Paul Is Undead – Review

Paul is Undead

I love The Beatles. I love zombies. A book about zombie Beatles means that I should love it doubly, correct?

Paul Is Undead, by Alan Goldsher, is a book about how music and history would have been different should The Beatles have been zombies. Written as a collection of first-hand accounts from players in The Beatles’ (un)lives, it’s not so much a narrative story as a series of events and interviews, playing out like a documentary, hopping back and forth between people who detail out how one thing led to another.

I’m not really certain what I expected from Paul is Undead, just not… this. I don’t really know how to describe ‘this’, but I guess I expected the story of the Beatles with a slight zombie twist. There is nothing ‘slight’ about the zombie twist in this book. The author has taken The Beatles we know (or at least we think we know) and has turned them into something wholly different.

Yes, it’s about zombie Beatles, however Goldsher has taken his artistic license too far totally reworked every other aspect as well. With a book about pop culture icons, like The Beatles, there is a certain expectation of what you will read; even being zombies shouldn’t completely negate that. I feel that if all other things were to remain intact and Goldsher should have just sort of worked the quirkiness of their reanimation into the story we already know. It’s possible he tried to do that, but the way in which he did it failed to resonate with me.

Not having known The Beatles personally, they could all have been a bunch of assholes with no real deep thoughts, the way this book makes them out. They come across as a band of jerks who just want to suck brains and take over the world, literally. Their reaction and solution for every event in their un-lives is to wreak havoc and kill and destroy.

Every big event in the history of The Beatles revolves around them violently killing tons of people, or hypnotizing them into slaves to kill for them, or just pulling each other’s limbs off. As a cognitively functioning zombie I imagine there would be a time where you’d want to let loose and resort to your baser instincts, but that is their answer for EVERYTHING in this book.

It just got old and seemed really childish. The descriptions of some of their antics felt like they were written by a 5th grade boy (i.e. flying limbs, ankle deep blood, guitars made of sloughed off skin). It was just way over the top and more than a little disappointing for me.

The author didn’t stop with adding zombies to the mix. An eclectic mix of paranormal/fantastical creatures litter this book. Some of your other favorite artists are other worldly, for example, Roy Orbison and his mystical sunglasses. The author even ‘interviews’ vampires and werewolves and yes, he manages to score interviews with Satan and Jesus. Yeah…still not sure how I feel about all of those…

Paul is Undead illustrationPaul is Undead illustrationPaul is Undead illustrationPaul is Undead illustration

Besides loving zombies and The Beatles, I’m also a lover of trivia, especially obscure trivia. For me, this is the saving grace of this book. Those who think they know every trivial thing about the Beatles and the music scene of the 1960’s will enjoy the trivia strewn throughout the book. Everyone you can think of that has touched the lives of The Beatles is mentioned and interviewed, including but not limited to: Stu Sutcliffe, Pete Best, Neil Aspinall, George Martin, Brian Epstein and Richard Lester. Not just people, but events as well are mentioned, i.e. Shea Stadium, visiting the Maharishi, filming Hard Days Night, etc. And while a little cheesy, names of songs are worked into basic conversation, such as “he suggested we make a meal out of dear Prudence”. These moments are a little eye-roll inducing, but fun and I can forgive them since they were usually worked in under the radar.

I really wanted to love Paul Is Undead. When I first learned of it I thought I had died and gone to heaven; someone was putting together two of my favorite things! Alas, the book fell short of my expectations. Though, to be honest, I can’t really tell you what I expected, just, well…I guess I just figured with two such fantastic topics married in one book surely to goodness this would be the zombie book to end all zombie books! It’s just a shame it didn’t turn out that way.

You can find out more about Paul is Undead on Facebook and it will be released on June 22nd.

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I'm a southern belle from Atlanta, Georgia with a taste for the dark, strange and macabre. Co-author of The Bloody Blondes' Blog, I love to discuss horror movies with anyone willing to join me. KGLucas can be found over on Twitter.

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Comments (1)


  1. Zombie Beatles, interesting.

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