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
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.
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.
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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.
Say something about yourself!
The characters are interesting and well developed. The suspense is gripping with and interesting Stockholm twist.
The name is for my wife, the photo is for the old man.
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.
Living in Northern NJ. Addicted to that spine-tingling rush of fear.
I liked the premise, but things left unanswered. ..no explanations as to why things happened. missed that follow through. ended without that A-ha moment.
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..
The only reason I got this after reading all the negative reviews was because Lindqvist's vampire story "Let Me In" was the best horror novel I've ever read, and I wanted to see what he could do with the zombie genre.
I found the story profoundly moving; it had the tragic, melancholic quality and exploration of character that The Walking Dead TV series used to feature in its early episodes before it became a cartoon/soap opera. The prose was beautiful and often poetic (the translator did a phenomenal job). And just as with "Let Me In", which, though ostensibly a vampire horror novel, wasn't really ABOUT vampires or horror, but rather the nature of love and questions of morality, this book wasn't about zombies so much as how the living deal with the loss of their loved ones, and how death affects the living that are left behind.
Zombie books and movies (especially George A. Romero's "...of the Dead" sextet) are a great vehicle for social commentary. Lindqvist takes full advantage of this, but is very subtle with it.
The narrator was absolutely perfect!
I'll definitely be listening to this audiobook again.
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.
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.
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