Life & Laughing

Every now and again I get the urge to read something outside of my beloved fiction.  As I noted last time, I don’t often do this as I prefer the escapism of make believe.  I don’t like to read about reality… I live there already!

As before though, it was an autobiography that struck my interest, by another of my favourite comedians – Michael McIntyre.  I eagerly watch anything on TV with him in it, including repeats, because I find his sense of humour and quirky style hilarious.  I did wonder if I would find his writing as funny but was also interested in how his career came about, because it seemed almost as if he was an overnight discovery, plucked from obscurity like a comedic Susan Boyle.

The truth is far from it.  I had no idea how hard he’d fought to get where he is, how personal circumstance and sheer bad luck almost prevented him from being the phenomenon we now know and love, which would have been a crime.  His writing is as funny as his stand-up but with extra depth and emotion.  He’s not having to be a live wire for ten minutes or a couple of hours here and as he took me through his life, both funny times and sad, I learned a lot about the man and where he came from.  He holds nothing back in this frank outpouring (all I’ll say is puberty!) and there are many laugh out loud moments that you can just imagine from his descriptions. The photo’s are interesting, seeing Michael at different ages, but his captions and anecdotes really bring them to life.

The book was so engaging I couldn’t put it down and when I’d finished, I immediately wanted to find the audiobook just to hear it in his unique voice.

An all round funny, touching and highly recommended account of the life (so far!) of a comedy genius.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Michael McIntyre
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Flip This Zombie

Flip this Zombie follows directly on from the events in Married With Zombies.

Sarah and David have lived through the initial outbreak and not only survived but saved their marriage too.  They have even become rather good at the survival game, so much so, they set up as Zombiebusters Extermination Inc. and travel to different survivor camps, looking for jobs (no zombie too squishy!) and any news of the mythical MidWest wall.

David and Sarah are still brilliant characters, solid and realistic and I absolutely love their sense of humour.  With their world gone to hell, they still manage to hang on to their sanity although David struggles more in this book.  They still have their arguments and react like anyone would, but also realise extreme reactions could get them killed.  I have to point out as well that I mentioned the first book was told from the perspective of both of the main characters but it’s actually from Sarah’s point of view, and she is wonderfully snarky.

There are a couple of additional characters in this book who stood out;  ‘The Kid’ is obnoxious but smart as hell and provides a great counterpoint to David and Sarah,  Jimmy No-Toes who has them collecting Zombie heads and finally Barnes, the not-mad scientist who gives them their biggest and most dangerous job to date. There are others but those three stood out the most for me.

The pace and story are very similar to the first book and since I read Flip this Zombie straight after, it felt like I was just reading a much larger book.  This one does have a slight twist at the end that almost had me in tears and I thought both twist and the repercussions were very well done.

I meant to mention book length in the first review – Although the books are short and a reasonably quick read, you still have time to get invested in the characters. I think they are both the perfect length for a light fast read.  With teeth and squishy bits.

As entertaining, funny and macabre as the first book and a worthy sequel!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Jesse Petersen
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Married with Zombies

Married with Zombies is a fresh, fun, and very gory look at the Zombie apocalypse!

It’s told from the perspective of David and Sarah, a normal Seattle couple, and how the arguments and annoyances of everyday life have left them on the brink of divorce. When they turn up for their next marriage counselling session, they find their therapist literally eating her favourite clients.

What follows is an often funny, and extremely squishy tale of how they survive. Surviving the outbreak, and neighbours arriving to snack on them, leads them to work together for the first time in a long time.  Killing zombies might just save what six months of counselling hadn’t; their marriage.

The tone of the book flips back and forward between very funny and very macabre in very few words, and that is a huge part of the charm.   In amongst that are moments that made me want to cry and their timing had maximum impact (no pun intended).

The characters are so realistic and well written, you instantly like them, even when they are bickering about all the usual things that couples do.  When they finally realise what is going on, I felt the shock, the surreality, and the laugh or you-will-go-stark-raving-mad situations right along with them and they didn’t let go of me until the end of the book.

The zombies themselves were unsurprisingly a major part of the book and some of the descriptions were very entertaining;  messy with quite a major ick factor.  I liked that Petersen used the ‘accepted’ rules for them and also didn’t attempt to explain ‘how and why’ other than the inital ‘where’.

The plot is actually very simple and follows what I think a lot of people would do in this scenario.  First and foremost, survive the initial outbreak, then attempt to contact or find relatives.  Try to remember everything you can from zombie movies you’ve watched,  you never know when it comes in handy and finally, everything can be a weapon if used creatively enough!

A very entertaining zombie rom-com, that I think a lot of fans of different genres will enjoy.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Jesse Petersen
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)