Alan Goldsher, Give Death a Chance: The British Zombie Invasion 2 (BooGoo Press, 2012), 83pp [electronic copy]
Even though I didn't like Paul is Undead, Alan Goldsher's clumsy first attempt to mash the Beatles' story with a zombie theme, I still thought I should give Give Death a Chance a chance. It seemed appealingly short, and I thought maybe Goldsher might have rectified some of his mistakes from the first book. Unfortunately, this proved not to be the case. All the negatives about Paul is Undead (and there are so, so many) also apply to this sequel and, despite its short length, it dragged interminably, lacking any originality, spark or wit. The story is even less interesting a second time round, here focusing on a modern-day zombified Beatles trying to work their way back to the top. This drags it even further away from the real Beatles story, so you don't even get many of the half-hearted laughs provided by Beatles trivia in-jokes that you did in the first book.
The insipid use of 'fook' continues from the first book, and Goldsher appears to have picked up a new favourite word, 'plonker'. Someone should tell him what it means, as I've never heard it used with the meaning he attaches to it. I'm beginning to doubt the writer has ever even met an Englishman (he even thinks we drive on the right - as in 'not left' - side of the road), and just came across the word randomly, thought it sounded funny and couldn't be bothered to find out what it meant. I only smiled once or twice reading this (and never once laughed): at the 'fook your sheepdog, Macca' bit from Lennon and the bit where the Gallagher brothers from Oasis ape the zombie Beatles by drawing decaying flesh on themselves with marker pens. Goldsher also takes the opportunity to comment on the state of the modern music business, noting how it is all about marketing nowadays rather than talent. He's right, but it's hard to support his argument when his own offering shows a pathetic lack of talent too.
In the end, I'm glad I read Give Death a Chance because people who didn't like Paul is Undead usually wouldn't bother to read this sequel. This would mean reviews for the second book are likely to be unduly positive, coming only from those who (inexplicably) liked the first one. So I hope I've redressed the balance here somewhat. This is terrible. Goldsher even ends it with a half-baked ambiguous ending. As if we actually care. I find it unfathomable that people actually like this, or the first book, and I say that as someone who is willing to give just about anything a fair shake. It reads like the fan fiction of a twelve-year-old boy who likes zombies and ninjas (I was surprised there were no dinosaurs here too), posted into obscurity on some website. Yet Goldsher is a successful writer. It is baffling. This is truly, truly awful.