Zombie Baseball Beatdown

Paolo Bacigalupi
Zombie Baseball Beatdown Cover

Zombie Baseball Beatdown


This novel works on two levels. On the first it's a boys adventure for middle schoolers. Baseball, bullies, Zombies, and the intrusion of the incomprehensible world of the adults and their concerns, into summer play.

On the second level it's an allegory on the evils of the factory food system, the foolishness of the immigration system, and how men who are controlled by greed and the perception of their own rightness, run the system. The most terrifying character in the novel is not a zombie, or a zombie cow, nor is it a corporate head (white, smug, wealthy, and convinced of his own rightness in life) it's the slick-willy corporate lawyer who uses his knowledge to bludgeon and bully opposition; a well paid attack dog, defending the corruptness of the system without a moral bone in the body. Law (written by mostly old white men) and money (mostly in the hands of old white men) rule the day. And it's only an exception to the rule when corporate heads don't get their way.

It's not much of a baseball book. Baseball seems only a vehicle since the most readily accessible weapon to a group of middle schoolers are baseball bats (at least in this tale). Or it's an excuse to show adults as vain and contemptuous in their ignorance when better understanding is offered to them.

The horror had more than a tinge of the gross humor popular among that age group. And I thought the resolution fitted nicely in with the overall allegory structure, this time with governmental cover-ups.

The one thing which did seem missing was the Feds. They were barely a footnote. But that was their allegorical role, as servants of wealthy men, to be called upon when wealth decided, to do their dirty work, and clean things up, with no actual agenda of their own.

I feel that for the appropriate audience this novel would've been better appreciated. My age and knowledge kept bouncing me out of my suspension-of-disbelief as certain points came along.

I can only offer a shrug of indifference.