Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Immediate vicious attacks on the population of a Northern town by ‘Deadies’, aka zombies leaves the town occupied by the rather dislikeable undead and a number of less than savoury survivors. The plot isn’t of importance here. It is Woodhead’s playful use of a myriad of British recognisable stereotypes that makes The Unwashed Dead extremely good fun. Like an old pair of socks or PJs, the novel is instantly recognisable and insanely comfortable as Woodhead pits the unlikeliest ‘heroes’ against the undead.
From teenager Kevin, to Ashton who kicks off the novel and ‘wholesome’ upstanding citizens Denis and Ernest, these characters are incredibly realistic, though they do represent the least favourable of British society. With a good use of ‘voice’ the dialogue is a brilliantly accurate representation of what ‘us Brits’ refer to as ‘The Unwashed Masses’; hence the ironic title.
Woodhead knows his genre, offers plenty of gore and character interaction gives the reader a fun ride. It’s really, rather Chavtastic!