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Double Dead (Tomes of the Dead) Paperback – November 10, 2011
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
That's the premise. You'll know going in whether a story like this is going to work for you. If it does - and boy howdy it did for me - then Double Dead delivers on its promises. It's a brutal post-apocalyptic road movie featuring the usual ragtag band of survivors - the overbearing dad, the manipulative bitch, the psychic teenager (and a couple of other characters vying for the opportunity to be the first one to be killed off). Think of The Walking Dead, but with slightly less ghastly humans.
Then there's Coburn. He's selfish, he's cruel, he's completely unrepentant about his decades of debauched self-indulgence and murder. He's only using his vampiric superpowers to protect the others so he can feed from them. Or so he tells himself, until he realises that there are many far more awful horrors - people and otherwise - out there in what remains of the world. As he and his `sheeple' lurch from one over-the-top, action-packed crisis to the next, Coburn realises he has more at stake than his next meal.
Violent, hilarious and horrific by turns, this book does just what it says on the box. There's dismemberment, bad language and misuse of firearms. There are cannibals, monster hunters, ultrazombies and juggalos. The action is fast-paced, the explosions are frequent and the bloodletting is plentiful. Yet for all the mayhem, Double Dead is a book with heart and brains. The characters are all touched by tragedy, even its monster protagonist, and it never lets you forget that all this horror and insanity is happening to ordinary people.
This is a grotesque, ballsy and confident first novel from rockstar penmonkey Chuck Wendig.
I wasn't sold on Coburn (the vampire protagonist) at first, because early on he's a very one-note guy, telling everyone within earshot how awesome he is and how he's seconds from killing them at any moment. But Coburn grows over time and manages a satisfying arc by the end. It was nice to see a vampire who is neither maudlin nor sensitive; Coburn is pure macho id who loves him some murder.
Overall, a few flaws, but an entertaining horror adventure.
He is a fantastic storyteller. I read Double Dead over the course of the weekend, the first time in ages I've read a book that fast.
Double Dead is unlike any zombie novel you've ever read -- the premise of a vampire waking up from a long coma to discover the human race has been decimated by a zombie apocalypse is ingenious. I won't reveal any more about the story here -- to do so, even a little, will cheat you out of a fantastic reading experience.
It's scary, funny and full of action. Wendig's style is clear and cinematic, and he knows to handle a large cast of characters. One of my peeves in reading fiction is being unable to distinguish one character from another -- Wendig never lets that happen.
He's built a very convincing world here, and I look forward to his future books.
The main character and major supporting character were richly drawn and all kinds of awesome, but a lot of the supporting cast characterization seemed to rely on stereotypes - the morbidly obese asexual geek, the catty former prostitute, etc.. Not a grievous sin, but not really the depth I was hoping for from the sample chapter.
The plot moved along at a good clip, with excellent pacing, but the vampire main character had a habit of defying the clearly set rules of his survival over and over again, and it began to get a little Road Runner-ish by the ending.
Those two small snafus aside, I thought this book was worth reading twice just because the dialog kept me grinning through the most horrific events, and the imagery was simultaneously beautiful and horrific.
This ain't Twilight, folks. Only way Coburn glitters is if he kills and eats a stripper.
Then maybe my TL;DR review will:
In case that's not enough, here we go. I generally like my horror to be subtle these days. I enjoy the sorts of creepiness that happen off the screen or in my imagination. Reading this blood soaked carnival ride from Hell is one the occasional exceptions. Why is that? One word; characters.
If you're going to send me through a dark world where some people have turned to cannibalism to survive and the body count on the page is high, you have to give me characters with some depth. While Coburn is the blood fueled terror that I believe vampires should be, there's more to him than that. He's not tortured by what he is, at least not at first. It's not until he meets an odd little family of survivors and a girl who refuses to be afraid of him that he starts to wonder about his own past and his new role as protector of humanity. The conflict Wendig wrings out of that is delicious.
Okay there are actually more words. Wendig knows how to use humor to lighten up the bleakest story (CREAMPUFF THE WONDER TERRIER). He does things that surprise me (Insane Clown Posse loving despot). He takes the most basic tropes in the horror genre and infuses his own madness into them (mutant zombies, a unique cause for the zombie outbreak, a dying girl that may be the key to unlocking a cure to the whole mess).
The book isn't perfect. There are a few characters that fall flat. Once or twice he pulled things out of his hat that were over the top even for a book like this. All in all though, if the premise and my above words are enough to make you want it, then go buy it!
I give it four and a half fangs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Chuck Wendig is my new favorite author. I had read and loved the Miriam Black series (very excited for the new book coming out this year), but resisted Double Dead because I do... Read morePublished 4 months ago by WRX
Wendig's take on the supernatural apocalypse is very entertaining and emotionally satisfying. As always, the writing's great.Published 9 months ago by Leila
I loved this book! The idea is original, the characters grow during the novel and are fleshed out so well. This was funny and dark and interesting and the ending was wonderful. Read morePublished 10 months ago by GreasyLittleDog
I loved every page. This was the novel that started my love of all things Wendig. The characters are compelling and solid, the story is fast paced and engaging right from the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Melisa
the characters are a bit one-dimensional and the plot predictable, but it is a fun book with an entertaining theme. Read morePublished 15 months ago by A. DeNeal
Interesting book. Makes me wonder how other supernatural beings might survive in a zombie apocalypse.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Chuck Wendig has written a a great book that takes a different route into the Zombie Apocalypse genre. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Nuclear Toaster