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Drop Dead Gorgeous Paperback – 2 Feb 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Snowbooks Ltd (2 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906727988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906727987
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 12.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 443,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Drop Dead Gorgeous is a stand out book.' --Horrorbound.com

'A heck of a good novel...' --Fatally-Yours.com

'A gritty drama... Do not miss!' --Liberation Frequency

'If you're into action-laced horror, vivid gore and a cranked up attitude, Drop Dead Gorgeous is your kind of read.' --Lip Service

'Worthy of George Romero's finest moments...'
--Total Tattoo Magazine

About the Author

Belfast-born Wayne Simmons has loitered with intent around the horror genre for some years, scribbling reviews and interviews for various zines. He is prominent in the genre scene and can be found online at www.waynesimmons.org and in the real world at tattoo exhibitions, book signings and horror conferences.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been on a real indie book bender lately. There's something refreshing about small press novels that I really enjoy, be it the DIY spirit of the venture in general or the groundbreaking ideas that the books themselves contain. I think one of the things that grabs me the most about the small press world is the sheer amount of heart and dedication that go into the production, a feeling that's miles and miles away from the cold, corporate feel that sometimes radiates from Big Publishing.

Don't get me wrong, corporate entities have their place, I suppose, but small presses give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, even when they're printing things that shouldn't generate that kind of response.

Drop Dead Gorgeous, published by Permuted Press, is one such book. I loved it, every page and every minute spent with my nose buried in it, but damn is this one of the most heartbreaking books I've ever read. I don't think I've ever read anything quite so bleak before, despite having read literally hundreds of horror novels from my teen years to this day.

DDG is, essentially, the story of a zombie outbreak in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland, but what makes it so unique (and, in my opinion, chillingly effective) is that the focus throughout remains squarely on the characters. Two high school kids, a tattooist, a radio DJ, an aging Loyalist soldier, an IRA supporter, a retired college professor, a twenty-something slacker and several others have found themselves alone, the rest of the citizenry suddenly dead for reasons unknown. People have fallen in their homes, keeled over at the wheel of their cars and dropped dead on the streets, all for little to no reason.
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Format: Paperback
Coming across something new or even refreshing is difficult within a genre such as horror. Many filmmakers and even novelists plump for tried and tested ideas and the major archetypes within the genre cover a multitude of storylines and subsequently, at least to my mind, very little material seems original; which is why I am so taken with Drop Dead Gorgeous by Wayne Simmons.

After a fairly pedestrian introduction and judging by the size of the paperback, I wasn't expecting great things from Drop Dead Gorgeous. I got quite a surprise once I got started...

Simmons creates a bleak post-apocalyptic Belfast that could well be any city in the UK and his set up for what appears to be the end of humanity reminded me of the BBC series Survivors, with the majority of mankind taken down by some unknown malady, leaving only a handful apparently immune to this unseen assault.

Similar to many post-apocalyptic novels, Simmons has his survivors start to band together in disparate groups with some distinct characters emerging. The setting of Belfast adds an interesting dynamic to the proceedings in the form of sectarianism, lending itself to the storyline the same way that racism did to George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead; and perpetuating pre-existing divisions between some of the characters.

As for the characters, initially, I thought I was going to have the usual horror memes thrust upon me: the naïve teenager, ageing soldier, the family man, the fire and brimstone preacher, etc etc ad nauseum ad infinitum. This preconception couldn't have been more misplaced. Simmons develops his characters tremendously well; they come replete with all the fallacies of the human condition, dirty little habits and desires, rendering them painfully real.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's expensive and does not warrant the price tag. Here's why - one thing I found extremely annoying is that it is never explained why most people die and what's stupid is how no one bothers to bury the bodies. Also, it's a little gruesome that the tattoo artist tattoos a dead body and decides to finish the job. Don't worry, it's near the start of the book so it's not much of a spoiler. I found the story got boring very quickly and you swap between so many characters and their scenarios that you lose track of who's who (I always struggle when there are more than six main characters) and you have the impression that the writer doesn't care about any of his characters. One way or another, most of them deserve to have a hard time. The reason I bought this, despite a couple of negative reviews, was that it looked nice and I liked the plot line but why not explain why everyone drops dead? It's the one thing that should be dealt with and should not go ignored.

*Spoilers - but I suggest you read anyway

Additionally, there is no reason why only female zombies awake and the men just decay. What's also too unrealistic is the fact that every zombie is a beauty. The average woman is a size 11 and most women are not absolutely gorgeous. The writer should have portrayed a variety of dead women. I also disliked the idea of their eyes changing colour like a roulette wheel. At first, what was good was that they were killing guilty people, which was clever but even then the writer took that away and his zombies starting attacking the innocent. The book is also very predictable, because the second a Preacher is introduced I thought 'he's going to be a bad guy' and he was.
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