Don Borchert. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead. Tor, 2010. ISBN 978-0765327291 304 pp. $
Another volume in the vein of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Undead is prefaced with a note to this new edition, setting the story within an invented historical context that leaves room for the Zums (zombies).
Borchert rewrites the American classic Tom Sawyer, setting the tale in 19th century overrun with the zombies. Literally a chapter by chapter revision with the same characters and scenes, the author can be commended on maintaining the voice, style and structure of the original novel with some rather clever twists, such as Tom sharpening the picket fence stakes, instead of whitewashing them. The zombies in the cave that Tom and Becky get lost in, however, are no surprise. The conclusion hints at a sequel, and I predict a Huck Finn versus river monsters of some kind tale is in the making.
Overall, this book is no more–or no less, I suppose–thrilling than other similar novels jumping on the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies bandwagon. It will appeal to those fans who want more of the same. Tom’s pranks are timelessly engaging, but at it’s heart, Tom Sawyer is a book for children while Huckleberry Finn is one for teens, and the youthful protagonist, squeaky clean story and dated language are unappeal factors, zombies notwithstanding.