Book Reviews: Sleight of Hand, World War Z

These reviews are cross-posted from my Goodreads account.

Peter S. Beagle at his best is a master conjurer, but I don’t think any of the stories here really show Beagle working at the top of his craft. “Sleight of Hand” is a good title for the collection: these tricks of the imagination are fairly slight, but good fun nonetheless—a pleasant and diverting way to spend a few hours.

It seems weird to call a book about the zombie apocalypse a “light, fun” read, but that’s ultimately what this is. I picked it up expecting something similar to Stephen King’s The Stand, a book that’s stuck with me even though it has one of the single hackiest endings I’ve ever read. But there’s not nearly as much meat to World War Z. It’s a series of vignettes, each well done, but short enough that you don’t end up really getting attached to any particular characters. My favorite bit involved the story of a downed Air Force pilot making her way through a zombie-infested swamp, guided by the remote voice of a ham radio operator who seems to be keeping some secrets.

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