FIEND by Peter Stenson



Tweakers versus zombies. That’s about it, really.

Stenson’s narrator is Chase Daniels, a white-bread methamphetamine addict with a habit of describing his physical symptoms in excruciating detail. Our guy has been holed up for weeks with his best friend, Typewriter, getting “spun” on those glorious little shards of glass. When Chase rubs his eyes, looks out the window and sees a little girl devouring the carcass of a dog, he thinks it’s just a vivid hallucination. It turns out that he and Typewriter managed to bypass a zombie apocalypse that plays out just like the ones you’ve seen on TV, with the creepy exception that the virus makes all its victims giggle. The apocalypse is enough to make Chase think that his ex-girlfriend, KK, was right when she skipped off to rehab. When Chase finally reunites with his lady love, though, he’s saddled with her new boyfriend, and they’re both high as Wu-Tang. The gang eventually figures out that smoking or shooting is the only way to avoid becoming a giggler, theoretically giving them free range to keep getting high. But scoring scante and avoiding their brethren addicts isn’t easy even in a world without cops. Stenson's percussive style and grotesque imagery lend themselves well to the story. 

A crisply written, grisly mashup tailor-made for black comedy junkies.

Pub Date: July 9th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3631-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2013


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