Mark Henry’s HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED

You’ve seen it before: authors blurbing other books, claiming ‘I wish I’d written this’. Seems kind of hyperbolic, I know. But then I experienced it. This 300-something-page tome shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did to read. This is my fault because as I started reading, mood-killers kicked in: jealousy, envy and that dreadful thing that’s summed up as ‘emo’. I did not want to feel this way, so for the first half of the book I read only in short sessions. For the uninitiated, I’m only an occasional fiction writer. Still, Mark Henry’s writing is so all-encompassingly engaging that I started hating my work and myself, lalala (emo).

Meet Seattle’s supernatural elite, including zombie Amanda Feral. A different take on the myth, the author’s zombies can only drink alcohol and eat people if they want to stay alive without the assistance of Depends undergarments. They have terrible skin that requires mortuary-heavy makeup to look vaguely human and alive. They’re not the stone-faced, unemotional creatures popularised in films.

The gang has a mystery on their hands when a friend calls for help and goes missing. If you’re familiar with the phrase ‘don’t go there’, Amanda generally does ‘go there’. But surprisingly doesn’t eat the babies. That really surprised me, because I so thought she’d eat the babies. Why did she not eat the babies?

But the real mystery is finding out who’s responsible for an outbreak of ‘mistake’ zombies. But really, Amanda Feral is the new Stephanie Plum in that you’re really reading for the characters, not the mystery – though those parts were enjoyable, too ;-)

Mark Henry is the new author you’ll love to hate because:

1. He’s created fully formed characters with truly memorable personalities
2. He’s genuinely funny (as opposed to just trying to be funny)
3. He gives zombies new life
4. He makes other authors’ supposedly edgy and feisty heroines just seem lame in comparison
5. He makes use of footnotes in the most entertaining way (I’m talkin’ anal, bitches. Don’t be coy.)
6. He gets away with meandering from the mystery plot
7. He gets away with info dump in dialogue (which Amanda calls ‘interludes’)
8. He lists cocktail recipes, bowling team names and set lists
9. He’s so friendly that you can’t actually hate him
10. He’s so well-versed in the female mind that you have to remind yourself that he ain’t got no va-jay-jay (That phrase wasn’t actually in the book, but it sums up the author quite succinctly.)

Those with low self-esteem be warned: you may feel like your own work sucks (in comparison, at least). But it’s still worth a read; priceless, really. Road Trip of the Living Dead can’t come soon enough.

Have a lovely day! :-)

Tez Miller

P.S. See photos of my cat Manny with the cover-flat-wrapped ARC here, here, here and here.

P.P.S. Read my interview with Mark Henry here.

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13 comments on “Mark Henry’s HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED

  1. When I was reading it, I kept sending messages to his Facebook wall about the footnotes. Freaking loved the footnotes! And now I can never enter a Starbucks again, LOL.

  2. Wow. This is the first review I’ve read in some time that’s actually MAKING me order the book right now. Sounds fantastic and uh, scary. I hate it when I get jealous reading other writers. And I do. ;)

  3. Okay I haven’t read the book, but I met the person behind it and with this review I am just jealous right now. I am reading this book! Tez you brainwash people into buying books. The world still has hopes to be intellectually saved.

  4. *nods*

    Yep, that was exactly my reaction, too.

    That he ain’t got no va-jay-jay? I kind of doubted his gender for a little while ;-)

    A.J. – I’ve deliberately avoided Starbuck’s, as I prefer to support other places. I like Gloria Jean’s :-)

    Rinda – Exactly. Though I still think those “I wish I’d written it” blurbs are hyperbolic, mine is for real. Seriously, I should’ve got this read really quickly, if it weren’t for my emo-trip.

    Dear Harry, Tez is not intellectual – note why I don’t write proper reviews; I just write thoughts ;-)

    Release date is February 26, folks. Get pre-ordering!

    Have a lovely day! :-)

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  6. Glad you enjoyed my review, Robert :-) Not really a professional review (more like random thoughts), but it makes me stand out from other reviewers ;-)

    Have a lovely day! :-)

  7. I’ve read a bunch of good urban fantasy lately, including another great debut (Strout) but really…Henry is so engaging and original everyone should take a look.

  8. Hey, TM :-) I’m currently reading Dead to Me, and should finish it and have a review this weekend.

    I know I did 10 reasons why we love to hate Mr Henry, but I can’t hate him, because he’s nice to little me ;-)

    Have a lovely day! :-)

  9. I like the premise of the story. I laugh a lot during the reading. I have one problem; it reads like a man writing about a woman.

  10. Pingback: Desert Island Interview: Mark Henry « Ciaralira

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