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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  191 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Mark Twain once said "The rumors of my death were greatly exaggerat--BRAINS!!!!!"

Pulled from the grip of Mark Twain's rotting zombie hands, is Tom Sawyer like you've never seen him before, in a swashbuckling, treasure-seeking adventure, spiked with blood, gore, and zombie madness.

In this expanded and illustrated edition of Mark Twain's beloved tale of boyhood adventures, T
Paperback, 303 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Tor Books
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Community Reviews

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Jul 29, 2010 Sheri rated it liked it
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead (Don Borchert)*

This was an adventure book with a bit of a twist. It had the classic feel of the original Tom Sawyer stories with the twist being zombies, or as called in this book the "Zum". It took a bit adjusting as I was reading, I found myself enthralled in an adventure with Tom, Huck and friends then the Zum would enter. I did get used to it, and liked the book.

A fun book to read if you are into zombies, if you are into the classic Tom Sawyer stor
Georgiann Hennelly
Jun 19, 2011 Georgiann Hennelly rated it liked it
This was an interesting read Tom Sawyer with a bit of a twist,Zombies, only they called them Zum the undead. Tom,s usual mishaps are injected with a taste of macrabre as the world is over run with a zombie virus known in the south as the zum. In this world Tom still manages to con his friends to do his chores for him but instead of whitewashing the fence they have to sharpen the fence posts to points to help against a zum attack.. to escape the constraints of civilized life Tom and his pal Huck ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Dustin rated it it was ok
A quick read and the author does an ok job aping Mark Twain, but it's not as good as the source material and isn't really that interesting a twist on it either.
Seregil of Rhiminee
Jun 16, 2012 Seregil of Rhiminee rated it liked it
Before I say anything about this book, I'll say a few words about classic books, which have been converted to horror versions:

I think it's interesting that old classic books are being converted to horror versions. It's a fascinating phenomenon, because for example Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has been converted to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it has sold well (these new versions are surprisingly popular). These horror versions are a bit different from the original books, because they
Jun 02, 2010 Beth rated it liked it
Another volume in the vein of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, The Adventures of Tom Sayer and Undead is prefaced with a note to this new edition, setting the story within an invented historical context that leaves room for the Zums (zombies).

Borchert rewrites the American classic Tom Sawyer, setting the tale in
19th century overrun with the zombies. Literally a chapter by
chapter revision with the same characters and scenes, the author can
be commended on maintaining the voice, style and struc
Aug 29, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
It shouldn't surprise any of my regular readers that I've really gotten into this zombie mashup concept going on in books lately. In fact I've decided I should become some sort of expert on the subject, so when I saw this ARC at PLA (yes, I realize that was all the way back in March) I just had to take it home. Unfortunately, I've never read the original Adventures of Tom Sawyer, so I can't compare the two (except for what I learned by watching the movie Tom & Huck, starring then teen heartt ...more
Michael Bates
Feb 19, 2016 Michael Bates rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. No more but very well could be less.

This book just did nothing for me. I love the lets put a twist on classics. I love the undead aspect of it. None of those things helped this book. I don't know what I was expecting. Zombie hunter Tom and Huck? That would be awesome but no. Might as well read the original than this one.

No, I would not continue on this adventure with Tom, thank you.
Jul 03, 2010 Laura rated it did not like it
I tried - I really tried to get into this book. But the idea of the Zum and Tom Sawyer? No. The humor of Twain's classic is just lost with the addition of the Zum, and the added bits do nothing to make the story resonate the way the original does. Most of the set pieces are there (the picket fence, the camping trip, Injun Joe, Becky Thacher, etc.) but when you have maggot-infested dead people popping up, well, something's lost.

Please, stop this trend before it happens again.

ARC provided by publ
Mike Dougherty
Apr 04, 2012 Mike Dougherty rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I never read the original Tom Sawyer adventures so im not sure if the story is re told into a different kind of adventure. I like this story because it is filled with adventure,love and true friendship. Tom and Huck go out to find a treasure and discover that they have walked into something totally unexpected. This is a book that always kept me wondering what was gona happen next. A great book that brings back the legend of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn back into our times.
Feb 10, 2014 Michelle rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, zombie
Basically a word for word account of the original classic tale but instead a life where Zums (zombies) roam around and Tom wants to become a Zum hunter and Injun Joe is more than just dead, but undead.

And this took my forever to read only because I got bored with it and the lack of zombies to entice me to read on. Overall I did enjoy reading about the boyhood of Tom, but will refrain from recommending this to anyone else.
John Poindexter
Jul 31, 2010 John Poindexter rated it did not like it
The book did a pretty good job of sticking to the original story. But, I am not impressed with the Zum addition. First you don't see one until you are about three for ths of the way through the book, then it is really hard to relate to injun Joe as s Zum.

I think the classic should be left alone and zombie books written for and about zombies.

I received this Advance Reading Copy from Goodreads giveaways.
Aug 12, 2010 Alicia rated it did not like it
Can I just start by saying that Twain fans would die and Twain himself would role over in his grave if he read this book. While the book was imaginative, it lacked what I consider any effort to make a story real. I was highly dissappointed by this book. I couldnt even finish it, which is sad because this is only the third book that I have ever not finished.

Dont waste your time or money!
Another fun monster mash-up! If you enjoyed the original and love some zombies thrown in this is the one for you! And it's a fun read for the approaching Halloween holiday.

The beginning was a bit slow and there are some obvious changes from the original. I recommend it for a light fun read.

Thanks to First Reads here on Goodreads for offering me the opportunity to read the book.
I won this from First Reads. I liked it better than I thought I would. It's been a long time since I read the original, but this had the "flavor" that I remembered. I actually thought this was more entertaining than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Lori Wilkey
Aug 25, 2010 Lori Wilkey rated it liked it
This was a humorous retelling of the Tom Sawyer story but this time there are zombies (known as Zum) walking around. A quick read, I did enjoy seeing some of the events that make Tom Sawyer classic with a different perspective. Instead of white washing the fence, Tom convinces his friends to make stakes to keep the Zum out. This was a fun, quick read.
Apr 24, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it
A great spoof of Tom Sawyer with some unique changes and a little supernatural element to increase excitement, involving a virus that changes so many things. Mark Twain is sooo droll, with a dry sense of humor. Don Borchert added to this with his unique spin toward fantasy.
A good read.
Jul 14, 2010 Andrew marked it as to-read
Cannot WAIT to get my hands on a copy of this. Love all of the "reimagined classics" books out there (currently reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, with Android Karenina and Little Women & Werewolves up after that), and just flat out love all things zombie.
Apr 13, 2011 Shoshana rated it liked it
I'm actually surprised at how small a role the zombies played. Reading this felt like revisiting Tom Sawyer with occasional references to the flesh-eating undead. I'm not quite sure what the point was, but it doesn't leave me aghast at the state of literature, either.
Nov 21, 2010 Ted rated it liked it
Shelves: own, first-reads
It's an okay story. It has most of the important elements and characters from the original book, but this adaptation just didn't come together all that well.

Disclaimer: I got this book for free from's 'First Reads' giveaway.
Mar 26, 2012 Rich rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Noone.
It was "nothing to write home about." I read Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain in high school and I really enjoyed. I thought it would be the same, if not better with the addition of Zomibes... But sadly I was wrong. It's was "Okay," at it's best.
Apr 17, 2012 Shane rated it it was amazing
This was my first monster/classic mash-up. It obviously mimicked the original work, but the zombie (Zum) twist made a familiar story fun. I really enjoyed the writing.

I won this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.
May 04, 2013 Alissa rated it liked it
If you're looking for a book that is actually about zombies...this is not it. Not that is isn't full of adventure (just as the original) it's just that very little of that adventure involved zombies.
Robert Steagall
This book was an excellent alternate history of Tom Sawyer living in a world where the dreaded Zum walk the earth, but this doesn't stop young Tom, Huck and Joe from having adventures.
Sep 23, 2010 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
It was fun if not taken very seriously. I thought it was a fun twist on the original story. I found it an enjoyable and fast read if you want something that is just fun.
Aug 17, 2012 Misfit marked it as will-never-read
Shelves: monster-mash

PS, this is a GR giveaway if anyone really wants to check it out. Not me.
Nov 17, 2010 Diana rated it it was amazing
Well-Done Macabre Twist on a Great Classic

My full review is published here:
Edward Pissmeoff
a nice little twist on the twain story. Mixes the original with a zombie tail seamlessly. pretty good, over all.
Jan 06, 2015 Jackson rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
It was a perfect day without clouds, adult supervision, or the undead.
Melissa Schmidty -Schmidt
Haha I love these genre-bending bastardizations of classics!!
Nov 23, 2010 Alex rated it liked it
A little too similar to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
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Don Borchert is an assistant librarian in suburban Los Angeles. He lives in Lomita, California.

Before working in the library, Don was a short-order cook, door-to-door salesman, telemarketer, and Christmas-tree-chopper.
More about Don Borchert...

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