Read: 17 December, 2012
When I reviewed Game of Thrones and Philosophy, I complained that the book was just out to explain philosophical concepts, and it’s tie to the ostensible subject rested solely on using a few names and events for illustrations. In The Undead and Philosophy, on the other hand, the subject matter is much more integrated in the articles – each chapter using the Undead to discuss things like issues of personhood, or the relationship between desires/impulses and civilization.
In some cases, it worked really well and I felt that my consumption of the Undead genre was enriched by the thoughtfulness of the article (such as “Heidegger the Vampire Slayer: The Undead and Fundamental Ontology” by Adam Barrows). Others were just uninteresting. And still others were simply hilarious – such as the article that argued that zombies are giant erections with vagina mouths (“The Undead Martyr: Sex, Death, and Revolution in George Romero’s Zombie Films” by Simon Clark).
I can’t really think of the right audience for this book. I think that anyone with an interest in philosophy will either already be familiar with all of the concepts or will be able to find a much better introduction. Zombie and vampire aficionados may well be enriched by some of the new perspectives, but I don’t think it’s worth the price of the whole book. Maybe this is just one of those books that libraries were made for.
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