Utterly bereft of wit, verve, or innovation, The Zombie Code by Mark Raby ($10.95, Marion Street Press) is a zombie comedy book singularly uncontaminated by comedy. It feels written for an easily-offended, elderly grandmother who has only the most cursory knowledge of what zombies are and what they do. (So too, it appears, has Mr. Raby. Throughout the text, there is almost no sign of familiarity with the zombie cannon– written, filmed or otherwise. From Romero to Brooks to Kirkman, you won’t find it sub-referenced here.)
Just how not-funny is The Zombie Code? Here are the book’s opening lines, which I quote under the guidelines of fair use:
“It was a bright cold day in April. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Call me Ishmael. Whew. Now the pressure to write an insightful opening line is over.”
A few pages in, Raby provides the list: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Zombies featuring such entries as “Most of them like Cindi Lauper” and “They love telemarketers.” This is doubly frustrating because non sequitur-based humor can be very, very funny when it’s done by the right person (David Letterman, Jack Handey, etc.). Mr. Raby is not that person.
I could go on, but I won’t. A book like this deserves little attention (and its publisher certainly doesn’t deserve your hard-earned money).