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Zombie Bake-Off Paperback – 27 Jan 2012

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An action flick on wood pulp... 5 Feb. 2012
By Emory B. Pueschel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
You think you know your zombies. Get bitten by one, become one. The fixation on brains. Exterminate with the liberal application of lead to the brain case. Well, yeah, maybe you do. So, pop quiz: Do you know what happens when you mix Desperate Housewives, WWE, the Food Network, and George A. Romero then bake at 350 for two-hundred pages? Let Stephen Graham Jones show you with his novel, "Zombie Bake-Off."

Let me be blunt: this is novel is not some great literary achievement. You will not be provoked to thought, or come away a better person for reading it. You will, however, be ENTERTAINED. This book is a fast-paced, thrills-and-chills, why-doesn't-Hollywood-do-this-sort-of-thing-anymore action flick on wood pulp.

While it might not be added to Oprah's Book Club any time soon, don't think for a minute that "Zombie Bake-Off" is some slapped-together hodge-podge of tropes. The characters have three dimensions, the conflicts are believable and exciting, and the action is fluid and truly fast paced. There are not many authors out there that can pull those off, let alone all three in one book.

Add to those general achievements the prose itself. You can see the action, the places, even picture some actors in the roles. The description is not overdone, it is just right. The reader sees what the author sees; the pages become frames of celluloid.

Just get this book. You will not be sorry. Unless, of course, a bunch of wrestlers come by and threaten you for NOT buying "Zombie Bake-Off." We had nothing to do with that.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A breath of fresh air 6 Aug. 2012
By Gabino Iglesias - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It sounds like an awful joke, but the zombie genre simply refuses to die. Every time it seems like nothing new and amazing will come our way, an author with serious writing chops and a superb imagination puts his or her unique touch on the undead and injects new life into a genre that at times threatens to be as smelly and deceased as the shambling carcasses it describes. This time, the breath of remarkably fresh air comes from Stephen Graham Jones' Zombie Bake-Off. The book is what happens when an award-winning author flexes his muscles and decides to have fun with a genre while simultaneously eviscerating it.

Zombie Bake-Off drops readers into a strange place: an annual gathering of pastry lovers in Lubbock, Texas. A group of suburban women are busy sharing their passion and recipes when a group of wrestlers crashes the event. The entertainment warriors are scheduled to perform later at the same venue, but showing up early means they clash with the sugar-loving soccer moms. Tempers run high and small conflicts erupt, but the differences between those that drive minivans and those that use steroids will soon turn into the least of their concerns. When a bunch of wrestlers devour an infected batch of donuts, they turn into senseless brain-eaters. To make things worse, the doors of the convention center have been chained shut and the key dangles from the neck of shambler. What follows is an explosive mix of humor, blood, donuts, violence, survival and even a bit of cooking.

Jones is a writer with a knack for humor that's only rivaled by his flair for limb-tearing, name-calling, brain-scooping violence and gore. His talents take zombie fiction to new heights and in unusual directions. Zombie Bake-Off is as much of an homage to a place the author loves and a genre he enjoys as it is a deconstruction of clichés and a celebration of language.

Although Jones possesses a distinctive voice, his writing in Zombie Bake-Off has an almost chameleonic quality that makes reading it a real pleasure. The narrative gets rolling with a good dose of smart humor and the uncomfortable weirdness that comes from inserting larger-than-life characters full of bulging muscles into the relaxed, Martha Stewart-esque world of ladies sharing baking recipes. Then it moves on to pure, adrenaline-pumping horror before jumping to what reads like the best intellectual tribute to campy zombie films. The best way to explain Jones' prose to those not familiar with it is to ask them to imagine Chuck Palahniuk's blind bastard child with Harry Crews writing a funny, gory novel while trying to channel Joe Lansdale's subconscious.

Zombie Bake-Off is fast, witty, original and ridiculously entertaining. Stephen Graham Jones has created an action-packed literary pastry that packs a sugar rush you just have to experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not just another Zombie book! 9 April 2012
By Matthew Vaughn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Even though the market for the zombie genre is getting over-saturated I'm still a pretty big fan of the living dead. What I mean by big fan is really more toward the visual side, movies, television shows, and video games. It wasn't until here recently that I started reading books and stories featuring the undead. I used to think that a good zombie apocalypse would be hard to translate to the written word in an entertaining way. I have since realized I was wrong.
This book starts out like a lot of horror movies, with kids out partying and getting into trouble. While out joy riding in one of their dads bakery truck they run over what appears to be a drunk guy. They do the horror movie thing and try to cover it up, because that always works so well. The real meat of the story takes place the next day at a convention center, which is rented to a group called Recipe Days during the day time. In the evening the convention center is rented to pro wrestlers coming to do a show. The two groups over lap when the wrestlers show up early. After intimidating the ladies from Recipe Days they help themselves to some doughnuts from a certain bakery truck. What follows is one extremely entertaining read. Once the action kicks in it does not let up.
SGJ treats us to a unique and interesting Zombie story where the survivors are not your normal one-dimensional horror fare. His characters are very real, intelligent people fighting for their lives. Also, with his zombies he adds some new interesting twists.
Jones is a master storyteller, I have enjoyed everything I've read from him quite a bit, and this book was no exception. I have been having trouble reading paper books in a decent amount of time, recently I read e-books because I get through them faster. But I read this as a paper book and it kept me turning the pages and so engrossed in the story that I finished it in about a week. I recommend this book to not only zombie lovers, but anyone who likes action on top of a good story.
An Undead Confection 12 May 2012
By Adam Cesare - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Zombie Bake-Off is the story of what happens when you lock pro-wrestlers and baking enthusiasts in the same coliseum and then introduce some zombified donuts. Jones's characters and situations are big and broad (in the case of one plus-sized Andre the Giant-esque wrestler, they're enormous), but he packs his chapters with enough wit and heart to make this more than just a bloodbath.

Jones's voice is at once stripped-down and folksy, a blend all his own that suits the story well. He's unafraid to apply a screenwriter's shorthand, and it helps to keep the frenetic action moving while maintaining a clear sense of geography.

Zombie fans will enjoy Jones's unique Dan O'Bannon 2.0 version of the undead, while anyone who's ever enjoyed wrestling will get a kick out of how he explores the archtypes of that very particular brand of storytelling/performance. I haven't watched wrestling since I was a youngin, back when the WWE was the WWF, but I still giggled at some of the wrestlers and their gimmicks (The Village Person: an amalgamation of all five Village People. Classic).

Leagues sillier than the rest of his work that I've read, Zombie Bake-Off delivers the goods and turned this skeptic into a believer. It's everything you could hope for from a book dedicated to Tarman. During the final lines of the epilogue, I swear I heard the first chords of "Party Time" by 45 Graves(the theme music to RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD).
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