Zombies and Evangelization

I don’t really like zombies.

That said, I find myself reading about them at a rate that’s…well, it’s strange, especially considering that I don’t really like them (or the genre they’re usually in).

Recently, I reviewed a zombie novel and interviewed the author about how she, a Catholic, embraces zombies as a story-telling device.

I might consider this an exception, but I’ve recently gone gung-ho for another zombie book, one that you have no doubt heard about, Ora et Labora et Zombies, by Ryan Charles Trusell.

I kept hearing about it, but I was resisting the temptation up until I heard samples of it on one of my favorite podcasts. After that, I went ahead and ordered the first batch of letters.

Yes, that’s right: letters. The novel comes to you in the form of letters, which are delivered on a set schedule right to your mailbox.

For an avid reader like myself, this is both exciting and annoying. I could (and probably would!) whip through the book in a matter of days, but I have to wait until the author has them written and released.

(And yes, I did ask for an exception and for an electronic file for reviewing purposes. My request was politely ignored. I guess I’ll have to wait like everyone else!)

So far, it’s quite a read. I’m captivated. I’m already sharing it with my nieces and going to the mailbox with a new sense of excitement. (I can never remember when the letters are coming, so every day holds possibility.)

How is it that two different Catholic authors have chosen to incorporate zombies into their fiction? How are these novels different than the variety of other zombie genre books and shows that abound right now?

I think Ryan said it best in a recent email exchange we had recently:

My wife and I were discussing my zombie story as relates to the larger zombie genre (and Walking Dead in particular). I think the single biggest difference about Ora et Labora et Zombies is not that it is told from a Catholic perspective, but rather the fact that such a perspective inoculates it against despair. In Walking Dead, the single overarching emotion is despair, pointlessness. They have turned that show from a survival story into an treatise on existentialism, whereas my story is an exercise in Christian existentialism (a la Walker Percy… maybe I should have called it Walker’s Dead) Anyway, that’s a bit rambly… but it’s a point worth making, I think, the essence of the point being that Faith is the antidote to despair.


Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to be shocked and delighted that her life as a grown-up involve horses, writing, and sparkly dress shoes. In her work in the New Evangelization as a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish employee, and catechist, she’s learned a lot of lessons, had a lot of laughs, and consumed mass amounts of coffee. She’s online at SnoringScholar.com and CatholicMom.com, and is the author of a number of books.

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