cover image The Last Weekend

The Last Weekend

Nick Mamatas. Skyhorse/Night Shade, $15.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-59780-842-2

Mamatas's wisecracking philosophical undead opus vivisects genre stereotypes and moral preconceptions with viciousness and style. Failed writer Vasilis, a driller for the infected city of San Francisco, battles a cultural and literal wasteland of reanimated dead folks and "social isolates, the outsiders [and] the third-shifters" in a literary slap to the American Dream. Encountering mentally ill zombies, grieving clients, and renegade scientists, Vasilis struggles to retain his life and sanity as he becomes involved with sex-craving Yvette and revolutionary hothead Alexa. The living soon prove far more dangerous than the dead, and hearts rot as easily as reanimated flesh as he investigates the secret political mechanisms of his city. This cocktail of cynicism, sex, and sadism reinforces splatter theatrics with glimpses into human cruelty, ignorance, and general pathos. The "us against them" and "us against us" motifs are familiar, but the focused intimacy and sustainable dark humor will delight both zombie fans and readers looking for some moral questioning and emotional substance. Agent: Alec Shane, Writers House. (Jan.)