Book Review – ‘Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion’

In preparation for last week’s Paul McCartney concert at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit, Michigan, I picked up a copy of Alan Goldsher’s Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion. Here’s the premise:

John, Paul, and George were…er…are zombies, with extraordinary powers like super strength and speed, mind control, and unprecedented musical ability. Ringo is a Seventh Level Ninja Lord. Together, they formed a band the likes the world had never seen: they eat their audiences, may or may not manipulate women, and sing some of the greatest rock and roll the world will ever know. All in the name of what John calls reaching the “Toppermost of the Poppermost”, which may or may not be a euphemism for taking over the world.

The style in which this piece of fiction is presented in much like a true biography would be, relying heavily on “interviews” with important people from the Beatles history, including Julia Lennon (who of course was reanimated by her son John), Mick Jagger (a cantankerous zombie hunter), and the all important “Fifth Beatle”, Sir George Martin (who opposed being turned undead).

The interviews give the book a whimsical and almost believable feel, even if the actual voices of the interviewed are lacking individuality. The Fab Four themselves sound interchangeable, with the exception of Ringo Starr, which seems appropriate since he habitually was picked on for various reasons.

While Goldsher avoids some important details in the lives of the Beatles, namely their marriages and children (with the exception of Yoko Ono, who is a Ninth Level Ninja Lord), he does highlight and tinker with many of the Beatles most outstanding moments. Goldsher Turns the Cavern Club gigs into zombie feasts, the Shea Stadium concert into a mind-controlled riot, and the BBC rooftop concert into an appendage pull-off contest (I’m not explaining it, just read it!).

 This book really came across as a well thought-out piece of fan fiction, and the reader can certainly sense how Goldsher has created it out of pure love for the Beatles and their music. With a cursory knowledge of the rise and break-up of the Beatles, most people with find entertainment from this retelling. Even if you’re not much of a Beatles fan, if you are a into books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith, The Zombie Survival Guide, or World War Z by Max Brooks (All of which I recommend—especially the Brooks books), then you’ll likely find a quick and entertaining take on the most influential band ever.


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