“American movies always have a happy ending. Life is a tragedy: You’re born, you live, you die.”
These are the cynical words which are told to our protagonist, Joshua Levin, an aspiring screenplay writer. The reader is zapped into a roller coaster journey and can only watch amazed as Joshua struggles to write a horror story called Zombie Wars, while his personal life turns into a comic tragedy. One does try to be sympathetic to his plight, but finds themselves uncontrollably smiling at the ensuing hilarity.
The book starts on a somewhat sober tone, and then escalates into a series of bizarre and twisted events, for instance a psychotic war veteran breaking into Joshua’s apartment for no reason, a cat who suffers at the hands of an angry immigrant, or Joshua getting involved with a married Bosnian woman, encountering a Samurai, and a desert storm. Throughout the novel, Hemon creates a parallel between Joshua’s miserable life and attempts at screenplay writing, juxtaposed with references to the ongoing Iraqi war. There is violence aplenty in the novel, for gore lovers. Hemon seems to take exceptional joy in describing the brutality inflicted on his characters, but still managing to miraculously delight his readers.
The Making of Zombie Wars is a brilliant and electrifying read, dealing with themes that very few authors could have executed with the same finesse and style that Hemon possesses.
Title: The Making of Zombie Wars
Author: Aleksandar Hemon
Publisher: Pan Macmillan India
Price: US $21.68 (Hardcover)