Today for Lunch Lit we have the Zombie excerpt from the talented J. Ross Angelella. Picture a zombie movie-obsessed teen who is forced to face a dark family secret. It is a voice-driven, idiosynchratic novel that will appeal to fans of Jonathon Safran Foer and The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time.
Fourteen-year-old Jeremy Barker attends an all-boys Catholic high school where roving gangs of bullies make his days a living hell. His mother is an absentee pillhead, his older brother a self-diagnosed sex-addict, and his father disappears night after night without explanation. Jeremy navigates it all with a code cobbled together from the zombie movies he’s obsessed with: Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Planet Terror, Zombieland, and Dawn of the Dead among others.
The code is put to the test when he discovers in his father’s closet a bizarre homemade video of a man strapped to a bed, being prepped for some sort of surgical procedure. As Jeremy attempts to trace the origin of the video, this remarkable debut moves from its sharp, precocious beginnnings to a climax of almost unthinkable violence, testing him, and the reader, to the core.
Praise for Zombie:
“Wow! A crazy, wicked knock-out of a book!” -Garth Stein
“J.R. Angelella has created a bracing tale of a fractured mind. Zombie will make you laugh, shake your head in recognition, and go for the aluminum bat in your basement.”-Ned Vizzini, author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story
“Angelella’s debut novel crackles with energy and attitude.”-Publishers Weekly
“An irreverent and twisted coming-of-age story with one of the most shocking endings I’ve ever read.”-Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook
“If you want to know how teenagers feel and what they say when adults aren’t around, Zombie-a funny and very authentic, well-written first novel by J. R. Angelella-should definitely be the next book you read.”-John Waters, author of Role Models, and director of Hairspray and Pink Flamingos.
“Zombie is one of the smartest, strangest, and most beautifully crafted coming-of-age stories you will ever encounter.”-Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time