Zombie (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Zombie (Oates novel - cover art).jpg
First edition cover art
AuthorJoyce Carol Oates
Cover artistLeonard Telesca
GenreFiction, Horror, Thriller
Published1995 (Dutton)
Pages181 pp
813/.54 20
LC ClassPS3565.A8 Z43 1995
Preceded byWhat I Lived For 
Followed byWe Were the Mulvaneys 

Zombie is a 1995 novel by American writer Joyce Carol Oates, which explores the mind of a serial killer. It was based on the life of Jeffrey Dahmer.

Dahmer stated in an interview with Stone Phillips, "The only motive that there ever was to completely control a person, a person I found physically attractive, and keep them with me as long as possible, even if it meant keeping a part of them."[1]

A short-film adaptation starring Bill Connington, developed from his successful one-man stage adaptation, was directed by Tom Caruso.[2]


The protagonist, Quentin P, seeks to create a zombie out of an unsuspecting young man. He intends to find a perfect young male companion and re-wire his brain, thereby turning the victim into a mindless sex slave.[3] His several attempts at creating a zombie, by doing improvised surgery on the victim's brain, all end in failure, however, as the men he abducts, rapes and tortures all die at his hands. By the end of the novel, he has begun to enjoy killing for its own sake.

Adding to his frustrations is his increasingly suspicious family, particularly his father.


The book won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel.[4]


  1. ^ Phillips, Stone. "Jeffrey Dahmer Interview - Extended Footage". Interview. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
  2. ^ "Home". zombiethefilm.com.
  3. ^ Johnson, Greg (1998). Invisible Writer: A Biography of Joyce Carol Oates. New York City: Dutton. p. 201.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved October 23, 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Boston Book Review's Fisk Fiction Prize