What makes a good zombie book?

I’ve been reflecting on some of the zombie books I’ve read out there.  What made the good ones, well, “good?”

The best ones had great characters, a compelling plot and of course lots of zombies.  I recently read something by Robert Kirkman, the author of the Walking Dead graphic novel series.  The quote is here:

“I pitched The Walking Dead as the zombie movie that never ends, the sequel to virtually every zombie movie ever made, because I never liked the endings,” Kirkman explained. “I always wondered, ‘What do those people do next?’ I wanted to see them foraging for food, building a house and keeping their children safe. Basically, I came up with a survival drama about what happens to people in an extreme situation. A good survival story is applicable to practically anything. It could be a natural disaster or a nuclear war. It just so happens that in this case, it’s a world overrun by zombies.”

I thought this was very interesting.  As a reader of Walking Dead, I’ve always said that as the story progressed that the zombies fell to more of the background.  You always knew they were there, but the story became more about the survival aspect.  His note about the story being “applicable to practically anything” is very interesting, and a good point.

I mean seriously, many of his themes are ones that would be addressed during a nuclear strike on the US.  Anyway, the story of survival is what I think makes a good story a great story!

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