by Joyce Carol Oates

“Zombie” is just one of Joyce Carol Oates numerous enthralling novels. In 1995, it received the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for a horror novel.

Ever wonder what is the impetus for a serial killer? What makes the fiend tick? Oates takes the reader into the mind of a cold, calculated serial killer where a conscience does not exist but just a carnal desire to subjugate. Will Q_ P_ ever get his zombie?

Oates portrays a terrifying mind of a serial killer through creating a unique writing style, which aids to establish a multidimensional character. Quentin P. narrates in the first person voice recollecting his past savage crimes. He sometimes refers to himself in third person, evoking an eerie image of a man with a public persona. The language is colloquial and distinctive for the innumerable ampersands in place of the traditional “and”.  Readers should be warned there are graphic descriptions that will have you cringing.

It succeeds to petrify and haunt the mind, for its uncanny consonance with infamous sociopaths. There is a conspicuous similarity between the main character, Quentin P. and Jeffery Dahmer. They are both homosexuals from a well-to-do family, on probation, registered sex offender, and have a substance abuse problem. Most importantly they share the desire to create their own zombie through morbid techniques.