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Zombie, Illinois: A Novel Paperback – October 1, 2012

45 customer reviews

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Zombie, Illinois: A Novel + Zombie, Ohio: A Tale of the Undead + Zombie, Indiana: A Novel
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Political reporter Ben Bennington, troubled inner-city pastor Leopold Mack and defiant punk-rocker Maria Ramirez take on marauding zombies and crooked Chicago politicians in this wickedly satirical page-turner by Kenemore (Zombie, Ohio). Knowing where the bodies are buried is integral to the power struggle that ensues after a resurgent Al Capone devours the mayor on television, an effectively gory scene that hints at Chicago's buried past coming back to light. Ramirez's father is next in line to be mayor , but amid the zombie chaos, some conspire to usurp his power. In the ensuing melee, Kenemore steers our sympathies: "...zombies are more a force of nature than a sentient, evil entity.... The humans are the ones with murder in their souls." Nevertheless, both are lethal, and Kenemore creates an authentic sense of place and character in ravaged Chicago as well as wittily sustained tension throughout. Pastor Mack's statement that they " start by taking care of each other" invokes atypically hopeful sentiments for a zombie-genre offering: the self-reliance of the poor may set the stage for a renaissance of city spirit. This blend of idealism and wry political commentary infuses new meaning into the zombie ravages portrayed so graphically here.

From Booklist

One thing’s for sure, you won’t be thinking: ho-hum, another book where the mayor of Chicago gets eaten by a zombie Al Capone. That’s one of the highlights of this follow-up to Zombie, Ohio (2011), in which a college professor survives an attempt on his life, only to discover he hasn’t really survived at all. But this isn’t really a sequel: it takes place at roughly the same time as the earlier book but in a different location and with different characters: the drummer in an all-girl rock band, a church pastor, and a newspaper reporter (in one of many of the book’s in-jokes, the paper he works for is called Brain’s). The reporter has the hots for the drummer, the drummer hates the pastor (whose daughter also plays in the band), and all three of them soon run into some shady politicians who are determined to use the zombie apocalypse to gain control of the city (one of the politicians being the drummer’s father, whom the drummer also hates). Did we mention the zombies? They’re crawling out of the cemeteries, they’re lurching out of Lake Michigan, they’re attacking and chomping and tearing the living apart. Fans of zombified mayhem will not be disappointed. If Zombie, Ohio was at its heart a noir with zombies (man tries to solve his own murder), this is a political thriller with zombies (good guys try to stop evil politicians from taking over the city)—different in tone from Ohio, but in its own way just as good. It’ll be interesting to see what story the author tells next. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616088850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616088859
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Young on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Zombie, Illinois has all the things you want from a zombie story: well-drawn characters working their way out of tight situations, people killing zombies in innovative ways, and gory deaths meted out to the unjust. Where it surprised me was the extent to which the setting mattered. This book is basically a big bloody love letter to the city of Chicago. Kenemore has taken the time to really think about which institutions and communities are best equipped to survive a zombie outbreak beyond the genre staples of military bases and boarded-up farmhouses. I didn't just learn about the best ways to defend a fixed position against hordes of undead, I learned about how the Chicago system of political patronage works, about a semi-legendary network of coal tunnels under the city, and about South Side churches and aldermen and their wards. About a culture of political corruption so resilient that even a zombie apocalypse can't shake it. This level of detail didn't take me out of the story; it enhanced it. Kenemore's appreciation for Chicago made me see the city in a new way: rough, beautiful, darkly hilarious, even exotic.

I can't think of any other zombie story, be it movie, book or comic, that takes its setting so seriously, which is precisely what gives the book such a powerful verisimilitude. Frankly, most others feel like fake, bloodless, stumbling clones by comparison. Ultimately, perhaps the highest compliment I can give this book is that I think it's a horror tale that Mike Royko would have loved. FIVE STARS FOR SCOTT KENEMORE!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan M Burdette on October 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book pretty much straight for two days. Its very good, especially if you know / live in Chicago, and have an appreciation for the culture and the city. I didn't find it to be too much of a travel-log, but it did not ignore the city at all. A perfect balance.

The author has a knack for writing good dialogue from multiple points of view. Anyone who loves Chicago, and likes Zombie stories, would probably enjoy this book.

I'm kinda sad that I finished it. Scott, you should write more stories around this plot line in Chicago. But only if it interests you. Its obvious that a lot was put into this, and that you had fun writing this. I had fun reading it! Thank you!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeff McDermott on June 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Zombie Ohio, I was excited about this book. I suppose it is my fault not reading a synopsis or something about this book before getting it. I thought it would follow the view of another zombie--it does not. It follows 3 people; human.

As far as a zombie story goes, it is ok, hence the 3 stars. I must admit though, I would not have bought the book, with or without hindsight, had I known it was not a book like the first.

Despite my feelings about the characters themselves, I would have preferred an ending less... abrupt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By renee' lee greco on October 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
3 days; 381 pages and yet I feel sort of ripped off that there is not 200 more pages of riveting adventure.

Even if you're not from Illinois, this doesn't matter.

Scott weaves what makes Chicago unique into this tale: politicians, crime, police, Northside versus Southside, clout, etc.

Three totally different people are thrown together to not only try to figure out what's happening, but to survive.

In the end, you see a glaring reality to unfortunately how Illinois operates and can understand why these Zombies came about here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on June 3, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. Each character's story merged nicely with the others. I had a few complaints, but they are minor.

1. The beginning was a bit slow for me, with all the details of how Chicago is ran, though, that is part of the plot. This information comes into play as the story continues.

2. Many unknown words (for me) that I had to stop reading to look up.

3. Two end chapters in a row were repeated, which made me have to go through the pages to find the next part.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought the actual story was okay. Not great but it kept me entertained but the lack of editing killed this book. There are spaces in the middle of words, entire chapters repeated one after the other and the authors name appears at random spots throughout the book. I would mind less if this was a $3 book, but for the price it's being sold for the customer deserves to have a product where someone has at least taken a quick scan of the contents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Guillemette on December 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book because I liked Zombie Ohio. However this story is lackluster and bordering on the absurd. In the midst of a zombie outbreak, why on earth would everyone be so fixated on determining who should be the next mayor of Chicago? Really, the mayor? Who cares? There are zombies running about eating people. This author has a very inflated belief in the importance of the city of Chicago relative to the rest of the planet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Kilchrist on September 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting story. I like the multiple POV aspect, although it did get a bit jumpy towards the end. My first zombie novel, not counting King's Cell.
The title of my review would've been a better title for the book, since there's much more to Illinois than Chicago and virtually the entire story takes place there.
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