Zombie 00: A Fable

Brad Gooch, Author, Brad Gouch, Author Overlook Press $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-58567-043-7
Zombies, as we all know, are made, not born. But in Gooch's (City Poet) weirdly blas tale of sadomasochism and bondage, the unnamed narrator appears to possess zombie qualities from a very young age. On a visit to a museum in Scranton, Pa., with his parents, he is mesmerized by grainy, gray anthropological photographs of pain and abasement on display in the voodoo room. Soon afterwards, Mark, a sadistic 15-year-old, christens the younger boy ""Zombie"" and makes him his willing personal slave. Zombie performs simple tasks like sharpening pencils, but he is also sent on dangerous assignments that result in beatings by older bullies. The ensuing tale is Zombie's search for the ""most colorful master."" In high school Zombie is put to work by a hood named Mitch and his girlfriend, Paulette, who start a small crime wave. Eventually, Zombie gets caught vandalizing a funeral home and is kicked out of the house by his dad. Making his way to New York City, he discovers the subculture of s&m clubs, where he meets Sir Edward, M.D. Sir Edward is a drug dealer and a very willing sadist, as is his nephew, an aspiring wrestler with the improbable moniker Wseal64735. But Sir Edward goes too far one night, and Zombie moves on to a bodybuilding public access cable performer named Control Freak. Control Freak is not the ""most colorful master,"" either, but he does give Zombie a one-way ticket to Haiti, where Zombie finally gets lucky. Gooch takes his hero's search for perfect zombiehood seriously. Sexually adventurous readers might find themselves genuinely sympathetic to Zombie's quest, and at times even amused by his search for the perfect balance between fear and worship. However, this far-from-the-mainstream saga is not for the faint of heart. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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