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zombie novels with ordinary heroes

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Initial post: May 22, 2012, 4:49:02 AM PDT
I'm looking for zombie novels (of which I've already read a large number) with ordinary folk as heroes because, let's face it, if a zombie apocalypse occurs, most of us aren't heavily armed SEAL or Delta Force commandos with an arsenal in the basement, unlimited ammo supplies, neighbors they've managed to train into a military unit, and a knowledge of 17 ways to kill somebody with one finger. I've read those books and find them entertaining for about the first chapter.

I want to read about the guy in a high rise office building, trapped in a crawlspace with a dozen biters between him and the elevator and how he survives. Or the housewife who finds herself suddenly trapped in the suburban ranch home from hell and what she has to do to live another day. That kind of story, to me, is what makes a good Z.A. tale. Any suggestions?

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012, 1:54:27 PM PDT
Stant Litore says:
James, I assume you've read World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (filled with both "ordinary" and not-ordinary heroes), so I recommend going next to:

The First Days: As the World Dies

Yes, main character starts out as a (bereaved) housewife.


Valley of the Dead (The Truth Behind Dante's Inferno)

That one is pretty cerebral, but also horrific. It is set in the Middle Ages and features a pregnant villager and Dante the poet (who is hardly Elite Forces) fleeing the dead.

Hope this helps!

Stant Litore

Posted on May 22, 2012, 2:00:02 PM PDT
KinksRock says:
I am soon going to read The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor. If it is any good and meets your criteria, I can report back.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012, 2:15:52 PM PDT
WWZ is what started me on my zombie lit fetish. As the World Dies is excellent (although I haven't read the latest one yet). I'll check out Valley of the Dead. thanks!

Posted on May 22, 2012, 2:17:54 PM PDT
Thanks, kinksrock. I like the WD series on AMC, so it will be interesting to hear your report.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012, 2:21:11 PM PDT
KinksRock says:
Have you read the graphic novel series? It is way more gory and violent than the series. I like both the comics and the TV series.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012, 2:29:20 PM PDT
No, sadly I'm not a big fan of graphic novels, generally. But I got hooked on the AMC series before i saw a single episode, the first time I saw the promo with the door labeled "Do Not Open, Dead Inside."

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012, 2:38:36 PM PDT
KinksRock says:
I'm not a regular graphic novel reader. I'm a book reader. But the Walking Dead series is particularly good. If you are able to take a volume out of your library (so it doesn't cost you any money if you don't like it), give it a try.

Posted on May 23, 2012, 10:30:52 AM PDT
Splinker says:
Cell by Stephen King was pretty good, if you consider it a zombie novel.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:08:48 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
Sorry. RISE OF THE GOVERNOR was ok, but not great. Annoying ending.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 7:20:25 AM PDT
Thanks for the update, Kinksrock. I just finished a pretty good one called The Valley of Death and Zombies by william Bebb. The hero is a septic tank truck driver who is about to have a really crappy day (yes, that was a pun...).

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 7:23:50 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
Zombies are a tough subject for novels. They work great in the WD graphic novel and TV series and, of course, the George Romero series.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 7:28:28 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
Speaking of zombies . . . anyone hear about the naked man who was shot after eating another guy's face in Miami?

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 7:36:43 AM PDT
I've read a number of decent zombie novels, and a couple of really excellent ones (and a whole stack of truly atrocious ones, truth to tell). For me, I think the main trick is making characters, plot, and dialog sound plausible in a clearly unreal situation. Unfortunately, I find that, for a number of authors, their main focus seem to be on the type and number of guns a character has and uses, with plot and dialog following in a distant second.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 7:38:26 AM PDT
I heard the guy in Miami wouldn't stop even when ordered by a police officer. He just looked up and growled and kept eating. Creepy!

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 7:43:43 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
That's as close to a real zombie as you can get.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 7:45:35 AM PDT
Yep! If cases like this start to multiply, I'm buggin' out!

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 7:47:03 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
The pictures are awful, and the "zombie" looks like he was in great shape -- how do you fight off a guy like that? And how did he manage to do all that with just his teeth? It's not like we humans have real fangs.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 7:47:34 AM PDT
I read and enjoyed Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel .
The protagonists are a female kick butt cop named Desdemona and a journalist. Plus the most excellent twist yet on how the ZA got started. Jonathan Maberry rules!

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 8:16:23 AM PDT
Thank you for asking this question. My husband and I are huge zombie movie fans, but I've never read a zombie novel. Like you I am no "heavily armed SEAL or Delta Force commando" and would like to be able to relate to the characters in a story. Some of the suggestions posted by fellow participants look very intriguing, and I intend to add some of them to my own library.
On another note, the face eating man in Miami story sounds horrific.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 8:24:18 AM PDT
Charlene, Dead of Night was a really good book. As I have come to expect from Mr. Maberry. I've yet to read a bad novel by him.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 8:39:28 AM PDT
I should've known you've probably already read it!
I just discovered Maberry last year. So far I've read the Pine Deep Trilogy (which ROCKED) and Dead of Night. I also read PAtient Zero-but that one had more of a military bent to it, so I didn't enjoy it as much as DON.

I have yet to read the Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura) books. : (

Posted on May 29, 2012, 8:47:00 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 29, 2012, 9:43:54 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 9:12:42 AM PDT
Charlene, I have been kept away from the Rot and ruin books by the Young Adult rating, which to me translates as kid stuff. Let me know what you think once you've read it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012, 9:16:19 AM PDT
Will do. I've received many recommendations for that series and all of them are from adults.
To be honest, the YA genre is what is holding me back from reading them right away.
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Discussion in:  Horror forum
Participants:  42
Total posts:  169
Initial post:  May 22, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 24, 2013

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