Wednesday, 18 December 2013

‘Zombo: You Smell Of Crime And I’m The Deodorant!’ Ewing/Flint (Rebellion)

Is it just me or do you sometimes find yourself having the best time reading a book but having no idea what is actually going on? Anyone…? Oh, just me then… :o)
Every so often I’ll come across a book like this, full of everything that I love but with nothing remotely resembling a coherent plot. On the whole, it works for me as sometimes I don’t really want to think about why stuff is happening; I want to be swamped by a ‘tidal wave of things just happening’ (the kind of book that can leave you mentally gasping for breath as you’ve spent so much energy just trying to follow events). This ‘Zombo’ collection is very much that kind of book but it’s also the kind of book where that approach can be really annoying at the same time. Here’s the blurb, copied from elsewhere because I still couldn’t tell you what this book is all about…

When the Government's latest crime deterrent, Obmoz goes completely off the rails and starts to destroy everything from the underfunded super team Planetronix to the president himself, who ya gonna call? Not Zombo, because he s dead and not in a zombie-type of dead way, but in a brain-melted-by-laser kinda way! Now the only thing standing between mankind and total annihilation is a male stripper and a well-padded pair of underpants! I don't think we’re going to make it...

‘You Smell Of Crime’ is undoubtedly a lot of fun to read, both in terms of all the crazy mad stuff going on and the fact that Henry Flint is clearly the natural choice for art duties on this particular tale. He’s a man more than capable of rising up to the challenges raised by Al Ewing’s fevered imagination. It’s Al Ewing that’s the problem here for me though. Sorry Al but that’s the way it is. I could just about get on with Ewing’s ‘chuck it all in the mix and hit blend’ approach to ‘Zombo’, it may be hit and miss but the ‘hits’ more than make up for the misses (even though the book feels horribly unbalanced as a result). What I wasn’t keen on, at all, was the constant repetition of jokes that were clearly meant to be ‘one offs’. Once was funny, twice was less so, more than that was just tedious at times (especially when they were emphasised at the expense of the plot, a poor undernourished thing left cowering in a corner while crazy stuff happened around it).

Die hard ‘Zombo’ fans probably ‘get’ this in a way that I just can’t right now. With that said, I think they’ll love ‘You Smell Of Crime’ (this is a late review so they are more than likely loving it already) but it’s a book operating on a wavelength that I can’t seem to tune into. Shame that, I quite enjoyed the first volume.

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