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The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor (The Walking Dead Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 317 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Fortune Smiles
2015 National Book Awards - Fiction Winner
Get your copy of this year's National Book Award winner for fiction, "Fortune Smiles" by Adam Johnson. Hardcover | Kindle book | See more winners

Complete Series

Editorial Reviews


First came the groundbreaking and bestselling comic book series. . . .

“Every issue sinks its teeth in you and refuses to let go until the next one comes out.”
Ain’t It Cool News

Then came the record-breaking AMC television show. . . .

“The best new show on television.”
—Entertainment Weekly

And now comes the first in a series of novels exploring the origins of fan favorite characters from The Walking Dead universe. . . .

“If the comic book writer Robert Kirkman were a superhero, his name might be the Midas Touch.”
—The New York Times

In The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, the world will finally understand what drove Philip Blake to become . . . The Governor.


Praise for The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor:

“An excellent companion to the The Walking Dead comic books. The story is enriched by the novel format, and the characterization of the series' most hated villain is something no fan will want to miss.”

“This book stands alone and is a compelling read for fans of the series or just fans of zombies. Watch out though, because once you get a taste of the particular Kirkman brand of zombie mayhem, catching up on past issues is just around the corner.”
The Ossuary

“The story makes a great novel. You'll get sucked in and can easily visualize everything that is happening. It's simply a great read.”

“It takes great advantage of the literary medium in a way that most tie-in books would not.”

“Not for the faint of heart, this book runs on pressure-cooker suspense, graphically described bloodshed, and dark acts of brutality...This riveting character study adds a new dimension to the oeuvre by fleshing out established characters and plot lines.”
School Library Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 1241 KB
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 11, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 11, 2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004VMV49Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,038 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The inevitable expansion of "The Walking Dead" universe continues, and I suppose it was only a matter of time before the series ventured into the realm of novelization. Having been a huge Dead fan since the first graphic novels, I have watched the enterprise turn into an outright phenomenon. Having reviewed every other incarnation of the franchise (all of the graphic novels, collectibles, and AMC's television production), I jumped at the chance to pick up this collaboration by series creator Robert Kirkman and tidy horror writer Jay Bonansinga. "The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor" is an inspired idea for a novel. The Governor is one of the series' most notorious and loathsome villains--and the notion of exploring his back story will undoubtedly be appealing to fans of his dark power.

Well, it turns out that the Governor may not be as different as you might imagine. In many ways, this tale is a familiar survival story. Beginning in the first days of the zombie outbreak, the narrative follows the trials and tribulations of a small band of ragged survivors (including the man who will become The Governor, his brother, lifelong friends, and a little girl). As expected, we see the collective attempt to understand the new world order. Trying to exist in a suburban community, followed by a stint in the city, followed by isolationism--the band tries various strategies to build a new life. Every time peace seems to settle, the real world comes crashing down in the form of a new undead or even human menace. At what point does someone meet their rational limit? The novel takes us on the journey of The Governor until he reaches exactly that spot and then pushes to the other side. The final two chapters, especially, bring everything together in quite momentous ways.
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116 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Warren Peace on September 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy the Walking Dead franchise and have enjoyed other zombie apocalypse novels so I thought this has to be no-brainer for me to read. Instead it turned out to be a no-brainer... period. Even being a fan of WD I found this book painful. I can generally overlook a few mistakes assuming I can get into and follow an interesting plot line. But the mistakes were so many that I just couldn't get past them.

Firstly, the writing was awkward. It used a third-person, present tense that was difficult to read. The kind of tense that a middle-school student might use in their first attempt at fiction. The author, presumably an established horror writer, seemed to get stuck using the same expressions over and over. "Thunderstruck" was something that every character seemed to be at some point. How many times did the characters feel "gravitational forces suck" them back or forward in the car. Really? It's called inertia, even if you are trying to be poetic how many times can you use the same expression? The over-use of metaphor and simile were more than a little annoying, again reminding me of a juvenile author's first attempts.

Secondly, the characters were two-dimensional. I couldn't empathize with a single one of them. The humanity of the characters (at least the human ones) in the WD series is what makes it so compelling and enjoyable. It's not just about monsters, it's how people interact and deal with the cards they have been dealt. This story missed the mark. I understand this was supposed about the characters losing their humanity but they should have first started with some.

Finally, the facts, or lack thereof, were impossible to overlook. I will not get into all the problems in the story, the "Ford S-10" has already been mentioned in other reviews.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Saul X. Burroughs on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(Warning: Possible Spoilers for the upcoming Television Season as well as for those who have not yet read the graphic novels but intend to.)

For those not in the know, `The Governor' is one of the primary villains in The Walking Dead universe. (He is set to make his grand entrance later this year when Season Three launches, more info here: [...] ). The man is a vile, misogynistic psychopath who thrives on terror, torture, and rape. He rules a small, barricaded enclave of humanity through psychological manipulation and heinous acts of violence. The hero of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes, and his motley crew have the severe misfortune of crossing paths with The Governor and his like-minded cronies fairly early in the graphic novels. The ultimate outcome, which I won't ruin here, is as naturally chaotic and destructive as the world around them.

The Rise of the Governor (RotG) tells the back story of Phillip Blake, the man who eventually become The Governor, and his small band as they try to survive the early stages of `The Event': whatever it was that caused the dead to rise and begin making unhappy meals out of the breathing populace. On some levels it succeeds, but when it fails it truly comes up short.

Taking the work out of context, reading it simply as another post-apocalyptic novel and not part of a larger tapestry, its tragic flaw is a slow opening. Yes, zombies pop out of the shadows at every turn and Phillip Blake and his friends narrowly dispatch them in gruesome fashion. It's a zombie novel; that is par for the course. You can almost feel it coming: `been a few pages now, time for some more undead head bashing'.

By slow opening, I speak in terms of character arc.
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