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Double Dead (Tomes of the Dead) Paperback – November 10, 2011

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Paperback, November 10, 2011
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About the Author

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter and self-described 'penmonkey.' He sold his first story when he was 18. After working in the computer and role-playing game industries he began scripting TV and film projects, including a horror film script which won him a place at the prestigious Sundance Screenwriter Lab 2010. He's written too much. He should probably stop. Give him a wide berth, as he might be drunk and untrustworthy. He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with wife, dog, and newborn progeny. He has written two novels and a novella for Abaddon, and two novels for Angry Robot Books.


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Product Details

  • Series: Tomes of the Dead
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abaddon Books; First Edition edition (November 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907992405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907992407
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,016,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter and game designer. He's the author of many published novels, including but not limited to: Blackbirds, The Blue Blazes, and the YA Heartland series. He is co-writer of the short film Pandemic and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. Wendig has contributed over two million words to the game industry. He is also well known for his profane-yet-practical advice to writers, which he dispenses at his blog,, and through several popular e-books, including The Kick-Ass Writer, published by Writers Digest. He currently lives in the forests of Pennsyltucky with wife, tiny human, and red dog.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dave Versace on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A vampire called Coburn wakes up in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and realises he needs to save the human survivors or he'll starve.

That's the premise. You'll know going in whether a story like this is going to work for you. If it does - and boy howdy it did for me - then Double Dead delivers on its promises. It's a brutal post-apocalyptic road movie featuring the usual ragtag band of survivors - the overbearing dad, the manipulative bitch, the psychic teenager (and a couple of other characters vying for the opportunity to be the first one to be killed off). Think of The Walking Dead, but with slightly less ghastly humans.

Then there's Coburn. He's selfish, he's cruel, he's completely unrepentant about his decades of debauched self-indulgence and murder. He's only using his vampiric superpowers to protect the others so he can feed from them. Or so he tells himself, until he realises that there are many far more awful horrors - people and otherwise - out there in what remains of the world. As he and his `sheeple' lurch from one over-the-top, action-packed crisis to the next, Coburn realises he has more at stake than his next meal.

Violent, hilarious and horrific by turns, this book does just what it says on the box. There's dismemberment, bad language and misuse of firearms. There are cannibals, monster hunters, ultrazombies and juggalos. The action is fast-paced, the explosions are frequent and the bloodletting is plentiful. Yet for all the mayhem, Double Dead is a book with heart and brains. The characters are all touched by tragedy, even its monster protagonist, and it never lets you forget that all this horror and insanity is happening to ordinary people.

This is a grotesque, ballsy and confident first novel from rockstar penmonkey Chuck Wendig.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Swensen on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fun yarn with a great premise, but an ending that feels rushed. Double Dead reminds me of Stephen King crossed with Sam Raimi: lots of garish, gruesome imagery, lots of inventive, non-stop profanity. The latter is probably my biggest complaint with the book -- I don't have a problem with copious profanity, but Wendig's characters have a tendency to become quip machines, slinging endless permutations of the F-bomb at one another. In sufficient volume, it robs the characters of individual voice, and they all start sounding like Wendig's blog.

I wasn't sold on Coburn (the vampire protagonist) at first, because early on he's a very one-note guy, telling everyone within earshot how awesome he is and how he's seconds from killing them at any moment. But Coburn grows over time and manages a satisfying arc by the end. It was nice to see a vampire who is neither maudlin nor sensitive; Coburn is pure macho id who loves him some murder.

Overall, a few flaws, but an entertaining horror adventure.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Kazzie on November 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first became familiar with Chuck Wendig's work through his popular blog, on which he dispenses a lot of writing advice. He was obviously an excellent writer, and when I heard he had a post-apocalyptic zombie book coming out, I was excited to read it, and I just hoped he was as good a storyteller as he was a blogger.

He is a fantastic storyteller. I read Double Dead over the course of the weekend, the first time in ages I've read a book that fast.

Double Dead is unlike any zombie novel you've ever read -- the premise of a vampire waking up from a long coma to discover the human race has been decimated by a zombie apocalypse is ingenious. I won't reveal any more about the story here -- to do so, even a little, will cheat you out of a fantastic reading experience.

It's scary, funny and full of action. Wendig's style is clear and cinematic, and he knows to handle a large cast of characters. One of my peeves in reading fiction is being unable to distinguish one character from another -- Wendig never lets that happen.

He's built a very convincing world here, and I look forward to his future books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A L BLAIR on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a fun ride through a horrifying world of cannibals, the walking (and running) dead, and religious wackos who were perhaps the scariest monsters of all.

The main character and major supporting character were richly drawn and all kinds of awesome, but a lot of the supporting cast characterization seemed to rely on stereotypes - the morbidly obese asexual geek, the catty former prostitute, etc.. Not a grievous sin, but not really the depth I was hoping for from the sample chapter.

The plot moved along at a good clip, with excellent pacing, but the vampire main character had a habit of defying the clearly set rules of his survival over and over again, and it began to get a little Road Runner-ish by the ending.

Those two small snafus aside, I thought this book was worth reading twice just because the dialog kept me grinning through the most horrific events, and the imagery was simultaneously beautiful and horrific.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Scott Roche on July 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So, should you read this book? If this quote from the author doesn't grab you:

This ain't Twilight, folks. Only way Coburn glitters is if he kills and eats a stripper.

Then maybe my TL;DR review will:

Buy this.

In case that's not enough, here we go. I generally like my horror to be subtle these days. I enjoy the sorts of creepiness that happen off the screen or in my imagination. Reading this blood soaked carnival ride from Hell is one the occasional exceptions. Why is that? One word; characters.

If you're going to send me through a dark world where some people have turned to cannibalism to survive and the body count on the page is high, you have to give me characters with some depth. While Coburn is the blood fueled terror that I believe vampires should be, there's more to him than that. He's not tortured by what he is, at least not at first. It's not until he meets an odd little family of survivors and a girl who refuses to be afraid of him that he starts to wonder about his own past and his new role as protector of humanity. The conflict Wendig wrings out of that is delicious.

Okay there are actually more words. Wendig knows how to use humor to lighten up the bleakest story (CREAMPUFF THE WONDER TERRIER). He does things that surprise me (Insane Clown Posse loving despot). He takes the most basic tropes in the horror genre and infuses his own madness into them (mutant zombies, a unique cause for the zombie outbreak, a dying girl that may be the key to unlocking a cure to the whole mess).

The book isn't perfect. There are a few characters that fall flat. Once or twice he pulled things out of his hat that were over the top even for a book like this. All in all though, if the premise and my above words are enough to make you want it, then go buy it!

I give it four and a half fangs.
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