Released: September 2011
Publisher: Chronicle Books
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Synopsis: Post Secret meets World War Z in this chilling vision of the fallout following a global zombie pandemic. A gradual mutation of a virulent strain of super flu gives rise to millions of the undead, who quickly overwhelm treatment facilities and swarm cities around the world, leaving survivors on their own against a legion of the infected. This chilling story is told through the scraps of paper, scrawled signs, and cryptic markers left by survivors as they struggle to stay alive and find those they ve lost in a world overrun by zombies. Through these found notes and messages letters to loved ones, journal fragments, confessions, and warnings readers can uncover the story of what went wrong, and come to know the individual voices of those affected by the zombie crisis.
When I was a pre-teen, I was a horror novel fanatic. Each trip to the library, I would bring home a stack of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books or Give Yourself Goosebumps (a choose your own adventure series) and devour them in one sitting. I’m not sure if I burned myself out or what, but I drifted away from this beloved genre shortly after puberty, and I haven’t looked back since (with the exception of Rot & Ruin and Dearly, Departed). This season though, I felt particularly festive and brought home stacks of spooky novels and two bags of candy corn (mostly untouched at this point and no, I don’t know why I thought two bags of candy corn was necessary). Not all the books I read gave me the heebie-jeebies, but they all succeeded in making me feel excited to celebrate October. Of course, all the 31 days/13 days of Halloween specials on teevee help, too (ABC Family has Hocus-Pocus and Casper on heavy rotation at the end of October, in case you’re a fan).
I was actually a little weary when I started this project. I’m such a moody reader, so I wasn’t sure how well I would be able to stick to my plan. Fortunately, my library book choices are usually a win. Plus, I had a diverse mix of novels/graphic novels/genres to keep me entertained. The first book I cracked open was Dead Inside: Do Not Enter. In my post title, I’ve called it a coffee table book, although I’m uncertain of the type of person that would feature this on their coffee table. I would say myself, but I don’t have a coffee table, so it just sort of sat on the floor until my next library visit. Goodreads calls it a graphic novel. It’s both? Anyone could be entertained as they flipped to random pages to find photographs of notes scrawled on napkins or cardboard scraps. Yet, the artwork in this book is sequential, and it does tell a grim and heartbreaking story about humanity falling apart one zombie bite at a time. This book contains artwork and inspiration from the Lost Zombies website– a social media site that encouraged users to set up a profile and upload audio, video, and photographs to contribute to the Lost Zombie timeline. Unfortunately, the Lost Zombies community is more dead than the antagonists in this book (ie. the website is defunct). Dead Inside: Do Not Enter was a fun read though, and although it is brief to the point where I almost felt guilty adding it to my Goodreads Challenge, it would be a spooktacular gift for the zombie lover in your life (even if they don’t have coffee tables).