- File Size: 1042 KB
- Print Length: 400 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Abaddon Books (August 8, 2017)
- Publication Date: August 8, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B072FBLH1W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #919,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack Kindle Edition
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A couple of criticisms: 1) the author spends the first quarter of the book throwing in way too many 5-dollar words and 2) while impressively expansive, it still has some telltale signs of being a first novel and doesn’t quite stick the landing.
Among my horror reading club, this one has been quite polarizing, but I’m glad I gave it a read. A must for horror fans who like dry British humor or lots of world building.
I tried to read THE DEATH AND LIFE OF SCHNEIDER WRACK with my speed reading app but there were so many words that were gigantic or outright invented there was no way that my eyes could keep up at 300 and 400 words a minute. I'm glad I slowed down; when I did I started really enjoying this book that is more akin to Alice In Wonderland than it is to most other zombie books.
Zombies in this book are one part steampunk wonder, one part magical mystery, and all horrific. They bear the marks of their execution method but also the wear of the work they do. They are sun baked, missing limbs and often preyed upon by the giant ocean creatures they are tasked with hunting. It was so much fun to have them evolve from creatures described as "one arm" or "the fat man" into characters with names and personalities; even if in one case, all he could say was "Fawk offff!!!".
In a book where the main characters are passionate and real, it's strange that it's the setting that steals the show. The world of Ocean and the fishing boat expands, bit by bit, as Wrack and his commerades fight back, learning new things about the various people, fauna and unknowns that inhabit their world.
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF SCHNEIDER WRACK is a trip, a book to read carefully but not too slowly. If you're the kind of person who looks up words in the dictionary, don't bother. If you love imagining massive creatures with names you can barely hold in your brain, dive in.
Top international reviews
But, what isn’t apparent from the book blurbs,is that this story rapidly expands into a “changing the course of the world” epicness with our hero and his zombie friends at the forefront.
And it all feels hard-earned with a lot of bloodshed, innocent and guilty , and a real journey that really has you rooting for our heroes. Very scary bad guy in the mix as well.
I was gutted when I got to the end of the book, which says it all really.
To anyone wondering 'Does this contain more material than The Sea Hates A Coward', the single novella about the eponymous Wrack; yes, yes it does: there's a second longer novel bolted on continuing the story. Don't worry, there is new material here; go ahead and get it.
So, to the book. With themes involving necromancy, cthonic seamonsters, repressive governments, and pointless wars, this is likely to appeal to fans of Mieville, Stross, Milkweed, and the Lovecraft mythos. However, it is far from derivative; to a tale of horror, fantastical monsters and technology and oppression, the author adds a unique warmth and sense of the ridiculous, a pacy plot, multiple distinct characters of different genders with different motivations, and well-researched zoology.
Passing through multiple worlds and environments, there's a great scope covered - from dark fantasy to scifi combat - and I hope the author produces more. Just don't read it while eating, because of the above disgusting languishing on pen portraits of pus. They're justified in context but that's not much help when you're trying to retain your lunch on board a National Express.
I wont go into the plot, that has already been done by other reviewers, but the book comes over as so much better than it deserves to be as a book that I bought for less than a pound (yes, I know that's just me being judgmental about the price, and I know that price isn't always a measure of quality). The story is cleverly thought out and told in a style that doesn't insult the reader - many authors go into too much explanation when dealing with 'other worlds' or 'alternate technologies', here it feels like you pick things up in a more organic way as the story progresses. Great piece of work.
'"Why stop there?"
I could visualize Nate Crowley writing The Death And Life Of Schneider Wrack whispering this phrase to himself almost at a dozen points in this weird, gory, imaginative, bleak, funny, bittersweet and utterly brilliant novel.
It's one hell of a ride, and continued to surprise me. Taken together with the other story from Crowley that I've read - his novella 'Severed', set in the Warhammer 40.000-universe and being about 'a geriatric terminator & his butler, who is also a geriatric terminator' (to use the words of the man himself) - I believe that a theme is identifiable: come for the crazy concepts, the gory action and the eldritch horror, but stay for the eccentric characters, the emphatic look at human/alien/undead relationships and the bittersweet moments of loss, love and friendship.
I've been quite lucky with my novel picks in 2019, but TDALOSW takes the cake in terms of pure imagination. I'm fairly sure that this won't be the last time that Mr. Crowley goes on a journey into the Lemniscatus, and when he eventually ventures forth anew, I'll make sure to rip out my heart and join his revolution once again.
"We'll find out! We'll find out, won't we!"'