Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie by Jeff Norton
|Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie by Jeff Norton|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Imagine returning to life after three months in the grave. Not only do you have to come up with a convincing cover story for school, but you and your new friends (who have enough problems of their own, frankly) find yourselves having to stop the same thing happening to a lot of other people. Weird, silly, and lots of fun!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: July 2015|
|Publisher: Faber & Faber|
|External links: Author's website|
Adam is twelve. He has a crush on Corina who's in his class at school, he likes collecting things, and he has early onset Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which means he would rather wear purple spandex and dance the Macarena right down Main Street than go within five miles of a germ. He frets about a lot of things, actually: if worrying was an Olympic event, he'd get the gold, every time. Other than that, things are pretty okay. He has normal, loving parents (well, they do insist on going to SMOOCH concerts, but nobody's perfect), a small group of friends who share his interest in comics and video games, and a standard-issue irritating sister. Nothing weird there, then. Nothing but the fact that he's been dead for three months.
Yup – Adam is totally, definitively, crammed-into-a-coffin and six-foot-deep dead. Stung by a bee at his own birthday party, would you believe, which makes it even worse, somehow. His family still grieve for him of course, but life moves on: big sis has pinched his room (two windows, bigger closet) and his mum and dad got rid of all his NinjaMan posters and hand sanitizers. To make it worse he's just had to scrabble his way through a ton of graveyard dirt, and he doesn't feel he'll ever be properly clean again.
It's a wickedly clever concept. Imagine a kid who hates dirt and bacteria, who's been tested for one hundred and twenty-seven potential allergens, who wants his birthday party indoors in case he catches West Nile Virus from a passing mosquito (there's not much risk of that in America, admittedly, but better safe than sorry) and who's a huge fan of shampoo-rinse-repeat, then turn him into the undead: rotting flesh, grey lifeless eyes and even a fetching little bit of skull showing on his forehead. Priceless! Give him two new friends who are equally (to put it politely) unusual, each in their own way, then set them to solve Adam's murder. Add in a wacky villain, a couple of hilarious gross-out moments and a one-of-a-kind new pet, and the scene is set for a whole range of batty adventures, thrills and risk. And the good news is, volume two, set in summer camp, is already out, so you can continue to follow the adventures of Adam, Corina and Ernesto as they investigate something deadly dangerous in the deep, dark woods...
There's nothing better than a bit of silliness from time to time. More joyous daftness can be found in The Space Crime Conspiracy by Gareth P Jones, where the hero somehow gets blamed for the murder of an alien VIP, and also in Geek Inc: Technoslime Terror by Mark Griffiths which starts with a grandfather clock that wanders around the landscape. And that's before it gets really bizarre!
You can read more book reviews or buy Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie by Jeff Norton at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie by Jeff Norton at Amazon.com.
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