As for who reads this book
And who follows its spells
I know your name
You will not die after your death
You will not perish forever
For I know your name
So begins this darkly comic incantation on the gods and scourges of the 21st century. The Walmart Book of the Dead was inspired by the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, funerary texts with accompanying illustrations containing spells to preserve the spirit of the deceased in the afterlife. In Lucy Biederman’s version, shoplifters, grifters, drifters, and hustlers, desirous children, greeters, would-be Marxists, wolves, and circuit court judges wander Walmart unknowingly consigned to their afterlives.
“This BOOK is for the dark hours, the seam that ties the end of the evening to sunrise, when the bad, wrong things people do in and around Walmart are a hospital infection, red Rit dye in a load of whites, a gun in a classroom: by the time the problem is identified, it’s already ruined everything.”