The Best Zombie Story of the Year

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Joshuah Bearman says:

Proximity to Halloween, and sheer fascination has moved me to highlight this great article I read a little while ago. It is about Zombies, the Haitian kind, and is the best Zombie-related story in recent memory. Of any kind: no comic, game, literary mash up, or blockbuster matches this article in Men's Journal (of all places)! The piece is a detailed look at the elaborate system of secret societies, ritual magic, and pharmacologically-induced human trafficking that is the Haitian zombie culture.

It is incredible. Even if you are familiar with Wade Davis, or have read The Serpent and the Rainbow, or seen the mediocre movie, Berlinski’s story is still incredible. In addition to the background on how zombies may or may not be created, it's like a mystery that plays out in the byzantine world of zombie administration, which sounds like an episode of Trueblood, with regional hierarchies of Chief Sorcerers and Departmental Chiefs and Presidents and Emperors and Queens and their sorcerer secretaries. Not to mention the zombie passports – documents that allow one to create, hold, or move your zombie from region to region. (Yes, such things exist; there are pictures.)

Berlinski follows Madame Zicot, a woman trying to track down her zombified daughter, Nadathe, by navigating her way through the secret societies. (And yes, they do accessorize with candle-topped skulls and convene at midnight.) It is gripping as an occult procedural, and heartbreaking as a story of real personal tragedy.

The Best Zombie Story of the Year

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  1. That was incredible .. and incredibly sad. I would desperately like to hear of Nadathe being reunited with her family. I can only imagine being in that situation, and feel that I would have responded similarly to them.

  2. You have to wonder how much of this is due to cultural conditioning, i.e., people being tricked into believing that someone has the power to transform them into zombies.

  3. You have to wonder how much of this is due to cultural conditioning, i.e., people being tricked into believing that someone has the power to transform them into zombies.

  4. my fiance is half haitian. his grandmother was brought up in the religion, and boy does she ever have some spooky bedtime stories to tell!

  5. If you enjoy this read and you should, check out a novel by W.B. Seabrook “The Magic Island”. Written in 1929 about a white mans journey into Voodoo.

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