With my current predilection for zombie novels, I was recently asked why this interest did not extend to vampire novels. There certainly seem to be a range of them around at the moment, and I can certainly see their appeal, especially for teens/young people searching for their identity and place in the world.
I guess the way I see it, vampire books are about the transformation of an individual which takes them outside of society and their everyday life, to a place where the rules no longer apply. They have to find their way outside of but alongside normal human life. Zombie stories (and generally post-apocalyptic and related genres) on the other hand take away the entire notion of current society, they strip back the veneer of civilisation, distilling things down to more basic urgencies. It’s the idea of building a new society, of starting again from scratch and how this would work. It’s the reassessing of priorities and living in the moment, things we are often told to do but never seem to find the time to get around to.
They challenge how we as a society perceive and deal with both real and imagined threats to our existence and way of life. They shine a light on our cushy lives: over-indulged, overfed, overconfident, over-entertained. And apathetic.
And they are just rollicking good fun 😉