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Dead Sea Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With another bleak vision of the zombie apocalypse, Keene makes a triumphant return to the still-thriving subgenre he helped revive with his 2004 debut The Rising (a movie version of which is currently in the works). Trouble begins when a virus infecting the rat population of New York City begins spreading among animals and humans alike—one bite, one drop of blood or one string of saliva is all it takes to kill its victims, within minutes, and instantly revive them as mindless, flesh-eating zombies. Narrating this grim tale is gay 30-something Lamar Reed, who makes a hair-raising trip through the carnage of zombified Baltimore before he and a small group of survivors manage to commandeer a Coast Guard ship and get it out to sea. Together, the eclectic group search the coast for a safe harbor; meanwhile, an endless parade of zombies search the survivors' floating haven for a way in. Keene piles on the gory thrills as Lamar and his shipmates struggle through this diseased world, though they can be overly chatty at times (dialoging on everything from religion to Joseph Campbell). Delivering enough shudders and gore to satisfy any fan of the genre, Keene proves he's still a lead player in the zombie horror cavalcade. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books; 1st Printing edition (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084395860X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843958607
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bryan Smith on August 6, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are many who feel Brian Keene's zombie smash The Rising remains the pinnacle of his artistic achievements as a writer. It was a huge success and was certainly a hard act to follow, as it would have been for any new writer. But while I enjoyed The Rising, my opinion diverges from the majority. Prior to the release of Dead Sea, my personal favorite Keene novel was The Conqueror Worms, which also happened to be his least commercially successful novel. One of the things I admired most about The Conqueror Worms is that it did not feature a standard-issue hero. The elderly narrator of the first and third sections of Worms was a man who fought as best he could within his limitations, and I felt this was a finely drawn character. In Dead Sea, Keene gives us another hero not cut from the usual cloth. The narrator is a gay black male named Lamar Reed. The fact that he is gay and black are treated as facts of his existence and are not present to browbeat the non-progressive segement of the audience. Instead they inform the narrative in subtle and effective ways throughout. Lamar Reed is gay and black, yes, but in the end he is just another man fighting with everything he has to stay alive in a world gone to hell. And Keene's depiction of him is one of his finest moments as an author. I wouldn't say Dead Sea actually eclipses The Conqueror Worms as my favorite Brian Keene novel, but it is a very close thing, a virtual DEADlock. Do yourself a favor and get a copy now. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before I get ripped to shreds by Keene fans like so many slow-moving humans in his books, let me explain:

"The Rising" to me was a very good, but not excellent, installment that breathed new, fetid life into the Zombie genre. I thought that Keene had some great ideas, characters, and set pieces for a very involving story. My only knock is that Keene slowed the pace at times with his vivd description of the undead masses - not that it was bad, but after 200 pages, we know that the zombies are rotting! I felt this was a minor problem, and maybe it was just me, with what was otherwise a very good book.

"City of the Dead". Where do I start with this one? There seemed to be a few problems with this one. The writing was not up to par; It felt like Keene was going for cheap thrills and the story went on a tangent with Ob and the assault by the undead. In and of itself, this was an ok book, but not what I wanted after "The Rising" showed so much promise! Not to mention the similarities w/ "Land of the Dead", which came out around the same time - the last vestiges of humanity holed up in a skyscraper (check), A maniacal madman, owner of said tower, holding sway over his rescued flock (check), the undead gaining some sentience and assaulting the tower (check). I didn't like the movie, and was not a huge fan of Keene's book.

Enter, "Sea of the Dead". Ahhhh. This, my friends, is zombie bliss. Keene presents us with an masterfully crafted, suspenseful, violent, horrific tale of society, and the world around us, crumbling under the power of a virus that infects it's hosts and reanimates them with a taste for flesh and a penchant for timely infections! Superb book, highly recommended to all horror and zombie fans. I'm keeping the description brief with this one because there is too much in the book that can be spoiled with a review; suffice it to say you will not be disappointed in this novel!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Brian Keene is a name that's been thrown at me on numerous occasions, and after delaying the acquisition of his works for far too long, I did a little spending in order to draw my own personal conclusions as to Keene's relevance in today's world of horror fiction. Not only is Keene certainly relevant, he's an author who delivers endearing works courtesy of an extremely relatable writing style. The man gives life to characters like few others, and showcases a sound awareness of current pop culture (there are a few nice nods to some great recent works, including a scene that falls straight out of the amazing 28 Days Later, and a tip of the hat to Robert Kirkman and his genius long running survival comic, The Walking Dead).

Lamar Reed had it all. Okay wait, I'm already lying: Lamar Reed had virtually nothing when a flood of zombies swarmed the mean streets of Baltimore. He'd lost a comfortable job working for a Ford plant, battled those pesky bill collectors and ultimately resorted to criminal conduct just to ensure survival. Of course, none of that mattered once the dead began to rise, hungry for the flesh of man and animal alike. But zombies aren't the only detriment to the health of those still living. The city is on fire, and one lone escape route presents itself: the open sea.

Dead Sea distances itself from your typical zombie fare early thanks to some fine attention to detail. I've probably read a good 25 zombie novels inside the last six months, and one common similarity I seem to stumble across is the fact that animals are rarely affected by the... disease, shall we say. In my mind, this has always been a glaring issue for me. Is it conceivable that this horrendous plague could be isolated to a single species, thus eliminating anything other than humans contracting it?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
DEAD SEA takes the idea of animals becoming zombies (that the author introduced in his first zombie novel THE RISING) and basically goes berserk with it. A bunch of survivors take to the sea in an old ship that has been turned into a floating museum. Figuring they've escaped the human undead, the soon discover the virus (known here as "Hamelin's Revenge) has spread from rats to humans . . . and now to sea life.

No one writes zombie stories like Keene, and the nods to JAWS and MOBY DICK are fine touches in what may be one of his most satisfying novels to date. You'll love this one.
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