In THE COST OF LIVING, a novella by David Moody, a horrifying disease turns its victims into germ-spewing creatures who in turn hunt out the uninfected. In an English suburb, Stuart, a family man struggling to make ends meet, sees what’s coming after hearing about the disease for the time, while his neighbors deny it could ever come to Britain. But come it does, first to the big cities, then to the suburbs, then right to his front door.
Stuart finds himself faced with constant decisions about how to manage his panicking family and other survivors, resulting in an emerging theme–what is the cost of living, aka, survival?
The story is classic David Moody, with less a focus on the sensational–though the zombies are cool–and more on the struggle between ordinary people faced with impossible circumstances. With Moody’s stories, you’re always guaranteed a story about people with zombies in it, not the other way around.
Stuart is sympathetic as he tries to think clearly and make rational decisions while his options continue to constrict around him and his family gets increasingly rebellious. Over time, he grows less sympathetic as he increasingly leaps to shortcuts to security, justifying every action as being done for the greater good–that is, keeping his family alive. Then he become sympathetic again as it becomes clear his fortress, running out of food and water, may ultimately become a deathtrap.
THE COST OF LIVING is a fast, fun read by one of my favorite zombie fiction authors. Recommended.