In the fictional novel Zombie, Joyce Carol Oates tells the story of a serial killer with a
very twisted obsession. The main character, who calls himself Q_ P_, is a seemingly average
thirty-one-year-old male from a well-to-do family that attends college; however, beneath the
surface, he is a convicted sex offender who dreams of possessing an utterly subservient dark,
strong man. To accomplish this dream, he spends the book experimenting with different
techniques on different men to acquire his perfect zombie. The book explores the dark desires
and hidden obsessions of even the most obscure person and the atrocities they would commit
to achieve them.
This novel, Zombie, is written in a diary style in which the main character confides to us
his thoughts, plans, and actions, leading to an unfiltered retelling of his actions and thoughts
that allow the reader to interpret their severity. For better or worse, the ideas of a twisted person
are incredibly vulgar and hard to decipher; however, this only aids in realism. I can’t think of any
problems with the book; only its innate luridness can be offputting, and I would imagine
preventing many from enjoying the story. Overall, I would have to give this book a four out of five
due to its difficult-to-stomach yet amazing narrative.