Saturday, September 25, 2010
Short Story Saturday: "Children of the Revolution" by Maureen Johnson
Maureen Johnson's "Children of the Revolution" follows Sofie, an American college student working on a miserable English farm for the summer. When she gets the opportunity to leave the godforsaken farm and become a babysitter for a celebrity instead, she jumps at the chance. Anything to make enough money to get back home. Even if things are a bit strange at the celebrity's house...
Out of the frying pan, into the fire...
I've only ever read Devilish by Maureen Johnson, but I liked it enough that a) I singled this out as one of the first stories from the anthology that I wanted to read, and b) I bought a sh*tload of other books by Johnson.
It was interesting reading this one for a couple of reasons. First, it came shortly after the story The Perfects (review here) in the Stine anthology, Fear. The Perfects is also a story about a babysitter who stumbles on unsavoriness and beyond the norm in the category of badly behaved children; I couldn't help but compare the two at first. Second, this story isn't really anything like any of the other zombie stories I've read up until this point. It's very funny in an fml way, and it sort of skewers celebrities, religions and religious fads, stereotypes -- any number of things I wasn't expecting to find in a zombie story. But in a way that makes perfect sense.
Sofie just keeps taking hits, and things just keep getting worse and worse. When she comes to the unnamed flighty celebrity's house to babysit, things go from bad to just plain strange, and the already funny story became really enjoyable in a quirky, weird way. I don't want to give anything crucial away, but I do want to give quick props to Johnson for creating the world the celebrity's children live in. The description and the thought behind it is just spot on. It's weird and larger than life, and logical for the purpose -- and the Farmer in the Dell conveyor belt is BRILLIANT. I mean, really. How disturbing and eerie and genius an addition to their world.
Maureen has a messed up little mind, and I like it.
And I hope that has your interest piqued, because you should go out and grab a copy of Zombie vs. Unicorns so you can read warped little gems like this.
Each of these stories is found in the anthology Zombies vs. Unicorns --->