In the mood for an unusual zombie romance?
LAST AMAZON PROMO: May 30 to June 3, 2013
LOVE LIES BLEEDING, a novella by relative newcomer Meghan Ciana Doidge, is definitely a "mood read". It has been a long time since I've read anything like it and the term "black comedy" doesn't do it justice. Imagine an Abbott and Costello episode written by Stephen King. Or perhaps Quentin Tarantino's True Romance/Pulp Fiction
meets Night of the Living Dead
If these references quirk your interest, then you'll most likely enjoy the off-beat humor in this book. But I recommend that you read (or re-read) the blurb just prior to starting it. It took me two tries to get into this book, and on the second attempt, re-reading the blurb got me into the proper mindset.
LOVE LIES BLEEDING opens with a hazy, dreamy quality which perfectly reflects the mental and emotional state of Pamela, the female protag, when we first meet her. On what should've been her wedding day, Pamela is instead preparing for her fiancé's funeral. However, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing and no one are as they seem—at least to Pamela. But the dramatis personæ
coming out of the woodworks clearly got the memo.
Her initial suicide attempt foiled, Pamela floats through the bizarre series of events in alternating states of apathy, confusion, terror and resignation, fixated on returning to the cemetery and dying by Grady's grave. Unfortunately, everyone who abducts Pamela is determined to keep her alive long enough to discover Grady's secrets.
But in the end, love does conquer all, even death and the madness of zombie-ism as Pamela eventually gets her heart's desire and reunites with Grady. "And they all lived happily ever after..."
COMMENTS: Another reviewer used the term "poetic" and that's exactly what I thought while reading Chapter 1. However, the writing became less polished in spots further into the story, and in certain scenes, I could discern the novella's origins as a screenplay. In particular, it took me a while to get comfortable with the fluid switches among multiple/simultaneous POVs. Also, there were some editing/proofing errors (but well within the "we're all human" range).
Nonetheless, LOVE LIES BLEEDING was engrossing enough for me to disregard all this and simply enjoy its dark wackiness, choking out an involuntary laugh every now and then.