Friday, October 28, 2011

Who's Afraid of Zombies?

The word "zombie" never appears in Colson Whitehead's post-apocalyptic story of a world decimated by a plague that turns humans into flesh-eaters. But the staggering, ravenous creatures that haunt the novel are unmistakably zombies, and Zone One (coming soon to APL) is an unmistakable contribution to an increasingly popular horror sub genre. When I search for zombies as a subject in the catalog, I get 276 titles.

Unlike vampires, werewolves, demons, witches, goblins and shapes-shifters, zombies can't be endowed with rich, complex personalities. But they can be used to point out the flaws, foibles and quirks in our society as in the TV show, The Walking Dead. You may find a certain monotony built into the genre: the flesh eaters advance, are repelled, advance again and are repelled again. Many zombie novels often read like plague narratives. You have to wonder whether our fascination with these hungry hordes has something to do with a general anxiety about the earth's dwindling resources: a sense that there are too many people out there, with too many urgent needs. Or perhaps they are tapping into our fear of weird, out of control viruses. Whatever it is, don't let the books make you as paranoid as the characters in the books.

Recommended Zombie Novels

Autumn by David Moody
Day by Day Armageddon by J L Bourne
Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney
Flip This Zombie by Jesse Peterson
The Living Dead 2 by John Adams
Monster Island by David Wellington
The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology by Christopher Golden
The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell
Walking Dead: the Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman
World War Z by Max Brooks
Zombie, Ohio, a Tale of the Undead by Scott Kennemore

1 comment:

Sarah-Ann B. said...

Loving the zombie themed book list. I can't wait to recommend these to the kids in my classroom!