Monday, February 20, 2006

Gil's All-Fright Diner

Book: Gil's All-Fright Diner
Author: A. Lee Martinez
Published: 2005

On a quiet night, two men stop in a diner in the middle of Texas nowhere. As Duke and Earl are eating their meal, they look around to see zombies pressed up against the plate-glass window. The waitress says, "Aw, damn. Not tonight."

Welcome to Rockwood County, where they haven't had this kind of trouble since . . . oh, let's see now . . . last Wednesday. It's particularly annoying for Loretta, who's trying as hard as she can to keep her diner open even though it gets wrecked by zombies every other night. Life can be so hard for the small business owner.

Luckily, Duke's a werewolf and Earl is a vampire, and they have a little more experience than they'd care to admit in cleaning up craziness of this nature. Which is good, because they're up against Mistress Lilith, the Queen of the Night (AKA Tammy), who is damn well going to bring about the Apocolypse. And she doesn't care what her stupid boyfriend wants, it's gonna happen before graduation.

Should be interesting.

From the moment I met Duke and Earl, the undead drinking beer and driving a pickup truck, I realized this wasn't going to be your everyday horror novel. No opera capes, that is for sure. It's a bumpy, twisty, loopy ride through the possible end of the world, complete with adventure, romance, ghost doggies, and tentacular visitors. Also diner food.

The greatest appeal of this book is the cockeyed slant on the horror genre in general. It's probably most delightful because the secondary characters are so blase about, e.g., demonic possession and zombie cows. (No, really.)

Bouncing between Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett-esque tongue-in-cheekery and graphic descriptions of guts'n'gore, Martinez's hilarious first novel is a definite treat for those that don't mind a few oozing brains with their satire.

1 comment:

Susan Taylor Brown said...

hi - I was trying to find an email address for you with no luck, hence the request to you via comments. I was wondering if you would like to receive a galley of my new middle grade verse novel, Hugging the Rock which will be published by Tricycle Press in November. The book is a hopeful journey that portrays a relationship not often seen in children's books, a positive relationship between a girl and her father.
If so, you can contact me at: susanATsusantaylorbrownDOTcom and I would be happy to arrange that for you.