Book Reviews

{Book Review} ZOMBIE by Joyce Carol Oates

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Publisher: Dutton Books
Published: October 14th 2009
Pages: 196

Let me start off by saying, Zombie is a very unsettling read. This was my first time reading Joyce Carol Oates. She writes beautiful prose that stick with you long after you’ve finished a chapter. I truly don’t know what to think about this book. I don’t even think Zombie is meant to be enjoyed. Joyce Carol Oates takes you inside the mind of a serial killer. Zombie made me feel uncomfortable. Quentin P. is the MC, and might I add, not a very good one.

Quentin is a registered sex offender. He has done some pretty horrendous things in short period of time. He is a rapist turned mass murderer. Zombie is filled with grotesque scenes that are hard to forget. Joyce Carol Oates puts on a master class with this first person narrative. Zombie truly shines with the MC’s thoughts. I’m not going to spoil anything for you, but I will say you’re going to get one helluva a treat. Nothing will prepare you for this book. I never thought Joyce Carol Oates could go so dark, but she hits the bottom of the abyss with Zombie.

Overall, Zombie is a good read, but it didn’t sit well with me. The MC is very cold, and he really doesn’t have much depth. I couldn’t jump right into this book. I really didn’t connect with any of the characters, but I don’t think I was supposed to. Zombie is meant to disturb and upset. It keeps you unsettled.



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.

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