Review of L.A. Taylor’s “Morgue of the Dead”
Morgue of the Dead sort of reminds me of the movie “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie”, which is also known as “The Living Dead from Manchester Morgue”…at least at the outset of this tale. We are introduced to a small, innocent village in England that has experienced a violent bank robbery, but while that serves as a lead in to the main story, it seems to disappear as a plot point as the rest of this tale is related. Where this story reminds me of the previously mentioned movie is with the introduction of the living dead-they come about from a potent fertilizer mix that is being tested in this farm community, which is somewhat similar to how the dead begin to rise in the movie. This fertilizer saturates the ground and brings the buried dead back to life. From there on out, mayhem ensues on this quiet little village.
The author provides his audience with plenty of gruesome zombie thrills and a few attempts at creating a joke or two where the zombies retain some semblance of intelligence and can scribble notes or even dance along to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, though I though those aspects of the story served more as a distraction than as real humorous asides. I believe that the author does have the fundamentals of an interesting zombie tale here, though there were some editing issues that made certain parts of the story challenging for me. The dialog didn’t flow all that smoothly from person to person, and some of the conversations were a bit jumpy and confusing. Another aspect of this story that served as a significant distraction was the classic “show vs. tell” that every writer struggles with from time to time. This story unfolds with a lot of telling the reader every last detail about each character, about what they are thinking, how they feel, their background, and so forth, whether they are a main character or a bit player, rather that showing the reader how the characters react, letting their actions and dialog tell us the story and let us form our own perceptions about everything else. It felt as if the story was overloaded in that regard-I could have done with less detail on everything going on with every character-sometimes discovering things for yourself as a reader is the most satisfying part of reading a story. Even if your perception of a particular character is different than that of the author.
I don’t want to give the impression that this story didn’t have entertainment value, because I feel that it does. The author isn’t bashful about providing us with plenty of gore and violent action that will keep fans of zombie stories on their toes from scene to scene. As a zombie fan, I can appreciate a story like this, but I always feel it is only fair to point out where I feel things could have been improved in the telling of the tale.
Morgue of the Dead can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/M-D-MORGUE-DEAD-L-TAYLOR/dp/1445735989/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1290400740&sr=1-1