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The Fields Paperback – December 20, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The Fields by Ty Schwamberger
Review by Howard Allan
After I received an advanced copy of Ty Schwamberger's novella The Fields, I turned the first pages and immediately began reading kudos by notable authors and magazines such as Gary A. Braunbeck and Shroud Magazine. I never judge a book by its cover, but I do start judging books by their praise. And with an introduction by Jonathan Maberry (Rot and Ruin, Patient Zero), I was excited to start reading.
Jonathan Maberry starts off his introduction stating "The Fields is a morality tale. With Zombies." Maberry then explains to the reader that zombie tales are more than cannibalistic and mindless corpses. These tales, if written with feelings and responsibility, remind the reader zombies are people and they have life and their own stories. This is what Ty Schwamberger accomplishes with The Fields. He, as many authors have tried but failed, brings out the emotion of the characters but not just the living, but the dead also with much success.
The opening chapter sets The Fields pace; quick with that sense of emotion that is mentioned in Maberry's introduction. The reader is drawn in as Billy Fletcher, son of plantation owner in the Deep South, is racing through the darkness with zombie in tow. Schwamberger describes Billy's friendly relationship with the former slave now turned zombie Samuel. Yes, that could happen and yes, if you've studied American history, friendly relationship between slaves and owners did indeed exist. With not giving away too much of the plot, Billy survives the zombie encounter.Read more ›
Negatives: The last paragraph was a bit of a letdown, so stop before you get there!
Summary: Read this! One of the best zombie tales going right now.
But despite vowing to run the plantation differently from his father, to work the land himself rather than resort to slave labor, the young man is failing. Enter a man named Abraham who knocks on Billy's door one day and offers him a solution. There's no real telling where Abraham came from, but he sure seems to know a lot about Billy and his father, and assures Billy that what he needs to do is follow in his father's footsteps. And that's something that Billy is adamant about avoiding, because he doesn't want to be a slave-owner like his father. But what if the slaves are already dead?
This was a tremendously creepy zombie story, due mainly because of the racial current running through it. The idea that a person would only be enslaved during when they're alive, but when they're dead as well, is an unsettling one to say the least. One thing I had trouble envisioning as I read the book was the farm. Billy, Abraham, and the zombies jumped off the page, but the plantation itself felt very much like a stage-dressing when I was expecting something much more vivid.Read more ›
It's no wonder he's losing sleep. The stress of maintaining the farms huge crop has fallen on his shoulders. His father, one of the most successful farmers in three counties (who was full of dark secrets that now Billy must keep) haunts Billy's thoughts (in more ways than one) day and night. Not only is he the moral and character opposite of his murderous, furious, racist father, but the Civil War has ended, and abolition has robbed him of the help he needs to care for the starving, choking crop growing in the weedy, rock filled fields. Billy may not survive the long, cold winter if his tobacco plants keep dying and he ends the harvest with not enough crops to sell.
Enter Abraham, a pillar of a man with a stove-pipe hat that looks strangely similar to... well... the sworn enemy of former Confederates everywhere, the recently assassinated 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. This Abraham knocks on Billy's door, and whispers temptation into his longing ears. Billy doesn't trust Abraham from the start, maybe because he looks like the Union Army's former commander and chief, or maybe it's because he NEVER takes off his hat, and seems to disappear, literally melt, into the sunrise, but with the fertile whisperings of his father's ghost, Abrahams tempting seed WANTS to grow in Billy's mind.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this books keeps you wondering what is going to hjapen next.
Then you get a major twist at the end.
I really want a sequel to this.
This was a pretty great story. Old time zombies, sort of!! I was really hoping that Billy would grow a pair, but alas, I've a feeling his days are numbered. Read morePublished on October 16, 2013 by Lisa
Several weeks ago, our members engaged in an intense debate over zombies. There are many great zombie stories out there, but are they Gothic literature? Read morePublished on June 13, 2013 by Gothic Readers Book Club
With all of the glowing reviews Ty Schwamberger's novella, THE FIELDS, has garnered, I was really looking forward to diving into this short tale. I'm almost sorry I did. Read morePublished on January 27, 2013 by William C. Rasmussen
I lover this story by Ty Schwamberger
Billy's father died and left him the farm
and he has to have help to get it back up
and running as it was in his fathers... Read more
Positives: Details! Schwamberger puts the reader right into the story with the careful construction of setting. How many people would think of cow milk? Read morePublished on April 5, 2012 by Jamie
For all those who think every zombie story is the same mix of mayhem and gore, read this story! A wonderful change of pace in a genre that has taken off!Published on January 28, 2012 by twink5519