Are you ready for Halloween? The Rise of Zombie "Semi-Historical" Literature: A Growing Popularity with Students and Spook Thrillers

(by guest blogger Caroline Ross)
Traditionally the "living dead" doesn’t move with great speed or finesse, but in the book publishing industry Zombies have taken off like the speed of light. Over the past few years, book stores have displayed an increasing number of zombie-related historical fiction that has seemed to do quite well with the youth—so much in fact that some titles are even appearing on required reading lists at select universities. But of course you don't need to be a student to enjoy them. If you're looking for a few good historical reads with a satirical, dark twist then check out some of these titles just in time for Halloween.
Pride, Prejudice and Zombies
Just like the title sounds, this parody piece is a smashup of the classic 1813 Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice with sprinkles of brain-eating zombies, courtesy of author Seth Grahame-Smith. It might seem a little bizarre to picture a zombie infested 19th century England and a zombie-slayer Mr. Darcy, but the story line actually works. Not only does Grahame-Smith do a stellar job at creating an alternative universe within a classic story such as Pride and Prejudice, but he's also successful at bringing out the laughs—this book is funny with a capital F. (2009)
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Based off of the renowned The Good War, an Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel, this zombified fictional version gives us some insight to the possibility of a real zombie apocalypse through viral infection. The author, Max Brooks, is actually featured in his own novel where he plays an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission. It's his job to interview and collect personal accounts of the Zombie War for its 10 year anniversary. During his interviews he learns about how the pandemic came about, as well has how religion, politics, and the environment shifted. Unlike Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is not a comedy. Producers are in the midst of creating a film adaption set to release in 2013. (2006)
Zombies vs. Nazis: A Lost History of the Walking Dead
Lastly is Zombies vs. Nazis, a book by Scott Kenemore that promises to unveil lost "top-secret" U.S. documents that reveal how the German Nazi army originally thought they were going to win WWII: manipulating Haitian voodoo to create an army of super zombies and special weaponry. But to their dismay, the Nazis learn that zombies aren't obedient creatures.  (2011)
Of course these aren't the only zombie historical fiction available. Do any titles come across your mind? Please share!

Guest blogger
Caroline Ross is an education writer for the online education website,  www.accreditedonlineuniversities.com.  When she's not digging up the latest trends in higher learning, she can be found indulging in her second passion: reading a good book. She welcomes your comments.


Melanie said...

I had a copy of P&P&Z on my shelf for about two years before I finally decided I wasn't going to read it and gave it to a friend. Zombies have kind of always grossed me out and I couldn't seem to overcome it, not even for P&P.

Maria Grazia said...

I'll leave them to teenagers and YA. They tend not to like reading much, so if these fantasy books with supernatural elements make them willing to read, welcome to zombies and vampires!

Traxy said...

There's also Jane Slayre by Sherri Browning Erwin (?), in which a young governess battles zombies, vampires and a werewolf! :D

susied said...

I read Pride & Prejudice and Zombies and loved it! Great fun.

Also Abe Lincoln Vampyre Slayer. That books mixed real history with (obviously) fiction. It was great fun, too. I'm game to try more of these mix-ups :)