I just finished reading Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan. It was another advance proof copy (and we all now how much I love reading advance proof copies) from Amazon’s Vine programme. For a change this is one I probably would have bought if I had seen it on sale: how could I resist such a title and the promise of zombie livestock? Also irresistable was the tagline of “forget the cud, they want blood”.
Also for a change, I regretted having a proof copy because it only has placeholders where the foreword, acknowledgements and author biography would be and as soon as I finished I wanted to find out a bit more about the author, specifically whether he has written any other books. (It turns out he hasn’t yet)
Anyway, here is what I wrote about it:
The subject matter is quite dark but written in a light way that lets the writer get away with killing women, children and pensioners without traumatising the reader. It is black comedy with just enough comedy to stop it just being depressing.
The comedy is laid on thickest at the start with some genuinely hilarious descriptions of young Geldof’s cringeworthy home circumstances, but done well enough to let later levity rely on references and memories of the pre-apocalypse situation when necessary.
Like all good apocalyptic stories it does make you wonder exactly how a government would respond to such events. Would they be better or ever worse? There are satirical undertones to this that do encourage such questions, but you don’t get to ponder them too much as the story keeps pulling you along.
I do have a small problem with the plausibility of some bits right at the end, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the book and to even mention the specifics would be a spoiler for anybody else so I won’t go into details. Having said that, the very last bit of political satire involved in the zombie interview is very tasty.
And do look out for the John Selwyn Gummer spoof. A fine example of very, very dark satire.
If you enjoyed the film Black Sheep (the New Zealand killer sheep comedy and not the German/Russian WWII film) then you would enjoy this. It is a similar topic but on a much larger scale.