I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas
by Adam Roberts
Review by Liz de Jager
Gollancz Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780575091542
Date: 01 October 2009 List Price £7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
It's Christmas Eve...all is still. Well, no, not really. Scrooge faces off against an undead business partner, he has no time to see the error of his nasty ways or to give the Cratchits (also, what an awful name!) a lovely Christmas surprise. With Marley dead (again) and an entire city of mawing zombies to reap, well, it's going to be a Christmas like no other.
With the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Scrooge navigates his way through the zombie hordes but is he tough enough to face off against the true (and very tiny) threat?
It is apparent that Adam Roberts had a tremendous amount of fun writing I am Scrooge. He plays with the language and name-drops throughout the novel. Scrooge is thrown up against a variety of zombies and never for a moment think that this novel is about character development, or a commentary on the political climes of the day or anything remotely high brow. This is guns blazing silliness to a high degree, with very few explanatory sections or deep introspective moments, but you'll enjoy yourself nonetheless.
It's a slender offering and an easy read, just in time for both Halloween and Christmas. It's something different to dip into if you feel you are tired of high fantasy or sparkly vampires. I am Scrooge is irreverent fun, using some well-loved characters from Dickens' story, in a reworking I only really knew through watching Disney's (when I was much younger, I swear) Scrooge McDuck and then subsequently reading the novel and then watching a variety of movies made from the book. And strangely, I'm not disappointed with the reworking of the classic!
I'm sure a lot of people dislike this new genre mash-up of taking established characters or classics and mixing it up with sea monsters, demon hunters, vampires, and zombies. They are protective of the originals and it's something I can understand. But on the other I suspect that if it gets someone into reading what they previously would have perceived as a dull book, with tedious language, then bring on those critters!