REVIEW: Murdermouth: Zombie Bits by: Scott Nicholson
Murdermouth: Zombie Bits by Scott Nicholson is just that, zombie bits. This is a very short collection of even shorter stories. At first it seems like it’s mostly random with no rhyme or reason to its order, but it in no way detracts from being enjoyable. In fact it seems more like a book of a writer’s ideas for further stories, which creates a feeling of being given privileged information and like being in on a big secret. Since there are 11 segments in the book so I will touch on each on briefly.
The first story in the collection, and that I’ll touch on, is A Farewell to Arms, which unlock the book by Hemingway of the same title, I actually enjoyed. It’s a brief look into a newly formed relationship of necessity between a man and woman after the zombie apocalypse. It creates the classic mood of impending doom of living day to day with the zombie sword of Damocles hanging over a survivor’s head.
The stories: Need, Carnival Knowledge, Eat Me, and Murdermouth are written from the point of view of the zombie. We get to see through their eyes and be privy to their thought process. Scott Nicholson gives tells us that zombies are still capable of thought, emotion, and remembering. Although these stories still maintain that they have an insatiable appetite for flesh, but we get to understand why. There is also the script to a future comic-Murdermouth #1. This is based on the story Murdermouth that appears earlier, however it has been slightly altered plot wise and gives descriptions of the panels.
Bleeding Ink is the second story in the book and takes place in a news station in the beginning of an outbreak. The main character is a journalist who is about to be sent out on a story of a abnormal death when a pandemic of strangeness begins. Once again we are given classic zombie scenery of chaos and panic.
There are two pieces from guest writers that appear in this book, A Matter of Taste by Jack Kilburn and Zombie Apocalypse Survival Scorecard by Jonathan Maberry. A Matter of Taste is another story from the point of view of zombies. However this one is more comical in its portrayal because it is a family of zombies sitting down for dinner. The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Scorecard breaks down the possibility of a total outbreak and the survivability of a zombie takeover based on the type of zombie. It’s very well thought out and definitely offers food for thought.
One of my favorite stories was The Meek. This one takes place in Australia and starts off with action. In this story the zombies aren’t people, they are sheep. I thought that this was a wonderful treat since there aren’t many stories out there about zombie sheep. It was a little bit longer than most of the others, which I really liked. This is definitely a story that I would love to see as a full novel.
The last story, and another one that I really liked, was: You’ll Never Walk Alone. This is yet another classic scene that appears in quite a few zombie books and movies-survivors barricading themselves in a church. In this story it’s a father and his child that hide in the church. Then we get to see how the father’s mental state slowly deteriorates over time.
Overall I really liked this collection of zombie bits. It was fast paced since most of the stories were only a few pages long. There was classic zombie gore along with new perspectives. The brief time we spent with the characters was enough to appreciate their individuality. I would consider this to be a good hor d’oeuvre of zombie fiction, just enough to whet your appetite and leave you wanting more.
Available at Amazon for the Kindle.
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