Are There Lesbians? No
Angel Crawford wakes up in hospital after a drug overdose, unable to remember how she got there. With a surprise job she is given the chance to turn her life around and piece together the events that have left her with an undeniable craving for brains.
Did I read this because the cover is basically me? Possibly… ok yes, definitely. But after the initial “hey this is you” “haha no really- OMIGOSH that’s me” came the blurb reading and My Life as a White Trash Zombie turned out to be right up my trashy-pulp-genre-fiction alley. The only downside was that, unlike me, Angel does not appear to be into “the ladies” even though, as The GF so eloquently gender-stereotyped it “with that haircut she should be.” Alas that Angel is painfully straight, an odd stereotype in the kickass lady niche of genre fiction, something that horror/fantasy in particular often falls prey to, along with the tendency for all the main action to happen in the last four or five chapters. On the plus side however, the romance aspect takes a backseat to one of my favourite things genre fiction does which is deal with actual, real-world issues in an approachable way.
Essentially my love of genre fiction is based in the fact that it is easily approachable “candy-bar” type writing that nonetheless raises various issues in a down-to-earth way, ways that are also often less stylised than in what one might dub “true literature.” The simple fact of it is that Angel Crawford is not only a zombie, but she is a drug addict living in a broken home. She herself mentions that the only reason she is able to overcome her addiction is because as a zombie drugs have no effect on her. She admits that she worries that she is trading one addiction for another – pills for brains – but she also seizes with both hands the chance she has been given to try and make life better for herself. One of the particular quotes that stuck with me was this:
In the past several weeks I’d been inside dozens of houses. I’d been in million dollar homes and barely standing shacks, and I’d seen the different between the places where people took pride in themselves and their homes, and the shit dumps – like where I lived with my dad. And the price of the house didn’t mean a damn thing.
Maybe I can’t quite put my finger on why it stuck with me so much, but if I had to take an educated guess it’s because this quote addresses more than just the poverty line – it addresses the importance of pride of self, something that Angel is starting to discover that she wants.
My Life as a White Trash Zombie is a book about stagnation and addiction – to brains, to pills, to alcohol even to people – not only Angel’s, but of those around her too. By no means would it be considered a “great work of literature” and at times the plot can seem slow, or those classic deus ex machinas pop up, but I think that these are generally accepted tropes of genre fiction, particularly the pulp trash brand of supernatural horror this book firmly belongs to. It doesn’t give me the same sort of evangelical feeling some books do, but I will be certain to check out the next book in the series – Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues.