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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead Paperback – August 3, 2010
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
Humorist Borchert (Free for All) presents a novel from an alternate universe, complete with a charming mock-historical forward, in which Twain writes in, and about, an 1870s America plagued by an epidemic of violent, virus-created undead Zum. The book smoothly integrates much of Twain's plot and a modernized version of his actual text, with changed material such as sharpening fence posts replacing the task of whitewashing. A few gratuitous and gory zombie fights round things out. The mash-up is undeniably clever and well-done, but it fails to either significantly change the reader's perspective on the original or provide much in the way of satire, humor, or alternate history world-building, proving once again that a nifty idea isn't enough to make a satisfying read. (Aug.)
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6-8–Borchert's adaptation of the classic tale offers very little in the way of new twists and turns. All of the memorable moments and characters of the original story are here–Huckleberry Finn, Aunt Polly, Becky Thatcher, Injun Joe. Readers follow them through the well-known story. That is actually the strength of the book. Unfortunately, credit for great storytelling goes to Twain. Borchert's introduction of zombies, which are called the “Zum,” is his major contribution to the novel, and he fails to give sufficient background about them. They are introduced sporadically and with little lasting effect. The concept for the book is an interesting one, but the author fails to stray very far from the trusted script of Twain and take advantage of uncharted waters.Greg Stone, Oak Mountain Middle School, Birmingham, AL
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top customer reviews
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The additions and the old edition merging have been something that people have had a lot to say about - some people seem to like this new style of zombie book and some people don't. I've been one of the people that has found comic relief in a lot of these new zombie books, liking the Sense - and Sea Monsters, Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which was more hostorical than I would have thought), takes on some russian literature, and other books I would have never thought to add something terrible to. The newer books do have some difference, however, and it isn't just in the monstrous.
When you take something like this and you put in rewrites, you change more than page content. You also create difference in the writing that has to be smoothed out, not to mention the style that a new pen brings to the table. There's the creepy factor and the zombie factor, which builds in an ambiance of its own. I personally like this and enjoy the way the author bends the story without breaking it. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it makes all the pieces seem like new portions of Tom. The problem is that there is a comedy side here and I know a lot of people that simply hate that taking place (although I really don't know why there is a need to look at these books if you don't want any sort of shift in the story).
If you have liked the other classic revamps, you should find this entertaining. It WILL NOT be like the classic in a lot of respects - Pride, Prejudice and Zombie taught a lot of people that - but it does carry a lot of the essential components. The rides, the people, the walking and the talking - it has to become different but some things can stay the same. People who have read it know what could change and that makes it fun. People who haven't read it - ask yourself what you think of something people cherish and then ask yourself if it really matters what becomes of it as long as its good? If you think a classic should be cherished, then read it first. Honestly, I would read it gfirst anyhow because I like to know what changes and what remains the same.
I hope this helps some - I don't like spoilers or repeating the editorial.
Tom, Huck and their friend play pirate on a nearby island. They stay for days and rumors spread amongst the townsfolk they were dead until they miraculously return home. Another time Tom and Huck get lost in a cave with Becky Thatcher and the Zum serial killer Injun' Joe.
This is amusing historical fantasy uses the prime cast and story line from the Mark Twain classic, but adds Zum fever to the tale. The cast is solid, but the plot is clearly owned by the mischievous title character and his prime adversary the Undead Injun' Joe serial killing Zum. Readers who enjoyed zombie invasion of the classics like the respective tales by Seth Grahame-Smith and Steve Hockensmith starring Jane Austen or W. Bill Czolgosz's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim will want to read Tom's undead farce with Injun' Joe.
1) almost no zombie action whatsoever, which is ridiculous for a book with "undead" in the title
2) almost no action period...mostly clever twists of the well-known parts of the original, tailored to an apocalyptic world
3) more attention is given to Tom's relationships with various people than any details about the "zum" outbreak, or the zum themselves
I kept finding excuses to put the book down, and, truthfully, I only continued reading because this book was a gift. I also have a policy of only reviewing books that I've read from beginning to end. I was shocked at the difference in the story once "Injun Joe" was introduced about halfway through...suddenly it became a scary zombie story.
Zombiephiles should know:
1) most Zum are mindless shamblers, but there are a few thinking-zum
2) source of infection is unknown & can be spread to animals
3) headshots didn't necessarily work, burning bodies is necessary
If you like mash-ups between genres or anything to do with zombies, it's worth reading at least once.
Most recent customer reviews
I think it's interesting that old classic...Read more