Thursday, December 19, 2019

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates was first published in 1995 and according to Wikipedia it received "the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel."

Before I write my thoughts about Zombie, I want to state that I admire Joyce Carol Oates on being such a prolific writer for over 50 years. How she continually churns out high quality works is impressive to me. 

I also had the wonderful opportunity to see/hear Joyce Carol Oates speak at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California earlier this year. I was able to have her sign Zombie and another one of her novels for my personal collection.

I read the hardback edition of Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates, which is a relatively short read at 181 pages. This book is both creepy and slightly weird... It was a bit difficult for me to get into the rhythm and flow of the writing style/approach Joyce Carol Oates used in writing Zombie... But then once I did grow use to the writing style used by Oates, it became easier to follow the storyline. 

Zombie is like reading someone's diary or journal. Zombie takes the reader into the mind of serial killer, Quentin P., a fictional character based on the life of Jeffrey Dahmer (according to what I discovered through Wikipedia.) The plot is truly chilling and not for the squeamish at heart.

Interesting side note though, Oates uses the ampersand symbol repeatedly throughout Zombie... Even at the start of sentences. Many words and phrases are all in caps... Not sure what the ampersand and words/phrases all in caps was trying to achieve. It just seemed to add to the creepy atmosphere and the main character being mentally unstable. 

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates is the first book I read this month. I've been trying to catch up on writing reviews for books from August 2019 onward. Not sure if I'll be able to finish writing all of my older reviews before the year is up. 

The following is a plot summary for Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates from Amazon:
Zombie is a classic novel of dark obsession from the extraordinary Joyce Carol Oates. A brilliant, unflinching journey into the mind of a serial killer, Zombie views the world through the eyes of Quentin P., newly paroled sex offender, as he chillingly evolves from rapist to mass murderer. Joyce Carol Oates—the prolific author of so many extraordinary bestsellers, including The Gravediggers Daughter, Blonde, and The Falls—demonstrates why she ranks among America’s most respected and accomplished literary artists with this provocative, breathtaking, and disturbing masterwork.
I am giving Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars. I wasn't overly wowed by this novel, but it made for interesting reading nonetheless.

Until my next post, happy reading!!!


  1. I have not read this one. I plan to read as many of her books as I can in 2020.