No, that’s not a typo. There actually is a book called Apocalypse Cow. Yes, there are zombie cows, but there are also zombie whatever animal you can think of.
You see, I am not a fan of zombies. In fact, anything with zombies in it is the last thing I’d touch. So, you might be thinking why did I end up reading this book in the first place? Two reasons: 1. It’s about zombie livestock. Since when do you see that? and 2. It was the winner of the Terry Pratchett Prize. Since I love Terry Pratchett I had to give this book a go.
The plot is a cow somehow turns into a zombie and infects all the livestock in Britain (insert mad cow disease joke here.) The heroes of the book are, according to the back of the book , “an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thanks to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his maths teacher, and an inept journalist who wouldn’t recognize a scoop if she tripped over one.”
Before you say anything, yes, the author is British and this book is a comedy. Basically, Shawn of the Dead with cows.
First off, is it funny? There is some humor, but it is British humor and most of it requires some knowledge of what’s going on in England. If you know both then, yes, the jokes are funny. The vegan teenager is only vegan because his hippie mom forces him to. The kid would like nothing more than to wear cotton and denim and eat a greasy deep fried triple bacon cheeseburger (yes, that exists.) The abattoir worker is the “I hate my job” blue collar worker and the journalist is obviously a jab at BBC journalists.
The characters themselves are portrayed pretty well, are memorable and will make you laugh.
As for the story, it does take some time to get started. When it does, it’s the typical zombie survival story about survivors trying to survive and they get killed one by one. The only difference here, just Like Shawn of the Dead, you care about there characters and you get a few laughs out of it. One of the laughs is the zombie virus. Not only does it turn the animals into “BRAINS!” craving killing machines, it also makes them super horny.
Yes, super horny. As in, they want some lovin’. There’s even a scene where a character (male) gets gored and gets it in the you-know-what at the same time. It’s…a hard scene to read.
In any event, this is one of the rare zombie stories that is actually worth reading once to see what the hullabaloo is all about. It’s no masterpiece, it’s not groundbreaking nor is it literary. What it is is different and when it comes to zombies we want different instead of Dawn of the Dead knockoff #951.