Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fantasy Blog Tour Review: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim by W. Bill Czolgosz

Mark Twain's classic novel - with a few zombie twists. Huck Finn is off on his rafting adventure, but this time he's accompanied by one of the (un)dead: a runaway bagger, Jim. The enslavement of Africans has passed in favor of those no longer human, zombies (otherwise known as baggers) who have died from the pox and come back to (sort of) life again. Some of these baggers are vicious monsters, but others, like Jim, make ideal slaves. Too bad they still don't like to be sold down South and instead decide to escape with runaway boys in search of adventure on the Mississippi.

Normally I enjoy reading spin-offs of classic literature, and zombie books are no exceptions. This one, however, just didn't do it for me. I felt like I was reading the original Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - yes, Jim's a zombie, but there's little else that makes this interesting as a zombie book. I was expecting a lot of incidents with the living dead, but until the last couple dozen pages, the only incidents were brief and isolated. Because of this, it was confusing for me (having read Twain's novel several years ago instead of recently) to separate the original story, which Czolgosz follows very closely, from events that Czolgosz added. This book was a disappointment for me. Maybe my expectations of zombie parodies are too high, but I expected a bit more originality from the adapter and much more zombie action. The most enjoyment that I got from Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim came from being reacquainted with Twain's story, so I would have been better off just reading the original or, to satisfy my taste for the living dead, trying a non-knockoff zombie novel.

My copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim was received through Gallery and Pocket Books Sci-Fi/Fantasy Blog Tours. It originally went on sale, published by Coscom Entertainment, in 2009; this edition, published by Gallery, went on sale April 12, 2011.

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