Monday, May 17, 2010

Play Dead by Ryan Brown

From Publisher:  Two cultural obsessions collide head-on in this fast-paced, thrilling, and terribly funny debut by former actor Brown. In the sleepy town of Killington, Tex., the local high school's football team is having its best season in decades thanks to the efforts of quarterback Cole Logan. Afraid of losing the district championship, the rival Elmwood team sends the Killington bus into a river, drowning everyone on the team except Cole and the coach. Only local witch and football fan Black Mona can raise the players from the dead in time for the game, but if they keep stopping to eat people, they might miss it. Brown handily mixes elements of horror, coming-of-age sweetness, and gore-soaked comedy into a tale that satisfies the same fascination with sports and bloodlust that it cleverly and thoughtfully critiques.

My Take: I can't deny the premise is pretty original; steroid pumped teenagers who are deadly serious about championship who plan and execute (no pun intended) a prank of epic proportions. 

{I've always wanted to use the word "epic" in a coherent sentence. Did it sound as cool as when the movie announcer says it?}

By reading publisher's review, you already know the prank lands the team in a very bad place and they return as zombies in cleats (as opposed to their usual kit shickers). The story is not completely cohesive but the protagonists are likeable and believable. The zombie part is not believable but really quite enjoyable. The author adds humor but riddles it to death (again, no pun intended) with language some would find offensive. 

My hand is raised high.

The story would have been just as strong and the characters would have sounded much more intelligent without riddling every sentence with politically incorrect anatomical labels.

On a much more positive note, the story is strong, the gore is appropriately gory, the humor is witty, and the author's picture on the back cover reveals a man who pleases the female eye, although he may just be a little too pretty.

Enjoy but be forewarned. The language is distracting.

This book was proved to me by Sarah at Simon and Schuster. Besides the free book, I was not reimbursed for this review. 

(I have to disclose this due to FTC regulations)

1 comment:

CountessLaurie said...

Sounds interesting... I think there is a time and place for a good expletive but mostly they are overused.