Book Review: Zombie Bake-Off by Stephen Graham Jones

Okay, first of all I must admit that I’m not exactly “into” zombie stuff.  But then again I’ve had some fun within the genre.  The movie Zombieland a few years back was fantastic  and I did watch some of the first season of the Walking Dead, so I don’t find the subject matter without merit.  This is however, my first zombie novel.

This book was gift from the Mrs.  She’s not exactly into the genre either ( tho she does love shooting zombies in the Left 4 Dead games with our daughter!), she picked this up after reading a recommendation of the author,  (whom neither of us had heard of) not this particular book, but she chose this title, because OF the title!  I mean seriously,  how can you NOT be intrigued by the idea of a zombie bake-off?

It was a quick read and although I cannot say it was well-written, I will say I did enjoy it.  For what it was.  There were several moments that literally made me burst out laughing, and that isn’t something you find in a lot of novels, especially in horror. 

Sadly, (SPOILER ALERT!) the premise wasn’t actually about zombies HAVING a bake-off, but actually about zombies (an infected rag-tag group of professional wrestlers no less!) over-running a convention center that was hosting a cooking exposition.

If that isn’t one of the weirdest  premises for a novel, I don’t know what is!

The book was pretty short, tho I can’t recall the exact page count…maybe 250?  This short length works for what was essentially an extended length short story.  There was virtually no character development, though there was certainly no shortage of “characters”, if you know what I mean.  The action scenes were plentiful but those were the areas where the writing kind of fell flat.  I get it though,  describing an ultra violent, gory encounter with pro-wrestler zombies I’m sure is easier said than done.  There was a lot of gore, so this is definitely not a book for the squeamish.  But like I said, it’s also laugh out loud funny at times.  It’s a great, fun read for a rainy weekend or a day at the beach, but just know it is essentially cheap thrills with no substance.  If you go into it with those lowered expectations,  you’ll probably enjoy it.  Then again, if you have high expectations for a zombie novel…well, you might want to call your doctor because something is wrong with you.

I sincerely doubt this book will get a second reading by me, but it will get passed on to the family and friends that might get kick out of it.  That being said, I will absolutely read more from this author.  If I recall, this book was published in 2012(?) so he’s had a lot of time to hone his craft since this one came out.

So there you have it.  If you like outbursts of laughter with your gore, give Zombie Bake-Off  a spin, you’ll probably like it!

Thanks for reading!

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