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Flesh Eaters Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2011
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From the Author
CHILDHOOD FEARS, GROWNUP REALITY
In my day job I'm a sergeant in the San Antonio Police Department, and over the past twelve years I've gotten to do a little bit of everything a cop can do. I've been a patrolman, a disaster mitigation specialist, a homicide detective and an administrator. But I'm also a writer, and a lot of people have a hard time reconciling those two occupations. Especially when they find out I write horror. "Why?" they ask. "And why zombies for God's sake?"
To answer that, I have to turn back to the summer of 1983. I was fourteen. That summer gave me two landmarks in my education. The first was George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, a movie that scared the ever-loving crap out of me. I watched it one night on cable and slept cradling a baseball bat for the next month. No movie had ever done that to me before, and very few have done it since.
And then, just when I thought I had experienced real fear, Hurricane Alicia made landfall. I grew up in Clear Lake City, a little suburb south of Houston. We were just across the lake from the mouth of the Houston Ship Channel and the numerous shrimp camps down along the coast, and we were square in the path of the storm.
I spent all night in a closet, listening to the storm trying its hardest to rip my house from its foundation and send it sailing off like a kite. The next morning, I went to the front door and looked out over a sea of muddy water. Every roof was missing shingles. Trees were toppled. Cars and trucks were submerged to their roofs. I saw a water moccasin glide through the swing set in my neighbor's back yard. And at the entrance to my subdivision was a sixty foot shrimp boat that had been carried seven miles inland by the storm surge. The destruction was staggering, and for a boy of fourteen, it felt a bit like the world had been turned upside down.
Of course, my fear didn't last long. Later that day my best friend came by in a canoe and we paddled all around the neighborhood, acting like river explorers heading up the Amazon in search of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was a blast.
Nearly three decades have gone by since that summer, and a lot has happened. I've built a career in one of the most dangerous professions out there. I've become a father, raising two lovely children in a world that grows scarier every day. I've carved out a life for myself and my family. Doing that puts a hard grain of independence in a man's personality. It makes him proud. But it also makes him vulnerable. And I'm no exception: scared to death for the future, but too obstinate to let it show.
And that's why, when I set out to write about the world I knew, to tell the kind of stories I felt simmering inside me, the words came out as horror. I don't pretend to understand how that psychological alchemy happens. For me, the stories have never been about the horrors themselves, but about struggling to be human in a world that is increasingly strange and hostile. It is about finding beauty and peace in spite of all the obstacles thrown in our way. That, for me, is why horror works. It isn't about monsters. It's about hope and humanity surviving against extraordinary odds. That's why horror clicks with me.
My zombie horror novel Flesh Eaters is the third installment in the Dead World series. If you've read Dead City and Apocalypse of the Dead, the first two books, then you're familiar with the world of my zombie apocalypse. If not, you're still in good shape, because this book is the beginning. This is where it all got started. And I think it's fitting that the story pays respects to the fears of my youth. That's why it's about storms, and zombies.
But the story also mirrors my present day reality, for each of the main characters is a cop struggling to do the right thing in a world that is morally complicated and often savagely cruel. How does one stay afloat in a world like that? Flesh Eaters doesn't have the one true answer, because I don't think there is a one true answer, but I hope that it talks to readers about the things that are really important. Like honor. And duty. And most of all, family.
Perhaps you agree. Or perhaps your priorities are different. Either way, I hope this book makes you ask questions about what's important to you. But no matter how you answer, I hope you enjoy the apocalypse!
About the Author
Joe McKinney is the author of numerous horror, crime, and science fiction novels, including Quarantined, Dodging Bullets, and the four-part Dead World series. He has a master's degree in English literature and has worked as a homicide detective and a disaster mitigation specialist for the San Antonio Police Department.
Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice-overs, where he has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials, as well as TV promos, narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E and the History Channel, and films. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
This story is not about zombies. It's not about blood and guts, it's not even about a devastating set of storms that flood southern Texas and reshape the Gulf of Mexico seaboard. It HAS all those things, but it isn't ABOUT them.
What it is about, first and foremost, is people.
Far too many writers of horror in general, and zombie stories in particular, think that the horror comes from the situation, and so they splash gore and foul language and viscera about with abandon, never understanding that horror only succeeds when it is happening TO someone that the readers care about. Joe McKinney never makes that mistake. In this unflinchingly terrifying book, the zombies are merely one more in a set of terrible obstacles that face both families and villains, heroes and scum. Indeed, even without the zombies this book would have been frightful, because the reader is made to understand what makes the characters tick, and then McKinney slowly puts those characters through purposeful paces. Some of the people unravel, some of them rise above tragedy to blossom into beauty. But the reader CARES about all of them.
This book is also horrifying in its scope. Though rooted in the experiences of certain individuals and groups, it is a truly apocalyptic tale. Like King's THE STAND and McCammon's SWAN SONG, the book is one about an entire world entering a serious and permanent change. It is the kind of book that puts you into its situations so fully that you find your heart racing, your breath coming in shallow gasps as you become an eyewitness to a paradigm shift in culture, in geography, in civilization itself. You can't help but wonder if you would be a survivor in such a scenario... or if you'd even WANT to be one.
Though there is gore enough to satisfy any zombie aficionado, though ribs snap and blood flows, though teeth gnash and chomp on innocent and guilty alike, the visceral thrills are handled carefully - even clinically at times - which only serves to intensify the fright as the reader is forced to participate in imagining what it would be like to live in (and hopefully through) a zombie apocalypse.
As a horror writer myself, it's doubly hard for me to just sink in and enjoy a good scary book, because all too often I am admiring (or irritated by) the author's words, the author's style, the author's particular voice. In this case, I simply forgot myself in a great tale, and spent a few long nights cramming in "just one more chapter."
All in all, this is a wonderful book. McKinney won a Bram Stoker award for Best Novel in 2012 for FLESH EATERS. For my money, it was well deserved.
It is a really good book. READ AND ENJOY!!
story flowing and it is hard to put down. I really enjoyed the book and will buy other works by the author