to find a zombie parody that I can stomach to its fullest potential, and I had hoped that Paul Is Undead would be the one to break the mold. It started off well, but eventually I simply did not care for the interview format. I think that it might have gone a little better if it was a "story" story where we follow John as he goes about and makes zombie Beatles - not interviews from various people who recollect the making of the Beatles. It did not help that I am not a Beatles fanatic, so I could hardly tell if most of the interviewees were actual people. I did get a kick out of Mick Jagger's role in the zombie Beatles story.

One thing I will say is that this has, by far, the grossest description of how the zombie process happens. *shudders* It involves tongue lengthening and brain fluids and spitting and far too much information that I really don't want to re-read again to find out. However, I guess the Liverpool zombies were the cream of the crop somehow. They maintained their human personalities, had no slowing of movements, could heal themselves, and hypnotize their victims. I don't know if I buy much of that, but whatever works to make zombie Beatles rule the world.

Anyhow, another parody bust for me. I would probably recommend Paul Is Undead for those who like the Beatles AND don't mind zombies OR reading interviews to piece together a story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bridget3420 on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
When you think about The Beatles, your mind may think heartthrob at first but in this book, you can see them in a whole new light. If you see them, you better run! John Lennon is a zombie who has a knack for turning others into zombies without anyone noticing. Oh and did I mention that he's forming a rock band? He and Paul are ready to find other members to complete their zombie band. They run into one slight problem. Mick is a zombie slayer making music with the undead. Can you think of anything more ironic?

Sometimes you just need a book that makes you laugh out loud and mutter WTF? I enjoyed this book because everything was so off the wall and it made me remember being a kid and using my imagination to come up with something that will never happen but for a while I get to escape into another world.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. L VINE VOICE on June 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Whether or not you love The Beatles and zombies- this brilliant rendition of what music and history would be IF The Beatles were brain junkies will have you rolling.

I don't even have much to say about this book, I simply loved it- don't want to spoil anything for readers. I really went into this book rolling my eyes, but I'm glad I read it anyway! Hilarious. Ninjas! Zombies! Rock 'n Roll! This is the best mockumentary I have experienced since watching "Best in Show" back in 2000. We have all the top dogs dropping cameos: Jesus, Santa Claus, Mick Jagger, Elvis and Roy Orbison. This is Beatlemania in an entirely new light- those of you trivia addicts will be excited that music trivia from the 1960s litters this book.

Dark and humorous- those of you that love The Beatles and don't mind your fabulous four devouring civilians and having an alternate history, will really get into this book. Maybe not for those that aren't into a little bit of gore in their stories... but this is a zombie book, I wouldn't have expected any less. I strongly recommend this book, the wonderful world of humorous horror and zombies collides blissfully with The Beatles to create an enjoyably gruesome fun for all story ;)
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