"I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus" Book Review

Written by Gabino Iglesias

Published by Gallery Books

Written by S.G. Browne
2012, 208 pages, Fiction
Released on October 30th, 2012


Besides beers, I don't think anything else should be seasonal. Christmas albums, sweaters, and books are things I've never dug, until now. With I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus, I broke my own rule of systematically avoiding Christmas themed crap because S.G. Browne is a very funny writer. Satire is not an easy thing to do, and he pulls it off with flying colors on a regular basis. I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus is no different. The humor and zombies I expected are there, but the narrative also has a few surprises that makes it even more enjoyable.

Andy Warner is a zombie. He has spent the last year trapped inside a zombie research facility in Portland, Oregon, where he's been subjected to experimental testing of all gruesome kinds. Now, however, he has escaped, and just in time for Christmas. Since those that cut, burned, pounded and injected him with things are not willing to just let him disappear, Andy gets ahold of a Santa Claus costume. Dressed as the man of the hour, he hopes to throw off his would-be captors. While he's on the move, Andy runs into a sweet and somewhat abandoned nine-year-old girl who reminds him of the family he lost when he joined the ranks of the undead. Despite his foul odor and lack of a prodigious gut, the girl thinks he's the real Santa. He also runs into some old friends who all get dressed as Santa and help him break back into the research facility to give the other zombies the best gift of all: freedom.

I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus is a sort of sequel to Breathers, another of Browne's funny novels that features the undead. However, it works perfectly well as a stand-alone and even readers who are new to the author's work will enjoy it. There is a bit of gore and some philosophical touches that make the narrative entertaining, but the elements that make this hilarious story a perfect read this holiday season, or any other time, are the heartwarming message it packs and the nonchalant emphasis on the things that matter: love, freedom, and friendship.

While the things mentioned above are more than enough to make this a recommended read, the tome has even more to offer. For starters, fans of horror and bizarro are in for a special treat. Portland authors Cameron Pierce, Jeff Burk and Mykle Hansen appear in the book as a trio of friends who recently became zombies and are trying to figure out how their new existence works. The moment these three enter the narrative, the already hilarious prose somehow manages to become even funnier. Between questions, Cameron's corrections, and insults, the three zombie newbies add even more heart to a story that already has plenty of it.

The zombie genre refuses to die because of authors like S.G. Browne; talented writers who make it a point to reinvent the undead in entertaining, meaningful ways. Forget about others and buy this one as a gift to yourself.



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