Thursday, May 08, 2014
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Extract from my review of 'Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #47' HERE.
Zombie & Son by Anthony Malone
"'Mm. I wonder, Tigh, have you ever thought whether her Majesty the Queen might be a zombie?'
Charles didn't say that, of course -"
Shades of a similar authorial retraction or intrusion in Coriander and (quoting from her story) her attempt to "figure out what was what, who was who, and what the who should do about the who with the what."
Or Malone's reference to the 'wild uncomprehending eyes' of those in the phone-hacking trial, as they would be if they read his genuinely laugh-out-loud Zombie & Son story, and the world would indeed be advised to read this story as its intrinsic truth is made even intrinsicker by a believably cumulative Royal audit-trail based on already public evidence - and by its extremely convincing and well-written text that transcends its otherwise seeming absurdity of subject matter. And it includes the best and seemingly original rationale for the existence of Zombies in general that I have ever encountered. In fact it provides a ratcheting rationale for the Roper story, too!
The Malone story, meanwhile, is full of recognisable, if caricatured, incidents and well-observed cameos. Just as one of many examples, I loved the image of Charles's simple pleasures like having his corns buffed by the drop-dead-gorgeous Duchess of Cornwall.
So this set of fictions ends with a genuine classic that is bound to cause a stir, a good stir, I estimate, to which nobody could object, even those involved by name. The first story ended with what it foreshadowed itself to be: an 'unrequited love' conclusion, while the whole gestalt of fiction in this book ends with a now requited climax. And, for full effect, the text needs, of course, to be read, as I have done, in a real physical book, to make the zombies stand up. And to enable human love for each other and for good literature to be requited. See my The Transfiguration Of An Unchanged Text blog post from a while ago, especially, now, vis-a-vis this book's retractionary authorial intrusions...