These zombies crave bacon, not brains, in a humorous adventure ripe with keen social observations.
Adam Lewis Schroeder’s latest, All-Day Breakfast, latches onto the modern zombie fascination and spins a sardonically humorous allegorical takedown of modern corporate greed, military interventionism, and environmental ignorance.
Substitute teacher Peter Giller takes his Hoover High class to visit nearby Dockside Synthetics, a plastics manufacturer in rural Nebraska. There occurs the zombie-generating accident: kids, teacher, and chaperone are splashed with pink globs of transformative goop. The newly minted zombies have an insatiable lust for bacon—not brains. Bacon’s nasty nitrites are key, repairing things like bullet holes through the shoulder. With Peter, students, and chaperone Colleen trailed by shadowy figures, the quest for a cure ranges across Nebraska to Ohio, then to a lab in California before returning to Nebraska.
Peter is a likable a guy who treasures his two kids, especially since he’s been gut-punched by his wife’s recent cancer death. What sets him apart is his clear-eyed yet empathetic view of his high schoolers, zombies or regulars, accepting of quirks and mouthiness, remaining ever loyal and protective of them, especially a boy regularly abused by his father.
The zombie-inducing pink goop is the invention of villainous Kirk Penzler, who discovered a “Bedouin cure-all no one had ever heard of, a kind of gum, a sap” while serving in the first Gulf War. Chewed, it restores tendons, ligaments, and even bone. Penzler’s chemists have warped the exotic gum into an injectable additive to make soldiers into super-soldiers, “Enhanced Personnel,”—let’s not mention armed flying monkeys—for the United States’ latest military expedition against the Congo’s brutal LRA.
Lacing his narrative with sly humor and keen social observations, Schroeder offers solid character development, neat turns of phrase—“I hit the turn signal with philanthropic gravity”—and catchy, often surrealistically humorous, dialogue as human parts fall off and get stapled or nailed back on.
With the type of villain we all love to hate—rich folks driving money-hungry megacorporations to corrupt big government—Schroeder’s penned a zombie adventure ripe with social commentary yet plausible enough to engage non-fantasy fans.
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