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The Rising

Narrated by: Joe Hempel
Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (150 ratings)

Regular price: $24.95

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Publisher's Summary

Since its 2003 debut, Brian Keene's The Rising is one of the best-selling zombie novels of all-time. It has been translated into over a dozen languages, inspired the works of other authors and filmmakers, and has become a cultural touchstone for an entire generation of horror fans.

The Rising is the story of Jim Thurmond, a determined father battling his way across a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape, to find his young son. Accompanied by Martin, a preacher still holding to his faith, and Frankie, a recovering heroin addict with an indomitable will to survive, Jim travels from state to state and town to town facing an endless onslaught of undead hordes and the evils perpetrated by his fellow man.

©2003 Brian Keene (P)2017 David N. Wilson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Different type of zombie story

This is an unusual, action packed and somewhat disturbing story. Yes, like in the usual zombie tales, the dead do rise but they are not the shambling, mindless zombies that normally occur in this type of story. The dead, both human and animal, are just vessels for something more sinister and deadly. I must admit though, that the thought of a zombie fish did make me laugh and yet somehow it seemed to fit ok in that section of the story. No, this story wasn't perfect and it lacked detail in some places, but the multiple stories of different individuals do interweave to form a picture of desperation, strength, survival, immorality, loss and love. The narration in this newly released (07/2017) audiobook is great. The narrator lets you feel the horror and loss; the cold hatred of the risen dead, the guilt and responsibility Baker feels, the depravity of the meat wagon and the anguish as Jim desperately tries to reach his son. Overall I enjoyed this story but I did find the ending rather abrupt and somewhat frustrating

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

What was with all the religious stuff?

2.5 stars rounded up to 3, because maybe I just didn't get it the way I was supposed to?

Anyhoo...

I remember when I first saw Stargate, and marveled at how conveniently wormholes were used to explain religion, mysticism and other oddities in human history. When an author can take an overused theme, and give it a fresh explanation that enriches the myth, it's priceless. That kind of enhancement is exactly what Brian Keene weaves into the world of The Rising.

We have a mixed bag of Thetan-style body occupiers, a la Scientology, mixed with evil Christian demons, jumbled up to give rise to zombies. We get the explanation for why zombies only maim then move on (hint: they need our bodies). We also get a lot of references to Stephen King's works, through direct quotes ("Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance") and characters with nods to popular ones in his novels, like John of Many Colors for The Stand's Trashcan Man. It's a whole lot of pop horror culture woven into one ultra-campy zombie novel.

And then all those cool ideas fizzle into half-developed characters, "off" dialogue and weird gore.

There was a sharp emphasis on how badly people behave during the apocalypse, mostly that men will immediately turn the clocks back a few hundred years and start gleefully raping and pillaging, and we lose focus on the zombies themselves. I get that this is supposed to be bloody and gory, but could the evil and bloody destruction have been at the hands of the bad guys (the zombies) and not mostly perpetrated by the humans trying to survive?

And while I'm complaining, what was with all the religious stuff? Seriously, all the Bible verses and prayers were too much. The Martin/preacher character and the constant discussion of God, Jesus, faith, and actual prayer recitations were tedious. I wish this book had been identified as Christian fiction, because I would have known it was not for me.

Even though I have the Author's Preferred Edition in audio, which I hear is considerably cleaned up from the original publication, the writing could still use a great deal of editing and polish. It reads like a raw and unfinished self-published novel. There exist a multitude of forced, awkward or incorrect phrases, more than I could keep up with while listening:

"murmur of consent", when it should have been assent
"delay that order", when it should have been belay

We also endure a lot of one-liners that are way too cheesy, especially when coming from the zombies. Certainly nothing quotable or meaningful can be found in there, just a bunch of awkwardly campy dialogue.

As for the audio, the narrator, Joe Hempel, had a few mispronunciations, but overall did a more than admirable job of differentiating the characters' voices. I was thankful for this, because the characters were not developed well enough for me to tell the difference between them without his addition of inflections and accents.

Frustratingly, the story ends very abruptly, literally on the threshold of resolving the single driving plot point of the novel. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, the manipulation of the reader to buy the next book in the series, so I guess I'll never find out.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Demonic Zombies!

Excellent post-apocalyptic book with a different spin on zombies! Demons are possessing the bodies of dead humans and animals! I love when an author can put a spin on the classic zombie and make it different than every other zombie book out there. I loved 99% of this book. I want to give the one fingered salute to the author for the ending! The whole book is Jim's story of survival on his way to rescue his son. He makes friends and enemies along the way and fights demonic zombies. It is very emotional and heart wrenching at times and very action packed! SPOILER.... Once he finally makes it to his destination, you never actually find out the results of the moment the whole book has been leading up to. You can make a good assumption, but you don't know for sure. Ultimate cliffhanger! It's a little upsetting! Amazing narration by Joe Hempel! He did an outstanding job! Despite the ending, I still would recommend this book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Rising Part I

As everyone else has mentioned this is a different take on zombies which is quite refreshing. Even if you remove the zombies from the story, the plot, although familiar, is enjoyable. The different style zombies adds a uniqueness to the story and I am sure the second and third book will only get better as we learn more about them. There were a few aspects of the book I didn’t care for, namely getting invested in characters only to have them die.
This isn’t a standalone book and I wasn’t aware of that until the very end. Really looking forward to the next one because this book ends like the season of your favorite tv show, incomplete and forcing you to wait eagerly for the next one.
Joe Hempel as always did a fantastic job and at this point if his name is on the book I know that I will enjoy it.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Really good ZomPoc book

What can you say about Brian Keene except that he is a really good writer. This story is emotional and has some aspects of zompoc that are unique. Anxious to see what happens in the sequel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

this books the best zombie story I've come across

Brian Keene is my favorite author every horror fan should read his books !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • British Columbia
  • 09-04-17

A solid story

Pretty good story, narrator stays mostly out of the way. I would check out the sequel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TU
  • 08-07-17

Can't believe I missed this one in print!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Can't believe I missed this one in print. I'm a huge zombie genre fan and thought I had exhausted pretty much all of the greats. I thought this was a great spin on the genre, though fast zombies a FAR scarier than the traditional shambling undead. Add to that zombie animals and it makes this one truly unique. The narrator was great and the story was well written and engaging. A must have for any Zombie Apocalypse fan.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unique.

I always try to make my own synopsis when writing a review, but with this one I would probably spoil something, so I think the synopsis of the book says it all....... "THE RISING is the story of Jim Thurmond, a determined father battling his way across a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape, to find his young son. Accompanied by Martin, a preacher still holding to his faith, and Frankie, a recovering heroin addict with an indomitable will to survive, Jim travels from state to state and town to town, facing an endless onslaught of undead hordes, and the evils perpetrated by his fellow man."

I wasn't too sure what to expect going into this because there are some pretty negative reviews for it, but thank goodness it was better than I hoped. One thing that stands out the most is the Zombies. I loved the spin the author put on them. How they came about is definitely unique!!! Plus they are sentient, can think and plan and can shoot, drive and pretty much do everything. The Zombiness isn't just limited to humans either. Anything that can die will turn into one, so we have Zombie goldfish which is something I've never ever read before!!!

if you suspend disbelief, then the plot is good!! I liked how focused Jim is on finding his son and his journey there was filled with a lot of danger. I liked reading about the other characters and their journeys and I enjoyed seeing how they meet, but it was hard to connect with them all, as I thought they weren't fleshed out enough. I just didn't really care too much about them.

In all, this was a very different take on the Zombie books I usually read. It was a good read and the ending left me wanting to read the next book in the series. I'm hoping they bring it to audio soon!!

Joe Hempel is a narrator I find myself listening to more and more because he knows how to tell a good story. He has an array of tones and voices and always knows how to amp up the tension when needed. I hope he narrates the next one!!

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Totally Different!

As advertised, this is a unique take on the classic zombie tale with some surprising and satisfying elements. The characters are complex, dynamic, and diverse - a really nice fresh breath of air in that regard. The epic narrative takes our protagonists through obstacle after obstacle in the hellish post-apocalyptic landscape. This story felt disturbingly possible to me; Keene's imagination has a realism quality to it. Joe Hempel, one of my very favorite narrators, does this intense adventure justice.

All of that said, I hated the ending so much it nearly ruined the book for me. Sometimes I think authors think they're clever when leaving cliff hangers but to me it reads as lazy or afraid to make a bold choice. If you want answers to questions posed throughout, then this book isn't for you.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful