Adam Meltzer returns from the grave, three months after the bee-sting that killed him at his own birthday party, to find that his sister has nicked his bedroom, his parents have given his clothes to charity, and his collection of alphabetised hand sanitisers has been relegated to the basement. Back at school, he claims to have been in the Witness Relocation Programme having faked his own death, although that doesn’t explain the heavy make up covering his decomposing skin.
Adam isn’t the best person to be a zombie, since his OCD renders him acutely sensitive to smells and germs. With his two best friends, a hereditary vampire and a boy who periodically turns into a lizard-monster, Adam vows to get to the bottom of his premature demise. Norton keeps the gags, both erudite and gross-out, flowing in this snappy tale, and not too far under the surface is a concern for the alarming and perplexing transformations of puberty.
Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie, by Jeff Norton, Faber, RRP£6.99, 160 pages