Reading the Rainbow: Book 3
Title: Zombie
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Medium: Book

I grabbed this book off the shelf of my local library for two reasons, the first is that I’ve read Joyce Carol Oates in the past and I tend to enjoy her books, and secondly, with a title like Zombie I thought she might have been drabbling in horror, and since my boyfriend is a huge horror buff I thought it might be a book we both might enjoy.

I couldn’t have been more wrong about the type of Zombie Oates mean. Zombie follows Quentin P (no last name given) who works as a caretaker at his family’s boarding house that is mostly occupied by foreign exchange students that attend the local university. Quentin took the job because he had previously been convicted of molesting a young, mentally disabled African American boy. He takes the caretaker position as a way to keep a low profile.

Quentin also has a large number of disguises, he uses them frequently as he drives around Michigan picking up young men, usually homeless men of color, who in his mind “don’t matter” to have sex with. These encounters are no longer giving Quentin what he wants or desires so he resolves to create a zombie. To prepare, Quentin reads up on performing lobotomies and even picks up the needed tools from various stores in Michigan wearing different disguises.

This book was creepy but in all of the best ways. Because it is from Quentin’s perspective there isn’t an in-text reminder that he’s crazy. Everything Quentin is said as thought it’s a perfectly rational and reasonable thing to say. With each attempt he makes at creating his zombie you feel Quentin’s hopes rise. You can feel his obsessions and the highs and lows of his emotions. Creepy. It was great but it gets the “WTF did I just read” tag for the subject matter.

Overall Rating: 4/5
Classifications: Female Authors


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