Review of William Todd Rose’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Infective People”
William Todd Rose is an author who has created several different zombie stories, some of which are available through his website and are intriguing tales of the apocalypse. I had the opportunity to acquire this book from the author at a horror convention last fall, before it was picked up by Permuted Press. For the purpose of full disclosure, the new, Permuted version of the book will have extensive additions compared to the original, which is what I read, as I have discovered through different online outlets. So keep that in mind with this review.
The book itself is relatively short, weighing in at less than 200 pages, but that size serves the story well. I would say the tale is more accurately described as two novellas rather than one novel, with it going back and forth, chapter by chapter, between the two tales. One story is of Bosley Coughlin, a trippy, psychedelic dude who is the narrator of his own tale. Bosley has seen the future…has actually seen quite a bit, because he has passed through the Eye of Aeons after becoming dimensionally unstable. He has seen our future of desolation and despair, where food wars have ripped humanity apart, along with a rise of the undead. He speaks of trying to stop this apocalypse and more specifically, stopping the spread of infection, which has seven telltale signs…The other story is of Ocean, a fourteen year old girl living through the apocalypse. She is desperate, starving, and all alone as her story begins, but soon she is taken in by a group of survivors who seem to be the answer to all her prayers. Bosley is in this story as well, if only because he sees things through Ocean’s eyes as he travels through the dimensions. Bosley wants to save Ocean, but what can he do as a dimensionally unstable being from the past?
Early on in the story I thought Bosley was a bit too trippy for his own good. A dude who was buying too deeply into his own BS, as it were. But as time went on and the two stories running parallel to each other synced up with one another, he seemed less and less trippy and more and more rational-the only rational person around. As a story that has something to do with zombies, there are really very little of them in this tale, but that is not a problem for this fan of zombie fiction, because the pre-apocalyptic world of Bosley and post-apocalyptic world of Ocean are intriguing places to be, and as with all the best zombie stories, the living characters are compelling, interesting, and keep you intrigued from start to finish.
I will be interested to see how Mr. Rose tweaks the final product he is handing off to Permuted Press. Clearly, they saw that this story was very unique and wild ride. I just wonder how much more wild it will get with the new text added.
I would normally provide a link for where you can get the book I’ve reviewed, but the old version has been pulled in anticipation of the new version that Permuted will be releasing. I’m not sure when it will be out, but I am looking forward to checking it out when it does become available.