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Handling the Undead | [John Ajvide Lindqvist]

Handling the Undead

Across Stockholm the power grid has gone crazy. In the morgue and in cemeteries, the recently deceased are waking up. One grandfather is alight with this, with hope that his grandson will be returned, but one husband is aghast at what his adored wife has become. Here is a horror novel that transcends its genre by showing what the return of the dead might really mean to those who loved them.
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Publisher's Summary

In his new novel, John Ajvide Lindqvist does for zombies what his previous novel, Let the Right One In, did for vampires.

Across Stockholm, the power grid has gone crazy. In the morgue and in cemeteries, the recently deceased are waking up. One grandfather is alight with this, with hope that his grandson will be returned, but one husband is aghast at what his adored wife has become.

Here is a horror novel that transcends its genre by showing what the return of the dead might really mean to those who loved them.

©2005 John Ajvide Lindqvist; Translation copyright 2009 by Ebba Segerberg (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (120 )
5 star
 (17)
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Overall
3.3 (67 )
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Story
3.9 (67 )
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3 star
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  •  
    Raymond flat rock, MI, United States 10-15-10
    Raymond flat rock, MI, United States 10-15-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant! (and very very different)"

    First of all, please know that if you are looking for the usual Romero style flesh eating zombie mayhem, you will be waiting a long time for it in this story. This novel is a very different thing. It has been said of Stephen King that his stories arent about the haunted house, but about the people that own that house. That same idea is very true about this book. This is the tale of how the presence of the zombies affects the lives of the people who knew them when they were alive. It is also a tale of people and institutions trying to manage a situation for which there is no precedent in the best way that can think to do so, and how that leads to what is both a simultaneously tragic and heartbreaking yet beautiful and hopeful conclusion. Rest assured that for the patient horror-hound the expected zombie horror (that beyond the gross-out descriptions of the undead) does eventually appear, it does so at its natural place in this story, very near the climax, and only happens because of the course of events in the book. This isnt to say that the majority of the book isnt frightening; it is, very much so, but it is the horror of the cold chill and the creepy variety that comes from ideas and implications, instead of the "fight or flight" scares that comes from violent and unnatural events. So if you are only looking for the sort of zombie apocalypse found on the silver screen, you'll be very disappointed, but if youre looking for something deeper, something that asks what it might really be like, youre in for an engaging treat. 5 stars across the board.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 01-06-11
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 01-06-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    215
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    "Great Book But..."

    This is neither a horror novel, nor really about Zombies. This is a very well written piece of literature about grief. It's a character study and really not much happens. I really enjoyed it, but it is not for everyone.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Scottsdale, AZ, United States 10-20-10
    Jean Scottsdale, AZ, United States 10-20-10 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself! I practice criminal law, a member of the Arizona State Bar, love to read like everyone who loves this site.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Classic"

    The author's prose is excellent which is doubly impressive considering this is a translation from the Swedish. The narration is good. I wish I had the money to buy the film rights to this novel. It lends itself to film and I believe it would be a blockbuster. I fear this may be the kind of excellent novel which slips through the cracks. I hope that doesn't happen. All else is said in Raymond's articulate review.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barnabas' Daughter Atlanta, GA, USA 12-27-10
    Barnabas' Daughter Atlanta, GA, USA 12-27-10 Member Since 2009

    The name is for my wife, the photo is for the old man.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "Wanted more, got it, but not what I hoped for."

    I had to try this after I read "Let Me In". This story doesn't glitter the way the other did, but it's satisfying, still. It's unique in its concept, and delivers interesting perspectives. What happens to family relationships if the dead stay around? Naturally, families are different. I think some people with enjoy this a lot more than others. It's thought provoking.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne Southfield, mi, United States 04-22-11
    Yvonne Southfield, mi, United States 04-22-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Horror Read"

    The characters are interesting and well developed. The suspense is gripping with and interesting Stockholm twist.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Collegeville, PA, United States 12-28-11
    Peter Collegeville, PA, United States 12-28-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Sterile Zombies for the Socially Aware"

    When the Zombie Apocolypse comes to America, we'll know what to do - and it won't involve rounding them up for medical treatment and study.

    Don't misunderstand me. I like the idea of zombies as a social problem that must be dealt with in a mature and responsible way. It's just that this story doesn't explore the possibilities as far as it could. I won't say that it makes the book a poor one. It just disappoints. The dead, once reanimated, have nothing to do. They're just a mystery with an eventual explanation that doesn't quite match the theme.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brien 12-22-11
    Brien 12-22-11
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    "Not a very satisfying book"

    When you read a story, you kind of want to find a character you can empathize with.. or at least tolerate. There are none of those here. Not a single one of the lead characters in the various plot lines is someone I could bring myself to care about. Not a one. And that makes for a fairly painful read. But I persevered to find out how it would all end, only to find the ending as unsatisfying as the rest of the book. If you think this book will do for the zombie story what Let Me In does for the vampire story, you are sadly mistaken. Don't brother, save your credit for something better, which shouldn't be too hard to do..

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Hooker, OK, United States 03-06-14
    Paul Hooker, OK, United States 03-06-14 Member Since 2008

    I like apocalypse, zombies, and orcs stories. Also new ideas in fiction.

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    "good story. but no violence"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not really a flesh eating zombie story. Good writing well acted. But just not what I expected.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Performance was really well done


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rick Pennington, NJ, United States 11-12-10
    rick Pennington, NJ, United States 11-12-10 Member Since 2010
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    "alot of writing, but nothing really hapened"

    I feel I wasted several hours listening to this book, waiting for something to really happen...but it never did. Too bad, author was on to an interesting twist for zombie books, but never really took it anywhere. Somewhere in the middle of the book I thought that "here we go" things are going to start moving...but no. The writing was nicely done, but the story just never really developed.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Iowa City, IA, United States 11-09-10
    Anthony Iowa City, IA, United States 11-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shouldn't be listed as a zombie novel"

    First off, I am an avid audiobook listener. I go through about one every week or two (gets me through long work days in a research lab).I really hate writing negative reviews, especially about the zombie genre. I just don't know what to write about this that would be good. I don't want to spoil the book but I feel obligated to throw out a couple of details that might have saved me from buying this audiobook. First, it has a bunch of funky Stephan King "The Cell" kind of stuff (i.e. telepathy with zombies and humans). Second (contrary to one of the other reviewers statements), gore NEVER happens. During the entire listen, the first bit of horror related anything does not occur until the last hour and a half! This "suspense" is quickly let down in an M.Night Shyamalan style of disappointment. The zombies in this book are almost completely lifeless (no pun intended). They literally just sit motionless. Total body count in this book---1. This book has more feelings moments than anything else. I really don't know what more to say. By the time you think something is finally going to happen, it doesn't. If you buy it, good luck and prepare to be as scared as if you were reading Forest Gump.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
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