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The Dead Don't Die Paperback – July 21, 2016
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About the Author
Kevin J. Lindenmuth After graduating with a degree in Film/Video Studies from the University of Michigan in 1987, Kevin Lindenmuth moved to New York City for thirteen years. It was there he wrote and directed over a dozen genre features such as Vampires & Other Stereotypes and Addicted to Murder, which was among the first micro-budget movies EVER to be widely distributed through the Blockbuster Video chain in the mid 90's. In the past decade he produced/directed half a dozen documentaries broadcast nationally on PBS, such as “I’m Not Nuts”: Living with Food Allergies. An indie feature director/writer foremost, he has written four books on the subject. Making Movies on Your Own (McFarland 1998), The Independent Film Experience (McFarland, 2003), The Documentary Moviemaking Course (Barron’s, 2010 in the US, A&C Black Publishers in the UK), and How to Make Movies: Low/No Budget Indie Filmmakers Tell All (2013, McFarland). His half a million word movie review book, Horror Movies: The Good, The Bad, and the So Bad They’re Good was published in 2013 by Crossroads Press. This is his first fiction novel. Evan Jacobs Born in Long Island, New York, Evan Jacobs moved to Orange County, CA when he was four years old. Getting his start as a writer/filmmaker, Evan has made over 15 low budget movies through his company Anhedenia Films. In 2008, Evan decided to try his hand at young adult fiction releasing the book “My Summer of Hate” through his imprint Ronni’s Books. He currently releases 3-4 titles a year. In 2011, a script he co-wrote titled “Knockout” came to DVD via Phase 4 Films with actor/wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the main role. Writing for Saddleback Educational Publishing, Evan’s book “Screaming Quietly” took home a bronze medal at the 2013 Moonbeam Children's book awards. Continuing to bounce between the worlds of filmmaking, screenwriting, and book writing, Evan wants to create even more pieces of content that move through as many genres and themes as possible.
Top customer reviews
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THE DEAD DON'T DIE won me over though- it adds some new ideas to very old, familiar concepts, some nice characters that you like, and great pacing in terms of action and ZOMBIE happenings, if you crave that like me! It actually got me a little more re-enthused about the zombie sub-genre, reading a spin on the concept by two authors who actually not only love the genre, but who also obviously care about it and respect it very much.[I should commend writers Kevin J. Lindenmuth and Evan Jacobs now, for being respectful horror fans and filmmakers as well as being good writers interested in twisted new storytelling!]
This time, as the [routinely unknown] zombie outbreak unfolds in a very NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD way, we follow three teachers taking care of an autistic group of teens on a field trip---and the teachers can't get the kids home amidst the ensuing end-of-the-world chaos. They all end up trapped together and running for their lives from the living dead. Shooting these zombies in the head, a'la RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD...does NOT kill them! ["You mean the movie lied?!?!"] This was an interesting twist used in a more serious matter here. And yes, there are plenty of unveiled references to zombie movies past, present, and future, without naming them specifically. If you're a fan like me, you'll end up picking up instantly which films they are talking about. Any humorous references are toned down to the maximum, because honestly, the hip, post-aware of pop culture spin has more than been played out in the genre, especially with zombies---starting with the ultra successful SHAUN OF THE DEAD, of course...
There's intense moments as the group comes together, bonds, and more than a few new twists that I'll let the reader discover on their own---which I found pretty neat. The kids all have a trait [or gift] that acts like garlic to vampires and keeps the zombies from attacking them, at least for a spell...and suddenly all the groups of survivalist humans want this gift as well! This part of the novel was really good and refreshing, even though parts of the story do succumb to zombie story cliches: finding a place to hide [this time an abandoned school instead of a shopping mall] and the bands of evil renegade humans being more fierce and disgusting than the zombies- because they CHOOSE their actions, something George Romero has explored many times over.
Still, the proceedings seem natural and the story is very fun to read. It absorbs the reader into the dilemma and the writing style is easy to follow. Everything is well thought out and the violence and gore isn't as over-the-top as it usually is in this type of material- which is good, because, at this point, after 20 Seasons of gore with THE WALKING DEAD, there isn't much we haven't seen in this area! It's nice to see authors Lindenmuth and Evans painting sparser splatter setpieces that reader imagination can fill in, honestly. But there is some gory scenes, for those into that. There's also romance, action, emotionally challenged teenagers that are well-written, and a bang-up climax that will keep you clamoring for more. Speaking of which, as with all zombie stories, some of the good guys that die turn out to be very surprising [you never know who will live or die in these things!] and the novel reaches a nice conclusion, even while being open-ended with the slight promise that this could become a series of books. Who knows? Could be fun and I see great potential in the group of kids becoming a squad of "expendable" zombie hunters in the future! This would make excellent source material to turn into a movie as well.
Check THE DEAD DON'T DIE out if you're a zombie fan looking for a new, fresh adrenaline rush read! It's well worth your time.
The plot tells of Mike and Kellyn, two special needs teachers who are also a couple. They are on a field trip with a group of autistic children when the zombie apocalypse strikes. As is typical of the genre, not a lot of time is wasted on speculation as to how or why it happened. As we all know, the zombie apocalypse is inevitable, and it just happens.
The group does all right for a while, holed up in a school, an environment the students are comfortable with. From this nest of relative comfort they face many obstacles, not the least of which is a shortage of the psychotropic meds that many of the autistic youngsters in check.
The zombies are scarier than most because they can not be killed. A bullet to the head might slow them a second, but they will keep coming. However, Mike and Kellyn discover that the living dead are not interested in the autistic children. They learn they can walk through a zombie horde unscathed as long as they are in close vicinity to the kids. It is a clever twist, although the reasons for it, much like the zombies themselves, is never explored.
So in the final analysis, the real conflict come from their fellow mortals, a group of whom take advantage of the social collapse to exercise their own inner animals. And of course they covet these children that afford safety from the living dead.
The book has the short-comings of many self-published tomes, the most egregious of which is a complete absence of page numbers. I number mine by hand. It's just over 120. It is peppered with grammatical, syntactical and spelling errors. These errors are easily overshadowed by the strengths of the book, however, a proof-reader would have done wonders. Next time, guys, I offer you free proof-reading services.
The best thing about The Dead Don’t Die, though is its understanding of autistic children. One or both of these authors must have a great affinity with those amazing individuals who see the world in profoundly different ways than the rest of us. There is a common belief among care workers the the autistic do not form attachments to other people. This book vehemently denies that and goes to great efforts to make its point. It is a very beautiful thing, most unexpected in a zombie book. As one who occasionally works with the autistic, I can say it is long overdue, and bravo.
Bot tof these authors have previously made their marks as film makers during the digital microbudget revolution of the 1990s.They have collaborated more than once in the film wold as well, with such projects as “Walking Between the Raindrops.” Perhaps we can look forward to a sequel – the downbeat ending certainly leaves the field wide open. But even more so, I’d love to see the film adaptation. It would be great to see the return of Kevin Lindenmuth and Evan Jacobs to the world of narrative film making. - Ron Ford