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Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies…

Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies

by Jessica Robinson

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
*I received a free .pdf copy of this book for the purpose of review.*

Jessica Robinson loves zombie movies. It’s a palpable, beautiful thing as she takes on our current cultural obsession with Zombies. I share that obsession, and while I appreciate what she tried to do with this book, all I wanted after the book was finished was a zombie movie marathon. Which isn’t a bad thing – I love a good marathon. But I had hoped for more.

And I almost got it – Robinson does spend some of the book discussing real-world issues, like pathogens and resources. She talks to scientists and local authorities. I especially love the section about the water treatment plant. There is even a section on Haitian Zombis and the medicinal methods of creating a zombie, and how much that depends on the culture of those dosed.

But the book is poorly organized, flipping into a subject, just to flip out and say that it’ll be discussed later. And the use of zombie movies to illustrate the point ended up being clunky; I didn’t need a ramble of names, situations, and movies to make the point. I also was thrown out of the flow too often by statements that made me uncomfortable. For example, scientists are compared to Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper. She then uses that to show that scientists lack empathy and would have problems remembering to consider the effects on the human race when pursuing their scientific studies. I didn’t like the gross generalization.

"Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies" is an interesting book. I can’t say I wasted my time by reading it. But I think I would have gotten more out of just watching the zombie movies and TV shows listed and enjoying my own obsession.
  hrafnskuld | Dec 10, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book free for an honest review.
This book reads like a college book. I enjoyed parts of it and she has some interesting points. I wish she would have delved more into book culture but do not think she researched that part much. It took me a long time to finish. ( )
  caulret | Aug 27, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There's no denying that Jessica Robinson has an obsession with zombies, and that said obsession is shared by people of many ages in many parts of the world ... myself included.

Proof of her obsession can be found in the time and effort that obviously went into research for, and writing of her book, "Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies." My reading of the book, however, left my own obsession unsated ... which is not necessarily the fault of the book ... obsessions, after all, can be very, VERY personal matters.

Robinson traces the start of her obsession with viewing George Romero's 1968 classic "Night of the Living Dead," filmed just a few hours' drive west of the movie theater in Pennsylvania where my own obsession was launched by watching the same film. Yet, in spite of the importance she places upon such films - she begins the first chapter of her book with the line, "Zombie films serve as a great lens to examine concerns society has about modern science." - most of the ensuing examination relies upon a surprisingly limited repertoire of films, and a television series.

And that's a shame, because much of what she cites is used to address another obsession of hers ... "our fears of science and what could happen if science gets out of hand." And while that is a good discussion in and of itself, little or no attention is paid to films that address the fun of zombies ... yes, the FUN.

True, Robinson does refer briefly to films such as "Zombieland" and "Warm Bodies" that manage to find the humor of life in a zombie apocalypse ... but those references are selective and address our fear of science, and authority, and so on. I can't help but wonder why a host of funny/campy/silly films - from "Juan of the Dead" to Fido," from "Redneck Zombies" to "Poultrygeist," from "Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies to (my all-time favorite) "Shaun of the Dead" - were left out of the mix.

What if zombie films not only stoke the fires of our fear of science, and our resentment of authority ... what if they also tickle our funny bone? I really, really, REALLY wish Robinson could have spent more time on the fun of zombies, and less time on long, detailed and (for me) numbing descriptions of the science and technology of zombie/virus transmission.

Perhaps Robinson will again tackle zombies in a book, and MAYBE have a little FUN ... I will keep an eye out for it, and I most certainly WILL read it. ( )
  JeffMcDonald | Feb 20, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a copy of this work in exchange for a review.

I may have come to this book with expectations different from the author's intentions. I was expecting a work in the vein of most scholarly cultural studies books, those I studied as a student and used in my own classrooms. In other words, one where the texts under examination are studied closely and deeply to evidence what the writer is claiming they are saying about society or culture. Some of the best examples have been in the area of film and feminism. These require some theoretical foundation for much of the readings which follow.

In contrast, this book mentions zombie movies and television shows more as a jumping off point to discuss the science itself behind what struck the writer as curious. In other words, as if there were assignments in a basic science course that required the students to assess whether the science as used was correct and what science/technology is in place that might address such issues. This is not a work in the cultural studies realm but more in the pop science realm, which was not what I was expecting. Perhaps the promotional pieces should make that aspect clearer.

Having said all that, the writing was easy enough to follow and for someone more interested in the basic science of, say, water treatment might find the book more to their liking. ( )
  pomo58 | Feb 3, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book free for an honest review.

This book reads like a student paper. Multiple "what i'm going to talk about is..." sentences, and a lot of examples and not a lot of substance. While the author has good examples, and a lot of facts it's not an interesting read and i finally gave up because of the student paper style. ( )
1 vote CurlyQueL | Jan 28, 2015 |
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