The Best Books of 2013 Image via Two Dollar Radio

A Questionable Shape

Author: Bennett Sims
Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
Buy it here

All hail Two Dollar Radio, one of the best indie presses publishing young novelists. And bless Bennett Sims, the 27-year-old Baton Rouge-native who gave us a zombie novel worth reading.

Part of what makes A Questionable Shape great is how little its greatness has to do with zombies. In fact, there are very few zombies in the novel. (Most of them spend the book locked up on barges floating off the coast of Louisiana—ominous, as hurricane season is approaching.) A Questionable Shape is more like a Nicholson Baker novel, full of magic observations and descriptions of things you’ve long stopped noticing. (Just wait until the zombie apocalypse is upon us, though—then you’ll notice).

Narrated by Michael Vermaelen, a philosophy student who divides his time between hanging out with his girlfriend, convincing her to practice defamiliarization strategies with him so that they can take each other out if the time comes, and helping his friend search for his undead dad. Sims is more interested in the bigger questions raised by the idea of a zombie, and his book is all the better for it. —Ross Scarano

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