12 Following

Leah's Bookshelf

Likes: Horror, macabre, fairy tales, ghosts, hauntings, serial killers, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, time travel, orphans, clones, thrillers, classics, gothic


I like to read anything that tells a good story, duh ;) Genre doesn't really matter much but I tend to read dark fiction and fantasy the most. I skip chick lit and romance novels with a few exceptions for the extraordinary.


My ratings system:

5 stars - ADORED; plan to read over and over and over.

4 stars - ENJOYED; will likely read once or twice more.

3 stars - LIKED; may or may not read again ... someday.

2 stars - MEH; no plans to read again.

1 stars - I didn't enjoy the story and was lucky to finish.

0 stars - I couldn't or wouldn't finish for reasons that may or may not be listed in the review box.

Currently reading

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Ray Bradbury, Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Willa Carter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Nath
Progress: 225/768 pages

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates

Zombie - Joyce Carol Oates

Rating: 3.5 of 5


Sad, disgusting, horrific: exactly what one would imagine the mind of a serial killer to be. I didn't realize beforehand that Zombie was inspired by Jeffrey Dahmer, but I figured it out after Quentin P. shared his fantasy about the creation of a living zombie. The narrative was entirely stream of consciousness from Quentin's perspective, which was super creepy, and it definitely felt like I was reading a real journal. Oates fully immersed herself in the mindset of a killer, so much so I don't know which was scarier: Quentin (and the real people he represents), or Oates' ability to connect with such a character and narrate his story.


Like with a few of Oates' other books, Beasts and A Fair Maiden come to mind, there's a select group of readers who will "enjoy" Zombie. Most everyone who reads it will be grossed out and, at the end, left with an overall dirty, unsatisfied feeling.


Serial killers fascinate me; I've done extensive research and even written a couple papers about the female variety, so I was somewhat prepared for Quentin's depravity. And, while Quentin was appalling, his very being an abomination, I can't help appreciate the story for its authentic, no-holds-barred look inside the mind of a serial killer. Yet I immediately had to pick up a fun read, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, in order to counteract the effects of Zombie.


Disclaimer: This book contains graphic sex and violence, some of which involves minors. I would not recommend it to anyone under 18.