- File Size: 1028 KB
- Print Length: 252 pages
- Publisher: Permuted Press (March 10, 2012)
- Publication Date: March 10, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007J6W7DG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,034,145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Dead Meat Kindle Edition
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|Length: 252 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Enter, Dead Meat. Riding not only the propitious post-apocalyptic zombie wave, but tapping into the vein of posthuman critical theory as well, Dead Meat offers up thought-provoking, challenging, and gritty social commentary. Its zombies are animalistic and predatory; clicking teeth and flicking tongues signal their imminent approach. Its humans are vulnerable, profane, codependent, and terrified--like so many of us.
In a posthuman register, Dead Meat emphasizes the meatiness of our humanity, placing us not as nature's ruling class, but its lesser denizens. In short: we're lunch.
In this post-apocalyptic world (which all-too-closely resembles our present time and place) our species has evolved into something grotesquely zombic while humanity's lagging Darwinism is made readily transparent through man's devolution into selfishness, greed, piracy, cruelty, and murder in the name of self preservation. At times this is certainly humanity at its ugliest, and while it maintains its posthumanist edge, Dead Meat is also poignantly human. It is, in fact, all-too-human, sketching episodes of our animalism, our vulnerability, our pettiness--and yes, even our heroism. This is the promise of great posthumanist discourse: to not only challenge us to see the limits of our humanity, but its potential--our potential--as well. Zombies are necessarily posthuman in that their post is a movement beyond humanity, beyond the human--indeed, beyond the grave--but Dead Meat is more complex than this.
The Williams brothers weave an intricate narrative from the tattered social fabric of our own cultural moment. Dead Meat emphasizes interpersonal relationships, group cohesion, and familial ties in the wake of societal collapse. It is a critique of civilization and its relationship to nature in the vein of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight--but this is no medieval romance. Romeroesque zombies litter its landscape, shambling forth endlessly in search of another object to consume.
Just as the Williams' zombies offer a salient critique of capitalism, through the voice of Gavin they also suggest that how we think affects our material reality, that an overlap occurs between cognition/perception and materialism, and thus Gavin forces himself to see the zombies--those that were once human but are no longer (like say our racial, religious, and/or ethnic others)--as `bees': "Bees. Think of them like bees and maybe fighting them--killing them--will be easier. Killing a person is murder; killing a bee, well, that's a measure of defense, a tool for population control. One by one, we'll have to swat them dead. `Bees,' I mutter. `Maybe I can stomach that'... I tighten my grip, ready to take my first swing. I tell myself that this is necessary if we want to survive. We must destroy in order to maintain. It makes sense. It has to make sense" (20).
This is not only a critique of capitalism, but its ideological root: materialism. Reflecting on how the `bees' with their inescapable materiality have come to shape his reality, Gavin offers the following critique of our own materialist entrapment: "This is the truth: what's around us makes us who we are. The birth of new seasons, the world still revolving and moving on without a solid civilization--at least that's what we've come to believe. Even deep inside ourselves, the bees have control. Their actions, their movements, their desire to consume force us to react; this is our world now" (181).
On the level of political theory, Dead Meat's `bees' and its portrayal of the military as `Exterminators' offer fertile ground to explore Giorgio Agamben's political concepts of the state of exception and homo sacer, especially in a post-9/11 America whose media outlets repeatedly signal the ever-looming threat of bio-terrorism. After all, what is a zombie if not a form of bio-terrorism--both as a carrier of the zombie virus (an all too common zombic trope) and a threat, a terror to our way of life, our bios in its most fundamental state?
The Williams brothers also use the post-apocalyptic zombie trope to offer a visceral and all-too-human theory of aesthetics: "This is our substitution for beauty. Replace flowers with a corpse--bee or human, it doesn't matter--and our sunshine highlights the dried, black blood. What makes it beautiful? It's not my f***ing body" (43).
To end, I would return to the beginning. Gavin argues early in the novel that "[s]omething about fear cripples us when we face it, but we have a desire that wants us to fear" (16). Indeed. The fears that Dead Meat elicits rise from the underlying truths that ground its narrative. To be sure, the zombie is a powerful metaphor that forces us to face our fears about ourselves. Bottom line: Dead Meat is exactly what a zombie novel should be.
I also liked this book because every time you think. (I know what is going to happen here. Bamn it doesn't. Then you are just reading along not expecting something and that's when it hits.(
I really liked all the people the main guy Gavin meets along the way Also how they make split second choices that you don't expect. Don't want to spoil it so I will leave off here! Again if you like Zombie books, but are sick of the same o' story. Take a bit of Dead Meat you won't be sorry! Just a little more DEAD!
I wasn't expecting the ending. I was looking forward to reading several more books about their exploits. I think the authors should seriously consider a rewrite. I dont think fans of these characters would mind at all.