Monday, October 31, 2011

Back by Popular Request: Zombie-Killin' Literary Characters

Hey everyone!  Remember a couple years ago, when I did my all-time favorite post for this blog?  About characters I would like to help me fight for humanity in a war against zombies?  If you do, then you might've been hoping for a sequel.  And if you're new to this blog, you might be wondering what is up with my zombie obsession?  To the latter, I answer: I have no idea.  And to the former: well here it is!  Five more characters I want to have on my side in the case of a zombie apocalypse. 

Five (More) Characters I Want on My Side in the Coming Zombie Apocalypse

1. Biff Brannon (from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers)  A surprise, right?  But hear me out: Biff is a pretty steady presence throughout this wonderful Southern gothic.  He runs his diner and watches strange things happen all around him, but he seems like he might be capable of the kind of level-headednes that might work in this situation.  Yes, there's all that weird sexual stuff going on there.  Let's ignore all that, shall we?  Give Biff a gun and I bet he could get the job done (as long as shooting people in the head doesn't remind him of a time when his niece actually did get shot in the head).  Also, doesn't every zombie apocalypse feature a scene where our scruffy band of heroes shoots at the living dead from behind a food counter.  We can get that with this guy. 

2.  Bobby Conroy (from "Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead," by Joe Hill, from 20th Century Ghosts)  This choice might seem like cheating since this is a story that features zombies.  That doesn't matter; they're just people in make-up, shooting a George Romero film in Pennsylvania, and Bobby Conroy only comes back from the dead in a figurative sense.  But if you put his ex-girlfriend and her son in harm's way in a real zombie apocalypse, I have no doubt that Bobby Conroy would become the hero he never thought he could be.  So meta!

3.  Ben Mears (from Salem's Lot, by Stephen King)  He's fought vampires, so I think this guy is well on his way to becoming a zombie hunter of the highest order.  Obvious choice, really.

4.  Hareton Earnshaw (from Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte)  What, did you think I was going to go with Heathcliff?  Hells no.  If that guy saw a zombie Catherine stumbling around, he'd be feeding everyone in a hundred-mile radius to her.  Raised largely by the brutal Heathcliff, Hareton has the coldness needed to get the job done.  But if we are to believe the end of the book, he's also developed the necessary pathos to keep his humanity.  Hang those zombies like you hung those puppies, Hareton!

5.  Shadow (from American Gods, by Neil Gaiman)  The least surprising choice, but I don't care.  Shadow is the biggest badass I've ever encountered in literature - haunted and strong, a fighter with a deep sadness.  As soon as I hear even a rumor of a zombie breakout, I'm calling this guy.  It'll be painful for him to kill zombies, with his wife basically becoming one and whatno.  But he'd get over that to help others, I think.  Shadow is nothing if not noble.  And did I mention how badass he is?  Because he's all kinds of badass. 


  1. First off. You're understating how badass Shadow is. Second, no one from the hunger games huh? I was thinking how helpful a Finnick might be. Or Haymitch.

  2. Ahh! You're right. Holy crap, Haymitch would be amazing to have in a zombie apocalypse!