The Way of All Flesh by Tim Waggoner
David wakes up to find his town has become a nightmare. He doesn’t remember what happened – but everything is falling apart, his friends and neighbours are now brutal cannibals and terrible demons stalk them. Only a strange teenager who follows him around seems to have answers
Kate knew her brother was dead – nearly everyone is dead in this zombie infested wasteland – but she never expected to come across his zombified body staggering around. She knows she should grant her twin mercy – but he doesn’t seem to be acting the same way most zombies do
I… have no idea how to write this review. I’ve tried to start it several times and I am completely lost.
The Way of All Flesh is… weird. It is unlike everything I’ve ever read before. It kept me reading because I had no idea what was happening, what was real or what the result would be, I kept going because it was mysterious and raised lots of questions and conundrums and had a constant shifting viewpoint that made it so very hard to figure out which character was seeing reality, what was really happening and what the end result would be.
The ending broke through every single guess I made – I didn’t see it coming and I’m still not entirely sure I understand it
That’s not a bad thing. Usually when I say I don’t understand the ending of a book or the plot of the book, it’s an indication of a plot hole or bad characterisation or general shaky writing. This isn’t – the confusion, ambiguity and surreal nature of the book is clearly intentional. It’s a book that demands you pay attention and think, that requires close analysis and a lot of careful re-reading.
On the face of it, we have a zombie apocalypse – a plague (Blacktide) wiped out a huge swathe of humanity and leaving most of the rest as zombies; with only a few non-infected survivors left. Our protagonist is David – a zombie. He desperately tries to figure out what is happening while driven by impossible hunger – guided by a mysterious teenager who seems to have all the answers and a lot of crypticness. David’s vision constantly shifts back and forth between reality – zombies, run down ruin of a town – and an odd zombie vision where humans are monsters and his zombie neighbours seem to be coherent human beings. Coherent cannibals… but coherent still. Because of the way it’s written I do keep doubting which one is the actual truth – or whether either are true or both are true. He staggers through the world, trying to find his family even as he learns more and more about what has happened