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Monster Island: A Zombie Novel Paperback – April 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560258500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560258506
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Wellington's energetic horror debut, the first of a promised trilogy, Manhattan has become Monster Island after a plague has turned all its denizens into shambling, rotting animated corpses, except for a couple who have kept their intelligence and also acquired psychic powers. When an expedition from Africa arrives, composed of teenage girl-soldiers and a former U.N. weapons inspector, the zombie masters mobilize their forces to kill or eat the living humans. Page by page, the story is inventive and exciting as Wellington exploits his familiarity with New York's nooks and crannies as settings for flesh-chomping battles and narrow escapes. As a whole, though, the book satisfies less since the author selectively forgets anything about the situation or the characters that would inhibit further gross-out episodes. Still, the novel offers some provocative thoughts about the purpose of life and death underlaid with some ultra-dark humor. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This is a zombie novel--a fantastic zombie novel. Most of the world has fallen to the undead, with pockets of survivors clinging to a precarious existence. At the behest of the leader of the Free Women's Republic of Somaliland, a shipload of those makes the ludicrous trip from Africa to New York in a desperate quest for medicine. New York is a wasteland, and everything depends on a small, incredibly dedicated band of teenage girls, armed to the teeth, and native guide Dekalb, formerly a UN arms inspector. Also, in NYC there is Gary, a zombie who, completely unexpectedly, retains live human mental faculties. The questers get ringside seats for some of the apocalypse's finest moments, and no matter how prepared they thought they were, something worse awaits in the depths of New York. When zombies have already overrun everything, that's saying something. There are many layers to this zombie apocalypse, and this book just gets things rolling. Stay tuned. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

David Wellington was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Syracuse University and received an MFA in creative writing from Penn State.

In 2004 he began serializing his novel Monster Island online. The book rapidly gained a following, and was acquired for print publication by Thunder's Mouth Press.

Since then, Wellington has published more than 15 novels, and has been featured in The New York Times, Boing Boing and the Los Angeles Times.

You can find him online at

Customer Reviews

This book was a fun read.
First off I'm not going to say anything that's going to give anything away about this book as that I loath about the average review.
The story is fast paced, and David makes it very easy to get into the book.
Michael Beaudry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Adam Craig on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Monster Island, which was first originally published in a serialized format online, finally got its print release due to the extremem popularity of the online novel, and its two sequels. The novel takes place six weeks after the epidemic, which turned the world to chaos run by the living dead. We follow Dekalb, a former UN weapons inspector who has found safety in Somalia, with a group of female warriors loyal to the warlord of Somalia. When the warlord informs Dekalb that she has AIDS and needs drugs, she sends him and her warriors off to

America to retrieve drugs from the UN building in New York City. Once the group arrives in New York, almost nothing goes right, and the readers is treated to a large amount of zombie violence and gore.

The thing that makes Monster Island stand out is the different take on zombies that author David Wellington uses. I won't give much of anything away, but I will say that one of the main characters in the novel is a zombie who killed himself but kept his brain intact by hooking himself up to a ventilator. This zombie can still think like a human and talk like a human, but he is still overcome with the urge to eat. While this is a totally new take on zombies, it also works against the book in some ways. Wellington takes that basic idea, which isn't all bad, and turns into something much more. It is very reminiscient of Stephen King's Cell, in which the zombies are basically all one being, and can all be controlled. I guess the only reason that I ultimately frowned at this development was the fact that I just wanted a good, old-fashioned zombie story, and this novel definitely is not that. It has some really good, intense moments, but I guess it just didn't live up to what I hoped it would be.

Don't get me wrong, though, I definitely plan to read the last two parts of the trilogy, which are still available online to read immediately.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Senecal on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Monster Island is, hands down one of the most original and compelling reads to come along in a very long time.

Wellington injects the genre ignited by Romero and championed by Fulci with a supercharged boost of creativity at every turn.

Vivid descriptions and well researched details meet in an unrivaled example of story telling.

So natural is the world that Wellington weaves that at times, Monster Island is less like reading a book and more being witness to a movie playing in your mind.

You'd be hard pressed to find another book out now that can grab a hold of you and show you with flesh shredding convincingness, the details of what a nightmare made real looks like.

If you did find such a book it's a safe bet that Dave Wellington wrote that one too. My final recommendation is to stop reading this and go buy Monster Island right now.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By StaringDownMedusa on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There was a lot to like in this novel and by the time I finished I was glad that I had read it. There are many unique takes on Zombies in this book from how they can be thwarted by surviving humans, to what they do when their food gets low (I disagree with one of the above reviewers, the thought of the dead eating bark because they have run out of other food sources was creepy).

Where I got disappointed was there was some spelling mistakes throughout the book. Made me feel like there was no proof-reader. Some of the characters logic seemed flawed and sometimes they did stupid things that just didn't seem to fit with their characters.

I do feel like this book is worth reading for horror fans though, it was definitely not just lifted from other Zombie movies/books and you could tell the author labored over it and I appreciated that. I have not decided if I will read the other books in the series yet, but I am not disappointed I read this book.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Torrance on December 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I first began reading this book, I found the writing style to be quite good, mature really, unlike a lot of the sophomoric rubbish that gets published nowadays. Also, the Somalian ship visiting a dead New York, and a man who preserved his brain and yet became a zombi were quite intriguing ideas.

The first part of the book was good, maybe even very good. Then, in part two, things went bad. The writing seemed sloppier, and the author resorted to that old cheat for solving plot difficulties: a central character suddenly develops some sort of super power, in this case, control of a zombi neural-supernatural network of decayed minds. The character's personality also does a 360, sort of like in those movies in which a nerd girl loses her glasses and miraculously becomes Miss Popularity overnight. And mummies! Don't forget those mummies! And a druid smarter than anyone who is reading this! He has wondrous powers as well! And those mummies are none too dull witted- better watch out!

Part three of the book descended into middle school writing, and became so utterly inane that I could barely skim my way to the end. Parts of it actually made me sputter with outrage at the contrivances and overall foolishness.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Graham on November 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Personally I like a little possible plausibility in my zombie reads. I'm not really into zombie fantasy. This book was more fantasy than plausibility from beginning to end. Now, having said that, the book was not bad, just not great. It is not scarey and will not give you the chills. Bottom line, this book is a pleasant read for zombie fans and does have a nice little suprise at the end.
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