South African Zombie Apocalypse: A nauseating tale redeemed
JOURNAL OF A SOUTH AFRICAN ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE by Lee Herrmann (Tall Tales)
The cover is horrible and my initial response to the hideous imagery and the graphic, nausea-inducing descriptions of violence and horror in the early chapters made me want to get rid of this book as fast as I could.
But, persisting, as a reviewer must, I recognised that, at another level, it is a story of courage, devotion and self-sacrifice, which holds some lessons for the teenagers who might be attracted initially by just those elements I found most distasteful. It is billed as a coming-of-age story in a South Africa in which a mysterious virus has killed millions, turning them into zombies who roam the streets attacking the few survivors.
As though that isn’t enough, some of those survivors have become Raiders, stealing and murdering at will. Sixteen-year-old Kon, his father and younger brother have survived for two years, barricaded in their Pretoria home, but, running out of food and threatened by Raiders, they resolve to escape and make their way (on foot) to the only reputed safe haven in the country … Robben Island. As they travel others join their pilgrimage.
Friendships are made, difficulties are encountered and sometimes overcome and, in the end, the surviving members of the small band reach their destination. It is a well-told tale.