Three Scary Books for Vacation Reading

You know me. I can’t sit still. I’ve been reading up a storm on my vacation. Here, I’ve got three scary books for you to check out. The first is Personal Effects: Dark Art, by my friend J.C. Hutchins. The reason you have to buy this book is that I believe it’s a first of its kind. The book is chock full of immersive experience elements. You can google names in the book and find sites. You can look up phone numbers, dial them, and hear messages. It’s CRAZY how deep the story goes. Try it.

The second is Max Brooks’s World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. If this isn’t a book just screaming out for a movie, I don’t know what is. I think the “documentary” style of writing curbed some of the scary bits, but it made for quite a thought-provoking piece.

Finally, I checked a book from a friend of Don Lafferty called Patient Zero, by Jonathan Maberry. Of the three, this was the real page-turner. It’s like Bourne Identity meets *.zombie genre, and was a real “can’t put it down” type of read.

All three are a must. Here are Amazon links to them: runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • startabuzz

    As luck would have it, I'm headed out on “vacation” this week. I'm officially sold on Patient Zero; Zombies meet Baltimore police meets the Bourne Identity??? How could I possibly go wrong with that? :)

    Thanks, Chris!

  • Nadia P

    I *LOVE* World War Z! Glad you enjoyed it :)

  • John Bell

    I am just finishing Patient Zero after my son, who is a Zombie aficionado, read it. This started as dad-wanting-to-connect-with-son and ended with me loving the book. That coming from a guy more proud of his Steven Millhauser and Richard Ford-tastes.

    We are awaiting the DC-debut fo the movie Dead Snow to give us the next Zombie-fix. What could be cooler than Nazi Zombies in Norway?

  • Michael Moran

    Very cool. A fellow teacher suggested World War Z. I am very interested in the interactivity of Personal Effects: Dark Art and agree that this will be the new trend in fiction writing. I posted your video and link at:

    Thanks for the book review.

  • Dracotorre

    Patient Zero sounds good, and I might have to check out Personal Effects. Nice review.

  • Sean Bohan

    PE:DA is AWESOME. I found the book thanks to you, CC, Burtis and it rocks.

    I have been watching the ARG space for a while now (lots of action, couple bona fide hits) and this transmedia narrative by JC is simply brilliant.

    Will check out the other two books – thanks for the recommendation

  • EyeView

    Just out of interest, did you buy these books or were you given them? I couldn't tell if this was a real review or if you were doing favors for a couple of friends.

    I read your stuff because it usually resonates with integrity and opinion, but this just felt inauthentic to me, sorry.

  • Robert

    I don't know why, but Zombies seem to have really gone mainstream since “Dawn of the Dead”. My fave zombie movie remains “Shaun of the Dead” a comedy, love story with zombies. :) It's all that and more. Another one that's just so terrible you'll keep watching much like many do a train wreck is “Zombie Strippers” although that's certainly nsfw or family for that matter.

    I'm certainly going to get my hands on the World War Z! :D

  • Nick P

    World War Z is actually being made into a Movie. Due out 2010.

    Marc Forster Directing it (Quantum of Solace, Kite Runner, Monster's Ball).

    Total Awesomeness.

  • christammiller

    I LOVED WWZ. It absolutely blew me away. I loved how Max Brooks wove in real-world/sociopolitical/cultural stuff!

    Speaking of movies, 28 Years Later is said to be coming out in the next year or two, I believe. Hee. And while this movie isn't about zombies, it's quite possibly the best vampire movie I've ever seen: Let the Right One In. It's deep, thought-provoking.

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  • Maggie Littlefield

    Thanks so much, Chris. And since you're in a mood to be “thrilled,” may I make a recommendation? Just out is “Paris City of Night,” by David Downie. He is a well-known, terrifically-respected travel and food writer and has now turned his attention to fiction, with splendid, heart-stopping results. This is a Paris that none of us knows. I thought I was smart and could be twelve steps ahead of a story until I picked up this one. If you pick it up you won't put it down until it's finished, I'll bet, especially with your penchant for top-notch, scary vacation reading.

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  • Holly

    Downloaded World War Z when I saw this post. Just finished it. Thanks for the great recommendation. If you haven't seen it:

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  • Michael Kindness

    World War Z is one of my faves. I loved the “real-world” feel of it.

    Patient Zero sounds fun. I'll have to check that one out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • UPrinting

    Now that I think about it, I haven't really read anything from the horror genre. Well, if you consider RL Stine's works as horror, then fine. Thanks for sharing these books. Better go look for them… :)

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  • memoire pc

    just finished Patient Zero. it was the first book i have read in years. and i loved it. kept me entertained cover to cover. i would love to see it made into a movie

  • memoire pc

    just finished Patient Zero. it was the first book i have read in years. and i loved it. kept me entertained cover to cover. i would love to see it made into a movie

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    cool and enjoy it.

  • TrishaOsborne

    I'm the type that reads books before the vacation:)) While on vacation I prefer relaxing and doing new things that I have never done before. For example, last year I went on a celebrity cruise and visited a lot of exotic places that our dear planet has for us. It was an amazing experience. For this year I'm thinking about some mountain climbing.


    World war Z is such a great book.

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