Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fiction: Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan

“Forget the cud, they want blood!”

Somehow that coverline puts the nature of Apocalypse Cow (St. Martin’s Griffin), Scottish journalist Michael Logan’s debut novel, into perspective. Because even if you were about to wonder if Logan’s lighthearted tale of a bovine zombie apocalypse was meant seriously, you have to know that any time someone rhymes “blood” and “cud” on any book cover anywhere, someone’s tongue must be jammed firmly into their cheek.

And so it is here. What surprises is that, despite the morbidly screwball presence, Logan’s dark take on mad cow disease is actually surprisingly entertaining.

Apocalypse Cow mines the same vein as the comedic British film that launched Simon Pegg’s career, 2004’s Shaun of the Dead. Like that film, Apocalypse Cow takes a decidedly unfunny premise and (ahem) milks it for all it’s worth, ringing laughter from situations one would not think could hold any. And amid the madness of a plague of cow zombies threatening the future of the world, Logan manages to insert an unexpected stylishness as well as some very real humor: both sly and otherwise.

Let’s face it: a book featuring bovine zombies is not going to have many socially redeeming qualities. But if you’ve ever liked the sort of humor that skates you right to the edge and tries to push you over, this is one that you’re likely to enjoy. ◊

Lincoln Cho is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in the Chicago area where he works in the high tech industry. He is currently working on a his first novel, a science fiction thriller set in the world of telecommunications.

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