Every Sigh, The End

February 7, 2008

 

 

Every Sigh, The End, by Jason S. Hornsby.

 

Cross Bret Easton Ellis’ Glamorama in particular with Dawn Of The Dead and you get an inkling of what this one is like. The author’s style is very reminiscent of Ellis’ authorial voice, as noted in the frontal acknowledgements. Which means that if you have something against Ellis — and a lot of people do, largely for American Psycho but often just because they look at his writing style as dead and nihilistic (I disagree, but that’s a subject for a different entry) — you’ll probably hate this, or not read it, on general principles.

Which would be a shame as it’s utterly gripping, incredibly complex and very satisfying.

The story is told from the first-person POV of a superficially-typical Ellis character: Ross, a twenty-something, relatively monied slacker type whose life mainly consists of predominantly of parties and interrelations with his equally jaded friends, lovers, etc. However, even from the beginning you can tell things are just that little bit off… it’s closing in on New Year’s Eve in 1999, and the world is full of Millennium Bug paranoia, and our protagonist has a different but associated form of paranoia going on. Why does he keep seeing people filming him on street corners? Why are there zombies lurking in the shadows unnoticed by everyone else, with makeup and scene-setting people in tow, who occasionally lurch to astounding violent life and devour random bystanders for real? Why are the roads around his city being slowly, stealthily closed off? And come to that, who exactly are his family and friends… because they’re definitely not who he thinks they are.

As New Year’s Eve closes in and the city streets begin to resemble an apocalyptic movie set, as more and more zombies have their make-up touched up and then are released, as the attacks move out of the shadows and into the mainstream and the real blood begins to flow, dispassionately filmed at close quarters by faceless men in radiation suits that somehow don’t seem to get attacked…

It’s very hard to categorize this. Just rest assured that none of it is what you would expect: leave any and all preconceptions at the door, and settle in for a hell of a harrowing, surreal, conspirational and sometimes metaphysical ride. Ellis and zombies, mix and blend into something utterly other — who would’ve thought? With this book, zombie fiction has stumbled out of its niche level and is, quite frankly, verging on literature.

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Every Sigh, The End”

  1. Jason S Hornsby Says:

    Thank you for the positive review! You made my day. I only hope everyone is as satisfied with my new novel as they seem to be with ESTE. I’m keeping my proverbial fingers crossed.

  2. sarcade Says:

    Not a problem. Out of a whole series of zombie-themed novels I bought recently almost on a whim, this was by far the best, and in fact one of the best books I’d read in the past 12 months.

    Cheers. Looking forward to your next.


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