The Zombie Autopsies by Stephen C Schlozman, MD — book review

The Zombie Autopsies by Stephen C Schlozman, MD. Bantam Press ‘12.99.

Reviewed by Jim Steel

Ever since Romero gene-spliced voodoo myth with the zombie Ur-text of Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids to create the modern zombie apocalypse, there has always been a reluctance to look too closely in case the whole shambling edifice falls apart beneath the hard stare of the observer. Luckily the survivors are normally too busy shooting zombies in the head to question the science behind it.

But what if a doctor were to approach the problem scientifically? And Schlozman really is a MD, so this short novel does have an air of authenticity. The core of the book consists of the recovered diary of a scientist on a research island who is trying to discover how the disease is spread. As his doomed team collapses around him, they continue with ‘autopsies’ on ‘living’ zombies (who, chillingly, are the previous team of researchers).

Doctor Blum – surely named for Michael Blumlein, the greatest of medical horror writers ‘ goes into delightfully clinical detail on pH and prions, bone clippers and Stryker saws, all the while advancing the plot towards the inevitable end. Blum doesn’t find the answer, but his team gets very close and the disease becomes a believable horror for even the most jaded of readers. Blum’s diary is followed by copious appendixes featuring UN reports and more ‘found’ texts, filling out the scale and cause of the disaster.

The book is slightly over-designed which probably helped to bulk out a low wordage. The diary section is reproduced in a hand-written font in weathered pages while there are copious drawings from one of Blum’s team (in reality by Andrea Sparacio) which are best described as functional rather than aesthetic. Schlozman’s lengthy acknowledgements are hilarious.

The Zombie Autopsies by Stephen C Schlozman, MD. Bantam Press ‘12.99.

Reviewed by Jim Steel

Ever since Romero gene-spliced voodoo myth with the zombie Ur-text of Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids to create the modern zombie apocalypse, there has always been a reluctance to look too closely in case the whole shambling edifice falls apart beneath the hard stare of the observer. Luckily the survivors are normally too busy shooting zombies in the head to question the science behind it.

But what if a doctor were to approach the problem scientifically? And Schlozman really is a MD, so this short novel does have an air of authenticity. The core of the book consists of the recovered diary of a scientist on a research island who is trying to discover how the disease is spread. As his doomed team collapses around him, they continue with ‘autopsies’ on ‘living’ zombies (who, chillingly, are the previous team of researchers).

Doctor Blum – surely named for Michael Blumlein, the greatest of medical horror writers ‘ goes into delightfully clinical detail on pH and prions, bone clippers and Stryker saws, all the while advancing the plot towards the inevitable end. Blum doesn’t find the answer, but his team gets very close and the disease becomes a believable horror for even the most jaded of readers. Blum’s diary is followed by copious appendixes featuring UN reports and more ‘found’ texts, filling out the scale and cause of the disaster.

The book is slightly over-designed which probably helped to bulk out a low wordage. The diary section is reproduced in a hand-written font in weathered pages while there are copious drawings from one of Blum’s team (in reality by Andrea Sparacio) which are best described as functional rather than aesthetic. Schlozman’s lengthy acknowledgements are hilarious.