The Infects gets a STARRED REVIEW from BCCB, a journal that goes to every library and school in the country. Huge!
Beaudoin, Sean The Infects.
Candlewick, 2012 [384p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-7636-5947-9 $16.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-7636-6211-0 $16.99 Reviewed from galleys R* Gr. 9-12
Nick’s job at the local chicken plant ends in disaster when he stabs his hand and jams up a conveyor belt, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. Presuming his actions were deliberate, the court sentences him to a wilderness trek with a group of other youthful offenders, where, on the very first night, his counselors mysteriously turn into crazed flesh-eating zombies. Nick and those few other who haven’t been munched on take off, but before long the group is divided: should they run or fight? Conflict ensues, complicated by the fact that Nick’s crush, who has also found herself sentenced to wilderness hijinks, has been zombie-bitten but hasn’t turned. Beaudoin fans will recognize themes (a sharp critique of unreflective consumerism), rhetorical style (razor-sharp, sophisticated, darkly inflected wit), plot concerns (manic twists, moral complications that are likely unresolvable), and character types (including a tough protagonist with a heart of gold, his sharp but vulnerable autistic sister, and some misguided and evil adults) from his previous works. For those unfamiliar with his work, it’s an impressively cerebral and engaging entry in zombie lit, offering a self-conscious parody of the conventions of the genre that focuses attention on the underlying cultural forces that make the zombie such a compelling symbol in the contemporary imagination. It is the zombie novel only Beaudoin could write, an allusive horror novel that engages in philosophical, social, and humanist critique while providing plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. KC