Good evening zombie readers. Stop for just a second. Stop browsing the internet for your next Z-poc book. Come, sit down with me for a minute and let me enlighten you on this, The Tales of the Nothing Man, the first offering from the Dunne Brothers, Justin and Robert. Seriously, if you are not sitting down, do so. If you’re walking around with your Kindle in your hand or on an app on your tablet or phone, stop doing so for a minute or three and come in a little closer. I don’t want to get too loud, but I do want you to get what I am about to say.
The Tales of the Nothing Man is a zombie story unlike any that I have read. We are given several characters to follow, and though that should be confusing, it is not. We are also given the somewhat mystical being of The Nothing Man, a Clint Eastwood type who wears snakeskin boots and bloodied black jeans and a flannelette shirt, tucked in for good measure. Then there is the Crow, the bridge between each story of the survivors in this book.
Before I go any further, let me take a sip of reality and state, the writing of The Tales of the Nothing Man is fresh and unique. The Dunne’s, who hail from Australia, spin the tales of each character with a voice that is both serious and cheeky. It’s almost as if they wrote the book the way they talk with none of the pretentiousness that many writers, well, write with. I enjoyed the tone and the way they seemed to stay true to their writing style, even as they mixed in different characters, none of whom have actual names. We are given names like The Lady, The Old Man and The Crazy Kettle Guy (among others), and of course The Nothing Man. (By the way, there are names to characters in this story, but they are ones you don’t actually get to meet, which I think enriches the lack of names for the main characters.)
There is also a repetition in the introductions of each characters: the description of The Nothing Man. But more than that there is also a repetition in the lack of formal greetings or friendly catching up or cautious sizing up. It gives each story the connection and familiarity that déjà vu would someone who swears he’s been here or seen this or even done this before.
The stories, though separate from one another, are connected, not just by The Crow and The Nothing Man, but also in the fact that all of the survivors lived for a reason, as if The Nothing Man knew they were in need of saving and appeared to give them a hand, one that would leave each of them wondering more about him and would also lead them all to the same place for a final showdown with the dead and their clicking mouths.
I’ve intentionally been vague on the storyline, not wanting to give too much of it away, but I will say this, The Tales of the Nothing Man has a deeper meaning to it than I think most people realize. Let me explain. I’ve read this book twice. When I went to write this review, I decided to read it the second time around. It was during the second reading, as I sat slouched on my couch, that I caught something I completely missed the first time around. I sat up, my eyes probably a little wider than before and I heard myself say, ‘Son of a biscuit.’ (Yes, I said biscuit.) As I do with all reviews that I write, I made a note of this on a pad and then finished reading the book. Then I went back and read that part again, and again.
‘How did I miss that?’ I asked myself. ‘How did I miss that? I can’t believe it.’
You see, there is a touch of mystery in this book that slowly unravels, revealing itself so subtly in the end that makes the story so much deeper and makes The Nothing Man and each person’s story richer. I’m not going to give this mystery away, but when you read this book, pay close attention to the details, especially where The Crow is concerned.
I truly enjoyed the story of The Nothing Man and the characters in them, and how they meet up. The ending is a nice little bow on the package, but the subtle mystery of it is what makes this story so powerful for me. The mystery has the right type of Ah Ha moment.
Oh, before I let you go, Zombie Readers, the actual names used in The Tales of the Nothing Man have a deeper meaning. It’s like the Easter eggs hidden in so many movies and television shows. Clever.
Thank you, Zombie Readers, for taking the time to read this review. If you are looking for something different, give The Tales of the Nothing Man a read.
I give this a 5 out of 5 blood drops.
You can pick up a copy of The Tales of the Nothing Man HERE.
Now, you can get up and go about your business. Until we meet again my friends, be kind to one another…