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Night of the Living Dead Paperback – August 8, 2014
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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About the Author
With twenty books published internationally and nineteen feature movies in worldwide distribution, John Russo has been called a "living legend." He began by co-authoring the screenplay for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, which has become recognized as a "horror classic." His three books on the art and craft of movie making have become bibles of independent production, and one of them, SCARE TACTICS, won a national award for Superior Nonfiction. Quentin Tarantino and many other noted filmmakers have stated that Russo's books helped them launch their careers. John Russo wants people to know he's "just a nice guy who likes to scare people" – and he's done it with novels and films such as RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, MIDNIGHT, THE MAJORETTES, THE AWAKENING and HEARTSTOPPER. He has had a long, rewarding career, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Recently his screenplay for ESCAPE OF THE LIVING DEAD was made into a five-part comic book released by Avatar to great acclaim; it made the Top Ten of Horror Comics nationally and spawned two graphic novels and ten sequels. Russo's recent novel is THE HUNGRY DEAD, was published by Kensington Books. He is also slated to direct two movies: a remake of his cult hit, MIDNIGHT, and a brand new take on the "zombie phenomenon" entitled SPAWN OF THE DEAD. Russo's latest novels DEALEY PLAZA, THE ACADEMY, THE AWAKENING, and LIVING THINGS are published by Burning Bulb Publishing. His short story CHANNEL 666 appears in THE BIG BOOK OF BIZARRO. His popularity among genre fans remains at a high pitch. He appears at many movie conventions each year as a featured guest, and he considers his appearance at the Orion Festival, hosted by Kirk Hammett and METALLICA, one of the highlights of his career.
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I have only ever seen Night of the Living Dead on television, and still, it made a lasting impression. The line “They’re coming to get you, Barbara” is forever burned into my brain—a brain that those pesky ghouls probably want to munch on. I hadn’t realized that John Russo, one of the screenwriters, had turned this iconic film into a novel. Having read the book, I can certainly see why.
Where the movie shows us the horror of being devoured by flesh-hungry ghouls, the book delves into the inner life of a few characters trying to survive something they simply don’t understand. I’m pretty sure that if something like this happened today, we would be more prepared than those innocent folks, having been brought up on The Walking Dead and Z Nation. But in the book, these people are clueless. And they cannot fathom the idea that the dead are shuffling around, not to mention the fact that they are pretty damned hungry.
Try not to be jaded when you read this book. Remember, times were very different. The AIDS crisis hadn’t happened yet, or swine flu, or any of the other horrible outbreaks we’ve experienced in recent decades. The people in Night of the Living Dead were living small, ordinary lives. Then hell arrived.