Title: I Am Scrooge – A Zombie Story for Christmas
Author: Adam Roberts
PublicationDate: 1 Oct 2009
Hardback: 153 pages
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Summary (book cover)
Marley was dead, to begin with… The legendary Ebenezeer Scrooge sits in his house, his riches forgotten. Downstairs, his front door shudders and shakes under the blows from the zombies that crowd around it hungering for his flesh and his miserly braaaaiiiinns!
Just how did the happiest day of the year slip into a welter of blood, innards and shambling, ravenous undead on the snowy streets of old London town? Will the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future be able to stop the world from drowning under a top-hatted and crinolined zombie horde? Does mankind’s survival lie in the hands of one literature’s scrawniest and meanest heros? And is H.G. Wells in the wrong book altogether?
What can I say about this book? It’s certainly different… gory… entertaining. A story based on Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ with brain eating zombies, what’s not to like? Sounds like a great fun read. Well, it was, to a point.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Victorian London and the imagery was really good, I could definitely see the detail in my mind of the zombies gorging on brains. However, there were a lot of jokes with the intention of making the reader laugh which failed for me. After a while they just had my eyes rolling to the heavens and wishing they would just stop coming. It was amusing at first but quickly lost its appeal.
There was also too much going on, with the addition of time-travel thrown into the mix, it made the story a little bit jumbled and hard to follow. The spirits were distinctive though and each one had it’s own way of speaking, as you would think coming from completely different times. But I found Christmas Future difficult to understand. This was completely intentional, as Scrooge couldn’t understand him either and in return Christmas Future had a book-of-phrases to help him communicate and understand Scrooge. This was quite a funny moment in the book and I did appreciate the humour, but then it went too far and I didn’t understanding anything Christmas Future was saying at all:
“‘Nah, nah, nah, nah. My bruv been done gone. I can see wiv eyes, and the third, the third. There’s a bacon on the bush, there’s a chris that crossed, dig dag dug. Speak-n-spell. Get low in the ghetto, the lies buried in da library, ouch!-ouch! is the hierophant of an unapprehended futurity – word!’“
“‘For the jam of shoreline!’ the Spirit said. ‘When you hang with a necker, you hang – yeah? Ain’t no ting, cept when the gin-a-body ups the 8o8, you get me?…’“
No, I don’t, and sadly this is where the story lost me. I kept reading because I rarely give up on a book and I was intrigued as to how it would end. But even that was a bit of a let down.
This book has its moments. As a zombie fan I appreciated the gore and the eating of brains. I really enjoyed the Dickensian atmosphere and at times it did have me smiling. But overall, it was just a bit odd.
This book is from my personal library