Thrills, Chills and Blood Spills with the Undead…

Hallowe’en is upon us and as always it provides a great excuse to look at the spooky side of Literature and what we can offer from our Library. On Hear This our resident Zombie fiction fan Siobhan recommends some great books about the undead.  So without further ado let us begin…

First up World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks.

Published in 2006, this novel drags the Zombie stereotype out of the cobwebbed crypt and plunges it into the post apocalyptic world of international politics. Written as a series of oral accounts,  the ‘history’ of a 10 year World War with the undead unfolds for the reader. But theres more!…..

 The  film  is due for release in mid 2013,  so it looks like we will be hearing a lot more about World War Z

It is available to download as audio or to reserve on disc .

Wikipedia has a good entry on the book explaining  its origins  and development and you can read it here: Wikipedia – World War Z.  However please be aware that this comes with a spoiler alert!

You can hear an interview with the Author here :

Another novel of the undead to be unleashed on film in the future is The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell.  Siobhan describes this as a ‘beautifully written literary zombie novel’ Other reviewers describe Bell’s style as  echoing the dark Southern Gothic style of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor.

You can taste a sample of this book from the Author’s website : Chapter 1 – The Reapers are the Angels and you can read an interview with the author here: Zombie

You can also download the audio or it  reserve on disc

The next recommendation will be partly familiar with most folk… Pride and Prejudice with Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graeme-Smith. For fans of the Austen original, don’t worry;  it still has all the romance between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy but as well as wielding words at each other, they also wielding some hefty weaponry at the undead.

 This novel ‘mashup’ is about 85%  Austen and the rest is Seth Graeme- Smith who, with tongue in cheek, touted his idea for a while in the belief that he does not detract from the original but has added to it.  Some reviewers find it more mockery than intelligent parody, others have found that it adds a welcome tension (and bloodshed) to the genteel country rambles and drawing room formalities so beloved of the regency era.

You can download the audio or reserve the disc here.

Still a fair way to go along our grisly path of gory Literary recommendations…

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. This novel with the theme of ‘last man standing’ is set in  a world where humankind has fallen prey to a pandemic. The sufferers, like vampires can only come out after dark and they need to drink human blood to survive. The book was first published in 1954 and like World War Z it popularises the concept of the modern Zombie but in 50’s style. Matheson taps into the Cold War fear of contagion by nuclear means and communism as a virulent disease. Think the ‘undead under the bed’ or your undead next door neighbour – literally. Our main character Robert Neville is a man alone – immune to the contagion who experiences the pain of intense loneliness and, to use a cliche, we go on this journey with him. To deal with his despair he turns to science and philosophy to try make sense of it all.  In a world where everyone else is infected, who then is the monster?

You can download the audio or reserve it on disc

Next up…

We move to contemporary Sweden with Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist.  How would society cope if, due to some mysterious event, the recently dead rose from their graves? How would we incorporate them into our modern world?

From Wikipedia:

The plot focuses on the reactions of society and the many conflicts that arise between Swedish authorities and the relatives of the undead; the horror is less in the uncanny animation of corpses but in the realities of grief, loss and our own inevitable mortality. An important theme is the bond between parents and children.

Cerebral and heart rending, Handling the Undead is available to Download or you can reserve the disc

You can see short interview with the Author here:

Let us now move into some lighter territory ….

The Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost is a well regarded Paranormal Romance series featuring half-vampire demon hunter Cat Crawford and her fully vampire sidekick and love object Bones.  Taking place in a gritty modern urban setting, you will find none of twilight’s adolescent yearnings in American backwaters here, its all martial arts training and mixing with low lifes, as Cat fights for Justice, her life and her heart.

A generous 20% of the first book in the series is available from publishers Harper Collins here: Halfway to the Grave

A short you tube interview with the Author:

If you get hooked you can download on audio or reserve the disc and in more good news for fans –  the first 6 books in the series are available from the library!

To finish off with we have David Wellington’s Laura Caxton series. These come with a ‘violence and gore’ alert so not for the squeamish. Laura is a State Trooper who is given the  mission to kill some vampires who, feasting on the living at night, have hidden themselves from society at large.

There is some good character development in this series as we follow a hesitant Laura and her induction into the vampire hunting world in the first book to her fully armed warrior status by the third.

The vampires? Well there are no human qualities to cling to in these blood suckers. They are truly disgusting creatures who turn back into slimy maggot ridden corpses at sunrise and revive virtually indestructible at night. They have super strength and self healing powers.  In fact so powerful are their recuperative powers that even a silver bullet in the heart may not be enough to finish them off and they can come back to life snarling, stinking and as yellow fanged as ever. However they do look after their own and a David Wellington vampire can oft times be found heaving and regurgitating blood to feed a weakened comrade.  Charming.

’13 Bullets’ is the first book in the series and you can  reserve it on disc  or reserve it in Braille

You can find out more about the author in this transcript:

Conversations with Writers

Well that’s about it for this week with our  Zombie and Vampire feature, however we have only scratched the surface with what we have in the collection at large.

If you would like to check out the full range of  horror and supernatural titles in our Library just go to our online catalogue at i-access online and type your area of interest in the search box, be it the broad category of  ‘supernatural’ or more specifically ‘ghosts’ or ‘werewolves’ (singular or plural) or any  other worldly terms you can think of.

Once again a big thank you for your feedback via notes, letters, phone calls and emails.

2 Responses to “Thrills, Chills and Blood Spills with the Undead…”

  1. graham rowan Says:

    terrible selection


  2. readerservices Says:

    Horror is a bit like comedy – a variety of tastes. If you like horror or supernatural try a seach on the online catalogue. There are hundreds to choose from. I am partial to a good non gory ghost story myself. Here is a link


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: