Pontypool Changes Everything is an extremely weird novel. It starts off following Les Reardon, a high school drama teacher, as a zombie virus is spreading through Canada. Beyond this, I really can't tell you much about the plot of the novel. Just when I'm getting comfortable with one set of characters, they die and I wonder what's next. This happens three or four times. I was kind of stunned each time a set of characters I cared were gone.
The storytelling is convoluted and hard to follow at times. It's unclear whether the events happening are a fictional story within a story or actual events. It kind of reads as four or five short stories instead of one overarching story. The parts that were fairly linear were great vignettes into this unique world. I enjoyed this book as long as I let the story flow, instead of trying to figure out what was happening all the time.
The zombies in this novel are unlike any other I have seen or read about before. The virus manifests first in people as an inability to use language. They end up being very confused cannibals. It's unclear how the virus is transmitted, which was something I was really interested in. There aren't any walking, rotting corpses, but the book is still chock full of zombie violence. It was interesting that in a zombie novel, the most disturbing scene had nothing to do with zombies: Siblings Julie and Jimmy live in a shack together (after their parents are killed) as husband and wife, while killing zombies and unsuspecting people alike for food. They are also children.
This is a very strange novel, but it's also undeniably unique. I would be reluctant to recommend this to my friends for fear they would think I was crazy and forever doubt any future recommendations from me. However, this book was a crazy narrative into an insane world. I enjoyed the ride, but I don't know if I would take it again.