Book Review: Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies by Dario Cannizzarro

41gutawb6glTitle: Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies
Author: Dario Cannizzaro
Genre: Literary Short Story Collection
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Misnomer on purpose, this amazing debut rocks nine short and amusing stories that talk about life, death (as the title suggests), love, loneliness, art, sex, drugs, culture, religion but also – much less than you would expect – aliens, zombies and much more.

Ordinary characters facing extraordinary situations, dry humor, philosophical musing dressed as whimsical, offhand commentary; those are the key elements for this incredible authorial debut.

The collection comprehends three previously published stories (“The Galway Review”, “Two Thousand Words” and “Chantwood Magazine”); five new unpublished pieces; and for the first time in English, the best-selling story “Impurità”, which was Selected Work in iBooks Italy 2012.

As with any short story collection, Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies offers a mix of stories, some excellent, others good. There was not a single story that I thought was bad, though, which speaks volumes for the quality of the collection.

The stories are a mix: they’re about life and death, aliens and zombies (as the title suggests) but they also deal with a lot more, like love, religion, loneliness. The themes are varied and differ in every story. At just over a 100 pages, the collection is a fast read that you can finish in little more than an hour’s time.

One of my favorite stories (it’s hard to pick an exact favorite) was Yet Another Zombie Apocalypse. I love zombie stories, but to see one so completely different from just about every other zombie story out there, was amazing. Another one of my favorites was Terrorism Marketing. It was bizarre, ironic, but also rang sort of true of today’s society. I also enjoyed The Best Place to Plan a Mass Shooting.

The writing is very strong, lyrical, and it’s what carries the stories and lifts them from good to great. I look forward to reading more stories by this author in the future, and I’m very impressed with this collection.

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