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The Rising Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars 346 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Rising Series

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Mass Market Paperback, January 1, 2004
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843952016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843952018
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on January 10, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy reading all types of horror stories, but I have always had a special place in my heart for apocalyptic tales. I don't know what it is about these sorts of yarns, but give me a disastrous end of the world scenario along with a band of disparate and desperate survivors attempting to eke out an existence in a devastated world and I am there. I've probably read Stephen King's "The Stand" at least four times, along with "On the Beach," "Earth Abides," "Swan Song," and many, many more stories concerning the end of humanity. The method of destruction doesn't make much of a difference in whether I will read the story, either. Give me nuclear bombs raining down from the heavens, killer viruses or related plagues, or out of control technology, and I'm happy. Brian Keene took a slightly different tack with his horror novel "The Rising." Instead of vaporizing cities with megaton yield weapons or employing a killer flu, he decided good old-fashioned zombies would do the trick. Yep, the world as we know it doesn't go out with a bang in Keene's book; it goes out with chomp, a chew, and a swallow. "The Rising" is light years ahead of the other apocalyptic zombie book I read a couple of years ago, Candace Caponegro's "The Breeze Horror."
We learn quickly that the world went insane when some scientists working in one of those secret weapons laboratories experimented with a new particle accelerator. Whoops. The experiment had all sorts of important functions, at least on paper, but warnings that strange incidents could take place went largely ignored by the technicians involved in the project. When reports began surfacing about the recently dead suddenly reanimating and wreaking havoc, people wrote it off as nonsense.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
George Romero introduced the world to the hunger of the living dead Night of the Living Dead (Colorized / Black and White). His initial three films are tentpoles in the realm of horror and remained untouchable even to this day. If you wrote about zombies then you looked to Romero's vision for guidance and inspiration. It wasn't until films such as "The Evil Dead" The Evil Dead/Evil Dead 2 - Book Of The Dead Collection and "Re-animator" Re-Animator that the zombie began to evolve. Instead of the slow ambling gait the public had known and trusted, we are introduced to zombies who could run. If the idea of being eaten alive wasn't bad enough, now we were being chased and no amount of cardio was going to help us (Zombies are dead so its not like they are going to get winded). This little change improved the zombie's status in the pantheon of monsters. I figured this was as far as the zombie genre could be taken. What other changes could be made to make zombies worse?

Then I read "The Rising".

If you are a fan of horror fiction then Brian Keene's "The Rising" is NOT unknown to you. This book is one of the most original ventures into the zombie genre you can find and I guarantee it will be emulated in the years to come. Brian Keene's zombies still hunger for the living and have the capacity to move fast after you but the worse aspect is that they think. These zombies operate vehicles, use weapons, and work together. They actually plot courses of action.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been a zombie fan since the day I rented a tape of the original DAWN OF THE DEAD back in the 1980's. But the main reason I picked up the THE RISING was because it is an award-winner. The fact that it was within the zombie apocalypse genre just whetted my appetite. I had just finished reading PALADIN OF SOULS by Lois Bujold. And if you think of that as eating a piece of angel food cake, THE RISING would be like eating a slab of ribeye steak, very rare.

THE RISING is shockingly violent. The horrors that man exacts on man following the breakdown of civilization is somehow worse than the horrors perpetrated by the demon-infested zombie hoard. I normally recommend good books to my wife after I read them. This book, though entertaining, describes events so vile and disturbing that I simply could not recommend it to anyone other than the most hardened of horror fans.

Brian Keene has writing talent, there is no mistake about that. His style gets to the point without a lot of needless chatter. William Strunk would have been proud. His descriptions are concrete and clear. He passes Ayn Rand's test for keeping abstract ideas to a minimum. I liked the touch of adding a character who reads Nitzsche in the midst of an apocalypse. Very clever.

There were some things I would have done differently had I had the talent and skill to write this kind of novel. First, I wouldn't have given away so much so early. The reason for the zombie invasion is explained too early and in too much detail. What I remember most of the time I first saw DAWN OF THE DEAD was puzzling over why it was happening. I would piece through clues from the lines of characters in the movie as well as NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, theorizing in my mind over what had really happened.
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