Review: STEALING PROPELLER HATS FROM THE DEAD by David James Keaton

I thought I was pretty much finished with zombie fiction for awhile. I’ve read so much of it over the past few years that I’m completely burned out on it. That’s what I thought. Then I saw STEALING PROPELLER HATS FROM THE DEAD. The less than normal title intrigued me and the fact that this is another Perpetual Motion Machine publication made this a book I needed to read.

From the product description on Amazon

sphfdKeatonA collection of horror fiction that’s both a love letter and a middle finger to the zombie saturation of our culture. It’s the backlash to the backlash, as zombies are finally unfashionable enough to be cool again. Inside, you will rehearse end-of-the-world scenarios with the staff of a tourist trap, follow an undead love triangle struggling to survive a tipping point of post-modern, pop-culture references, and enjoy one small apocalypse after another as the living continue to adapt to a new world of the dead, where they’ll finally discover who is hungrier. Don’t let these poor souls dine in vain.

Also includes the irresponsible zombie movie drinking game “Send More Paramedics,” which you can play while you read, drink, drive, and die, over and over again.

—————————————————————————————

If someone were to ask me if David James Keaton was normal, I’d have to say, “No. No he’s definitely  not.”  But when I say that, I mean it in the best of ways. Keaton is extraordinary. His abnormality is his reader’s reward.

In STEALING PROPELLER HATS FROM THE DEAD Keaton is shambling to a whole different tune than all other authors of zombie fiction. In the foreword to the book, David Tallerman says, “Surely it can only be a matter of time before the right editor gets fried with a thousand volts of Keatonesque pulp-literary goodness.” Those last four words pretty much sum up the work of David James Keaton. Keaton has an organic, conversational style that grabs you from the first word of the introduction and doesn’t let go until the last word of the last story. And the introduction is definitely one you should read. I don’t usually read an entire introduction to any book, but I’m really glad I stuck with this one. Not since the early days of Stephen King have I read an introduction so entertaining as to keep me reading to its finish. But this one did. It yanked me in and jettisoned me out the other end with a momentum that didn’t let up until the end of the book. And, as an added bonus, at the end of the book Keaton has included a drinking game that you should never, ever, EVER play.

With surgically deft strokes Keaton cuts to the raw beating heart of humanity in this collection in which one man learns what it means to fish or cut bait, a young woman receives the gift of her dreams, and the hilarious plight of toothless zombies somehow manages to break your heart. STEALING PROPELLER HATS FROM THE DEAD–the title inspiring novella “Zee Bee & Bee” in particular–reads like a b-movie cult classic as imagined by David Lynch and penned by Hemingway.

This is the first book I’ve read by Keaton but it definitely won’t be the last. He’s a precise and thoughtful wordsmith with a flare for the absurd and an eye for vivid imagery that sticks in the mind long after the last words echo into silence. If you only read one book of zombie fiction this year, make it this one and make it soon. Keaton’s book is one of the literary highlights of the year so far.

Buy the book here: http://amzn.to/1WSBQns

Published by: Perpetual Motion Machine 

Learn more about David James Keaton’s work on his Amazon author page and on his website.

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