If you’re one of the many fans of The Walking Dead, you may have already started to feed your zombie obsession with old George Romero movies. But don’t stop there. The zombie apocalypse has found its way into books and there’s plenty for your brains to dive into.
If your tastes skew towards the literary, start with Zone One by Colson Whitehead. Whitehead’s novel has plenty of flashbacks to the world getting overrun by the undead, but it focuses on the efforts to stabilize the remnants of society in Manhattan. Narrator Mark Spitz makes his contribution by going through office buildings with his team, looking for monsters hidden away inside the skyscrapers. Whitehead is whipsmart, but also has the kind of prose that makes you stop and re-read a paragraph just to savor it.
Be sure to read World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks before the movie comes out in 2013. This book which charts an outbreak from Patient Zero onwards was a hot commodity in the film world. The movie (Due in theaters next Summer) stars Brad Pitt, Lost’s Matthew Fox and another AMC tv star, Mireille Enos from The Killing. The book takes a documentary-style approach, showing stories from all over the world when the zombie outbreak hits.
For a more feminine approach, there’s always the popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. Think Elizabeth Bennett meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lizzie is now a trained warrior after Britain’s been overrun by zombies. And yet, amidst the horror and slaughter, there’s still time for an unexpected romance with Mr. Darcy. If you love Jane Austen, it’s a nice send-up. If you’ve never been able to finish Jane Austen, this may be the closest you ever get.
Finally, for the purist, get your hands on the original The Walking Dead series. That’s right, the show is based on a series of books. Whether you call them graphic novels or comics, everyone agrees that author Robert Kirkman does an amazing job. Amazing enough to get a tv show out of it.
Jessica Severson is a blogger, a lawyer and a lifelong reader based in Boston, MA. She is the founder of Red Letter Reads http://www.redletterreads.com a book review site for busy readers. Her personal blog is Don't Mind the Mess http://dontmindthemess.com