Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Iron Maiden $5 Off Fire TV Stick Labor Day Sale in Wine Shop Popular Services TransparentGGWin TransparentGGWin TransparentGGWin  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Gear Up for Football Deal of the Day
Customer Review

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The stiffs. The corpses. In the morgue. They've come back to life.", May 5, 2010
This review is from: Handling the Undead (Paperback)
"Handling the Undead" is a zombie book. But not the typical gory, horrendous BRAAAAAAINSSSS-craving type. Instead John Ajvinde Lindquist slowly weaves together an intelligent, philosophical look at what would happen if the dead were to unnaturally rise from their graves... and the only flaw is that the middle section of the book is so SLOW.

Something strange is happening in Stockholm -- the weather is oppressive, electrical glitches are everywhere, and everybody has a headache.

But when the strange conditions vanish, everybody who has died within the last two months rises from the morgue, funeral homes, and even their coffins. The "reliving" wander back to their old homes, mute and seemingly unaware, shocking their loved ones. And of course, the government quickly rounds them up and confines them, until they can be sure what dangers the "reliving" might pose.

In the days that follow, Lindqvist follows five people whose loved ones have come back -- a comedian sunk deep in denial about his wife being gone, a wannabe-rebel teen, a grandfather and a young mother trying to help her undead son "recover," and a widow who believes that she has a mission from the Virgin Mary. But something else is approaching Stockholm, bringing unexpected effects in its wake.

"Handling the Undead" doesn't really focus on the zombies themselves. Instead, Lindqvist conjures up a simple scenario, and examines how people would react to it -- we see hysteria, suicide, denial, dismissal, religious fervor, and a delusional belief that the zombies can simply go back to their old lives. And he brings up a number of philosophical questions with no easy answers.

The biggest problem with this book is that it should have been much smaller. Lindqvist spends most of the book's middle section spinning his wheels, with nothing really happening. And we never really find out WHY the dead rose, just that it is somehow an error.

Fortunately the beginning and ending are filled with subtle, creeping psychological horror (the whole scene with the grotesque drowned zombie is nauseating), as well as the painful scene where David and Magnus meet Eva again. And there's an exquisite metaphysical edge, which implies that there's more out there than just zombies -- think an elusive, benevolent figure with fishhook fingertips.

Lindqvist also fleshes out his characters beautifully, giving each one a backstory that shapes their current reactions. And he handles each one with compassion, even if they're delusional or twerpy. Among the best are David (desperately clinging to hope and unable to grieve), Flora (a rather annoying a teen who thinks she's an iconoclast), and Anna (whose son Elias has "come back") -- and even some of the zombies show a glimmer of personality.

"Handling the Undead" is a deeply flawed book -- the entire middle section is bogged down. Yet it's still a beautiful, affecting read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 20, 2011 9:53:50 AM PDT
Fred Follis says:
I am in the middle of this book and the begining was brilliant. I came looking for reassurance that the middle was slow, but that the book was worth sticking out...thanks for giving me that.

You may also want to check out Jonathan Maberry's book Rot & Ruin. Another interesting Zombie treatment.

Marianne
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details