The Making of Zombie Wars

Aleksandar Hemon

07 April 2016
256 pages


The Making of Zombie Wars is a hilarious black comedy from Aleksandar Hemon, celebrated author of The Lazarus Project.

Script idea #142: Aliens undercover as cabbies abduct the fiancée of the main character, who has to find a way to a remote planet to save her.

Josh Levin is an aspiring screenwriter teaching English as a Second Language classes in Chicago. His laptop is full of ideas, but the only one to really take root is Zombie Wars. When Josh comes home to discover his landlord, an unhinged army vet, rifling through his dirty laundry, he decides to move in with his girlfriend, Kimmy.

Script idea #185: Teenager discovers his girlfriend's beloved grandfather was a guard in a Nazi death camp. The boy's grandparents are survivors, but he's tantalizingly close to achieving deflowerment, so when a Nazi-hunter arrives in town in pursuit of Grandpa, he has to distract him long enough to get laid.

It's domestic bliss – for a moment. But Josh becomes entangled with a student, a Bosnian woman named Ana, whose husband is jealous and violent.

Script idea #196: Rock star high out of his mind freaks out during a show, runs offstage, and is lost in streets crowded with his hallucinations. The teenage fan who finds him keeps the rock star for himself for the night. Mishaps and adventures follow.

Disaster ensues and, as Josh's choices move from silly to profoundly absurd, Aleksandar Hemon's The Making of Zombie Wars takes on real consequence.

The Making of Zombie Wars is crazy in the best sense of the word, and very few authors could have pulled it off’ – NPR

Aleksandar Hemon is a gifted crafter of sentences . . . a rambunctious farce that includes zombies, a lot of slapstick, comedic violence, allusions to the Bible and Spinoza, and a climactic showdown involving a stoned Desert Storm veteran and a samurai sword . . . brilliant
Dreadfully, wrigglingly, antisocially funny . . . Hemon's work often crackles with humour, but it's never been this uproarious.
What soon becomes clear is that the jokes in Hemon's novel are not just jokes, but about something larger, whether political, philosophical, or moral. Like all the best comedy, the novel makes it impossible not to sense the melancholy beneath the sullenness and absurdity . . . A troubling, mysterious, lyrical elegy to the world in which the living struggle to maintain their fragile truce with the undead.