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Valley of the Dead (the Truth Behind Dante's Inferno) Paperback – April 30, 2010
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Intrusion: A Novel
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About the Author
For over thirty years, Victor Bevine has worked as an actor, screenwriter, audio book narrator, director, and more. A graduate of Yale University, his acting credits include many prestigious roles onstage as well as roles in the film version of A Separate Peace and countless television shows. He has read over one hundred and eighty titles as an audiobook narrator; in 2010, he received an Audiophone Award for his narration of the Pulitzer Prize winning book The Beak of the Finch. He has written several screenplays, including Certainty, which was chosen for two prestigious writers conferences and which served as the basis for his first novel. His thirty-minute short film Desert Cross, which he wrote and directed, won accolades at the Athens International Film Festival. Currently, he serves as CEO of the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF), of which he is co-founder. He resides in New York City.
Kim Paffenroth is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. He is the author of "The Story of Jesus according to L" and the coeditor of "Augustine and Liberal Education". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author's prologue itself is worth the cover price and dared me (and will dare any zombie fanatic) to keep reading long into the night.
Besides the uber-cool setup, Paffenroth's writing style here differs from his "Dying to Live" series, and the whole tone of the story seems (at times) like you're reading a lost account of a historical reality. The various characters he encounters (and befriends) along his journey seem quite real, and in their conversations (especially in Chapter 20) we learn nifty bits and pieces about Dante's past (hmmm---seems Dr. Kim set out not only to give his readers the willies, but 'learn 'em a bit, too).
While I truly enjoyed this, I'm not sure how many fans of the standard "shoot-'em-up/gut-munch" zombie tale will; but if you allow yourself to enter Paffenroth's speculative vision with no pre-conceptions, you might find it a hard place to want to leave.
There are two main things you need to know about Kim Paffenroth's VALLEY OF THE DEAD. It's about zombies. And the book is based on Dante's `Inferno' from his classic poem The Divine Comedy. That's a serious mix of horror gore and incredible intelligence. I doubt very few writers could pull this combo off. But having met and chatted in depth with Mr. Paffenroth, I can also say that I'm not surprised that he nailed it.
With this novel, Paffenroth writes as if it's actual history. He follows Dante during one of the most depressing times of his life, his exile from his native city of Florence, Italy. Not much is known of Dante's life during this period but Paffenroth is more than happy to fill in those blank spots- with a zombie plague that has overrun the lands. And in doing so, his fictional story explains in a very matter-of-fact manner how Dante came upon his inspiration for his greatest and best known piece of work.
Told through Dante's eyes and words, he travels in search of some land that hasn't been overrun by the zombie plague. Along the way he joins a few companions- a soldier, a monk, and a pregnant peasant girl- who he forms unique bonds with as they journey literally through different levels of hell to a `safe' destination they're not sure even exists.
Where Paffenroth makes a brilliant choice is in having the living humans be the real horror. Oh yes, there are zombies all over the countryside, in the woods, the mountains and villages. You never know when they will attack and Paffenroth keeps the tension built throughout like a constant heartbeat. But it's in meeting the people who have survived the plague that offer the greatest threats.
Each chapter almost comes off as its own parable or tale.Read more ›
In this account Dante enters a foreboding valley and is instantly drawn into an unholy adventure as both the dead and an army sent to destroy them ravages the first village Dante comes across. Dante, a man steeped in tradition and customs from his native land, saves the life of a pregnant peasant girl and together they flee the doomed town as the dead feast on its citizens and the army burns its buildings to the ground. The odd duo ride to the next town to warn of the dead and the approaching army but arrive to find the town swept up in frenzy against a supposed witch. One lone soldier, a deserter from the calloused and cruel army, stands against the crazed town folk. Again the walking dead appear and fire burns and Dante has another companion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was so much NOT what I expected. Its not a bad book, per se, an okay read. Just never expected zombies. Read morePublished on December 9, 2013 by E. B. Patterson
This book is very well-written. There are two things going on here - zombies and a behind-the-story novel about Dante's Inferno. Read morePublished on May 12, 2013 by Elizabeth
This is exactly what I imagined it to be. The visions it left me with........astonished!! This really takes you there and makes you think.Published on March 4, 2013 by Tonya
To much silliness about the living dead. If you have a serious interest in history DO NOT
buy his book. Read more
Puzzling at first wondering where their journey will lead the travelers. But as the journey continues you have an idea where they are going even though you don,t want to know the... Read morePublished on January 25, 2013 by Becky
My first zombie book. I really enjoyed it thought it was well put together. Kudos to the author for making a good world to walk through for a few days.Published on January 23, 2013 by fearz
Wheeee! Having not read The Inferno in . . . several decades, this brought back just enough reminders to make the story flow river-like though my day. Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by Khinasi
The only thing is that is a problem with this story, is it ended to soon. I really got into the tale and was sorry to see it end. Read morePublished on December 17, 2012 by old reader