Ron Watson wakes up one day to find himself dead. Yes, after an unplanned and unfortunate meeting on a Colorado highway with a semi-trailer truck carrying disposable diapers for orphaned babies, Ron Watson is now an everyday, run-of-the-mill divorced American zombie, with exactly two thoughts in his head: “Brains!” and “Vegas!”
Sin City, land of dreamers, where Ron Watson goes to dream of being human again and to fit in amongst the drunken tourists, down-on-their-luck beggars and lights so bright that nobody will notice a zombie shuffling around.
But Las Vegas has other plans for Ron, as it often does for its visitors, and once there he discovers that he may not be the Last Zombie Standing, becomes an Internet meme for no reason at all, and gets drunk, laid, and fed...all while struggling with age old questions: Can a zombie date a human without wanting to turn the human into a meal? Can a zombie be an adequate parent? Do zombie joke punchlines translate in a human world? Is modern celebrity status as vacuous, hollow, and fleeting as it appears?
And most importantly, is it better to be human or zombie? The answer may surprise you.
This book is FUNNY! Like the kind of side splitting funny that never lets up. When we meet Ron and he opens his mouth to speak, the first word that usually comes out is "brains." Or "eyeballs." Over the course of the story, he's able to speak more clearly and then he's even able to string complete sentences together.
Did I mention that American Badass is funny?
Seriously. There's a scene where good old Ron can't have sex because all he can think about is eating eyeballs.
Oh, and ZOMBIE KARAOKE!
It's not just funny, though, there is a real serious plot going on and the way Chacon handles the serious stuff along with the humor is brilliant, and I rarely use that word in reference to a writer or their books. The author has also taken the road less traveled by making Zombie Ron the POV (point of view) character in the first person, so we get to see and hear everything Ron does, says and thinks.
There is a whole lot more going on here than just Ron and his desire to eat eyeballs. Is he the only zombie left in the world or isn't he? Can he manage to make it through a crazy Las Vegas adventure without dying... again? This story is a real ride into crazy land, but it's so over the top that it's almost perfect. Think Christopher Moore with some Max Brooks all twisted into one author.
I honestly can't say that I've ever had this much fun reading a zombie book. But the plot is fantastic, I loved the characters and might actually put this book on my short list of books that I'll re-read. I'm giving American Badass a well deserved FIVE of FIVE zombie heads!