Zombies: new and improved, with 20% less brains

One of the things I always enjoyed about vampire movies is that the vampires had to follow a (somewhat flexible) set of rules. It’s comforting to know that if you haven’t invited a vampire into your house then he cannot enter it, and you are more-or-less safe.

Then filmmakers and authors began to play with these rules, and this too was interesting. Charlaine Harris’s vampires, for example, have a blood substitute available so that they do not have to use humans for their nutritional needs.

Zombies also exist within a fairly tight set of rules. They typically crave brains and thus try feed off humans, they can survive loss of limbs and other severe bodily damage, they don’t sleep or breathe or feel pain, they do not remember their previous lives, typically they moan but do not talk, and they are strong but slow moving. The standard method of dispatching a zombie is to destroy its brain.

Zombie infestations are generally caused by objects from space, chemicals, or disease. If a living person is bitten by a zombie, he or she joins the ranks of the brain eaters. Most zombie stories feature groups of the living trying to survive zombie attacks and to wipe out the zombies.

So what fresh zombie twists have been unleashed on our zombie-hungry nation?

In Handling the Undead by John Ajvide-Linqvist, strange weather causes the dead to come back to life. In addition to your typical zombie mayhem, the author examines the psychological side of the undead.

In Dead Mann Walking: a Hessius Mann Novel by Stefan Petrucha, a criminal is executed, exonerated, and then brought back to “life” as a zombie. This story looks at the details of zombie life, culture and slang.

In My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland, Angel Crawford dies in a car crash and then comes back as a zombie. In life Angel was a drug addict, but in death her only addiction is to brains. Fortunately for her, a local serial killer seems to prey upon a victim whenever Angel craves brains.

In The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse by Steven C. Schlozman, a medical team studies zombies in an attempt to find a cure for the zombie epidemic. This book details the unique biology of zombies and includes anatomical drawings.

Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament by S. G. Browne is a romantic zombie comedy that details the day-to-day life of zombies.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks tells about the zombie wars as if they were an historical event. Included in the text are interviews with survivors of the zombie apocalypse.

In I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked it by Adam Selzer, a high school student starts dating a zombie without realizing that he is undead. When she does find out and tries to break up with him, things do not go as easily as planned.

In My So-Called Death by Stacey Jay, a freak cheerleading accident leaves Karen undead. She is sent to a boarding school for the “death-challenged” and discovers a mysterious plot that might bring about the end of all the students.

Be sure to visit A Reading Life for more reviews and news of all things happening at the Everett Public Library

More in Life

Shrimp and grits, rendered healthful and Italian? We’re in.

This recipe features a sauce made with olive oil, tomatoes and herbs instead of cheese and cream.

UFO at Paine Field playground was left by an artist — not aliens

The flying saucer at community park in Everett is a cosmic attraction.

Chef James Abbott makes Buck’s peanut butter pie at Buck’s American Cafe in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Fur & Feathers: 4 lovable dogs need homes

Meet Lola, Sadie, Scooter and Chance

Sweet baking tips: How to rescue brown sugar that’s turned hard

Soften the rock solid stuff, then try this recipe for chocolate chunk cookies with sea salt.

Valentina Bogdanova, 74, loves working in the gardens that nearly surround the Bakerview Apartments, where she has lived for 20 years. The units are among 16 affordable and subsidized properties leased to seniors by the Everett Housing Authority. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
As real estate booms, those with fixed-incomes need help

When senior citizens get housing, they are able to ‘age in place.’

Melania Trump to donate inaugural ball gown to Smithsonian

Melania Trump is donating her inaugural ball gown… Continue reading

Harry Potter exhibit marks 20th anniversary of first book

Many of the things Harry Potter fans thought were imaginary were actually based in fact — or folklore.

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Most Read