From the Twilight franchise to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, movie horror has entered a new golden age, and now literary novelists want in on the action. John Henry Days author Colson Whitehead takes on zombies in the post-apocalyptic Zone One, in which a group of Manhattanites struggle to reclaim office space from the undead. In Damned, Chuck Palahniuk mashes up The Inferno with The Breakfast Club and winds up with demons who torture jocks, nerds, and cheerleaders in creative ways, like sucking their skin off. And in his second novel, The Visible Man, the pop-culture critic Chuck Klosterman reimagines the bandage-swathed megalomaniac of H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man as a disturbed scientist who uses cloaking technology to menace people in their homes. Does all this literary horror have some meta-meaning? Maybe, but you can also chalk it up to serious authors having a little fun. "I'm just trying to write a book that's not boring," Klosterman says.
— Timothy Hodler
Photograph by Brad Bridgers
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