Zombies predominantly entered the mainstream via films, particularly George A. Romero's Dead series, beginning with the Night of the Living Dead in 1968. However, it was really a book that brought the integral apocalypse scenario to the zombie genre. In 1958 Richard Matheson's released a novel, I Am Legend, that featured one survivor fighting off a pandemic of infected humans. While those creatures have more similarity to vampires than zombies, it has inspired the apocalypse scenario in Night of the Living Dead, which has become integral to any decent zombie movie, book or comic.
This hub features a comprehensive zombie book list as well as highlighting some of the best pieces of zombie literature.
I Am Legend
I Am Legend was written by Richard Matheson in 1954 and, although its creatures resemble vampires rather than zombies, it went onto to be one the zombie genre’s most influential works. I Am Legend features one last human survivor, Robert Neville, living in a world filled with former humans who have succumbed to vampire-meets-zombie like conditions. It was one of the first works to introduce this type of apocalypse scenario. It was referenced by George A. Romero as the influence for the seminal zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead (1968), one of the zombie movies highlighted in the Zombie Films hub. I Am Legend was first adapted for the screen in 1964 for The Last Man on Earth (1964), starring Vincent Price. Seven years later it was adapted again for the Charlton Heston film The Omega Man in 1971. Most recently Will Smith starred in I Am Legend in 2007, featured on the Top Ten Zombie Movies hub as the third best zombie film of the last ten years.
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
The Zombie Survival Guide has become a seminal piece of literature since the resurgence of zombie media in popular culture. As implied by the title, it is written as a survival guide for surviving a zombie apocalypse. An integral part of this survival is understanding your foe, so a large portion of the book is spent discussing what a zombie is and separating myth from 'fact'.
Having this knowledge helps readers understand how to kill a zombie. However, this is not a book on how to go on a rampage against the marauding horde. Instead, this is an actual zombie survival guide. Following a zombie apocalypse the world as we know it is over, so this book tells you how to survive in it. In other words, the best hiding places, what to pack and how to be ready. It actually recommends against strapping on a machine gun and going hunting.
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead was written by Max Brooks in 2003 with illustrations by Max Werner. Check it out in softcover, audio book or as an ebook.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) was ‘written’ by Seth Grahame-Smith and is a comedic novel combining Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813) with zombies. In its review, The AV Club noted that although it seems gimmicky at first, the novel actually gives the reader a new found appreciation for Jane Austen’s original classic. A movie adaption is believed to be in the works.
A prequel was written by Steve Hockensmith called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls in 2010. Check out the trailer for that book below.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, written by Steve Hockensmith in 2003 added another book to the series.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls Book Trailer
Zombie Book List
A zombie book list, in order starting from 1921's Herbert West: Re-animator. This includes non-fiction books such as The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.
- Herbert West: Re-animator (1921) by H.P. Lovecraft
- Illuminatus! (1976) by Shea, Robert and Wilson, Robert Anton
- On Stranger Tides (1988) by Tim Powers
- The Dead (1989) by Rogers, Mark E.
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy (1998) by Perry, S.D.
- Resident Evil: Caliban Cove (1998) by Perry, S.D.
- Resident Evil: City of the Dead (1999) by Perry, S.D.
- Resident Evil: Underworld (1999) by Perry, S.D.
- The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia (2000) by Dendle, Peter (Non Fiction)
- Resident Evil: Nemesis (2000) by Perry, S.D.
- Resident Evil: Code Veronica (2001) by Perry, S.D.
- Zombie Survival Guide, The (2003) by Brooks, Max
- Resident Evil: Zero Hour (2004) by Perry, S.D.
- The Rising (2004) by Keene, Brian
- The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (2004) by Moore, Christopher
- Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema (2005) by Russell, Jamie (Non Fiction)
- Handling the Undead (2005) by Lindqvist, John Ajvide
- City of the Dead (2005) by Keene, Brian
- Introducing Zombies (Famous Movie Monsters) (2006) by Forget, Thomas (Non Fiction)
- The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless (2006) by Greene, Richard and K. Silem Mohammad (Non Fiction)
- Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth (2006) by Paffenroth, Kim (Non Fiction)
- Eaten Alive!: Italian Cannibal and Zombie Movies (2006) by Slater, Jay (Non Fiction)
- Monster Nation (2006) by Wellington, David
- Cell (2006) by King, Stephen
- Monster Island (2006) by Wellington, David
- Dead Sea (2007) by Keene, Brian
- World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2007) by Brooks, Max
- Monster Planet (2007) by Wellington, David
- History is Dead: A Zombie Anthology (2007) by Paffenroth, Kim (editor)
- Generation Dead (2008) by Waters, Daniel
- Zompoc: How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (2009) by Michael G. Thomas and Nick S. Thomas (Non Fiction)
- Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (2009) by Browne, S. G.
- Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection (2009) by Roff, Don
- Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel (2009) by Maberry, Jonathan
- Death Troopers (2009) by Schreiber, Joe
- The Enemy (2009) by Higson, Charlie
- Le protocole Reston (2009) by Mathieu Fortin
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) by Grahame-Smith, Seth
- Necromancer (2009) by Harper, Scott
- Forest of Hands and Teeth (2009) by Ryan, Carrie
- Kiss of Life (2009) by Waters, Daniel
- Zompoc: Weapons and Tactics for the Zombie Apocalypse (2010) by Michael G. Thomas and Nick S. Thomas (Non Fiction)
- Theories of International Politics and Zombies (2010) by Drezner, Daniel (Non Fiction)
- The Living Dead 2 (2010) by Adams, John Joseph
- Undead (2010) by Russo, John
- The Dead (2010) by Higson, Charlie
- Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion (2010) by Goldsher, Alan
- Dog Eat Dog (2010) by Rodger, David J.
- Feed (2010) by Grant, Mira
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls (2010) by Hockensmith, Steve
- Deadline (2011) by Grant, Mira
- Dead of Night (2011) by Maberry, Jonathan
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After (2011) by Hockensmith, Steve