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The Rising (The Rising #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,070 Ratings  ·  455 Reviews
Since it's 2003 debut, Brian Keene's THE RISING is one of the best-selling zombie novels of all-time. It has been translated into over a dozen languages, inspired the works of other authors and filmmakers, and has become a cultural touchstone for an entire generation of horror fans.

THE RISING is the story of Jim Thurmond, a determined father battling his way across a post-
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Published November 1st 2009 by Audio Realms (first published 2003)
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Dec 13, 2014 CasualDebris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
There are too many things wrong with this book. Despite some original ideas and a few worthy tense moments, it is most of the time laughably bad, and embarrassingly badly written.

The amount of typos and the atrocious grammar was shocking. Someone needs to tell Keene, the copyeditors and publishers that the past tense of "to spit" is "spat" and that you don’t tell a person to "lay" but to "lie" down. Your prose can also benefit by not using the word "again" (or any word, really) again and again t

Paul Nelson
Not your normal Zombie’s, thank fuck, these can think, even plan their main course from well done to medium rare (that's where you come in) and the return of the dead is eagerly awaited, they have purpose.

Although it’s the normal method of dispatch in a head shot or decapitation, luckily that's pretty much one of the few things in common with your average literary zombie catastrophe. These Zombies are controlled by a demon like entity that has an intelligence and the wherewithal of the previous
Feb 27, 2008 Rob rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people I hate
Recommended to Rob by: Stupid forum user.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 12, 2012 Caryn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, zombies
I'm sorry - zombie fish? I kind of lost it after that...
Mr. Matt
Mar 18, 2015 Mr. Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, zombies, 2015
When you're reading about the end of the world, what's better than zombies? They are relentless, they spread like wildfire, and they hunger for human flesh. Under the weight of hordes of the undead, civilization folds in on itself and the survivors are left to fend for themselves. That's why I like a good zombie apocalypse story. And that's why I was so excited to read Brian Keene's story.

The problem with zombie apocalypse stories is that they tend to be formulaic. There is an outbreak. Civiliza
Filamena Young
Jun 01, 2009 Filamena Young rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
So to be perfectly honest, I’ve been going back and forth on whether on not I actually wanted to write this review. It basically came down to ‘not burning bridges’ in a very small universe, or being honest with my readers. (I know, all three of you.)

When I weighted it out, I decided a bad review treated fairly and note based on gut reaction might be better for the internet as a whole then a blank space. Plus, that way, as new readers show up, (I’ll welcome you, reader number four,) they can feel
Sep 02, 2007 Pam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Zombified goldfish? Nah.
Sep 08, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Edit: When I first wrote this review, I was aghast at the terrible typos. I now know that this was not Keene's fault, and he is in fact a grammatically A-Okay writer. There is now a new author's preferred edition just published, I am sure that it has been polished up!
So avoid this original paperback edition and be sure to get his latest.

Every once in a while, I'll find myself caught up in a novel and, despite some flaws that would bug me, there's that certain something that sets the hook and pul
Mar 09, 2010 Unapologetic_Bookaholic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of survival/zombie horror, smart horror
Multiple characters are trying to survive in a world being overrun by zombies. Jim's fight to survive involves trying to save his son Danny that is across the from WV to NJ. Part 1 of 2. Next City of the dead. Last read in 2007. Read again Dec 2008.

I learned you have to enjoy the story as told by the author and know that they probably would want to write it lots of different ways but only have so much time to finish. Rating a book badly based on grammar is too anal and could maybe account for 1/
May 04, 2008 Eric rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not many people
Shelves: tossed
There were so many things wrong with this book that I couldn't even finish it. Some people will be angry at me for this, but I have my reasons. Firstly, the book was WAY too gory. Some people may be cool with that, but not me. Secondly, WAY too much swearing. Third, the characters seem to be heading to an improvement in their lives, characters like the drug addict Frankie, the scientist Jim, etc. but I can't get to where I like any of them. They just don't have anything that appeals to me. In sh ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Pamellia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Recommended`with caution
Shelves: 2014
The Rising by Brian Keene
October 2014
HA Buddy Read for October

The Rising is a book selected for a buddy read that I joined over on HA. I was told this was the start of the zombie genre and that it couldn't get any better than this. So I joined in expecting a good read and a fun time discussing this book.

I thought the book had too much of an introduction before the actually story started. Then I realized part of the story, I believe, Mr. Keene was telling was the story of the characters. All of t
Apr 25, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was the First Brian Keene book that I picked up, and to be honest... I wasn't expecting much. I enjoy a good Zombie film as much as the next person, but had never read a zombie book before. I was pleasantly surprised while reading this book. The characters were (for the most part) very real, engaging, and the type of people the reader cares about.

The zombies were not your stereotypical zombies; they were far more mobile, and capable of using tools, weapons, and setting traps to catch the f
Andrew Lennon
Mar 02, 2015 Andrew Lennon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, I have never read a zombie book before. They just haven't ever appealed to me. Zombie films, yes, books, no. But I've read other stuff by Brian Keene so I thought I would give it a go.
This is so different to a normal zombie story. For a start, the zombies have a good level of intelligence. Which I think makes them even more scary!
When I first started the story I thought I might have given up quite quickly. I thought it was going to be stupid (ahem, zombie goldfish) but trust me. Do no l
Jul 01, 2015 Karl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thunderstorm-own
The Rising: 10th Anniversary Edition

This edition restores about thirty thousand words to the original release. I can not believe its been ten years already. Not your "usual" zombie book. A beautifully produced edition.

This is copy 51 of 333 signed and numbered copies.

This is book 1 of 3 of Brian Keene’s Maelstrom Series IV.
Loved this unique book and great take on zombies. I'm starting the second part asap!
Thanks to my friend Jonathan who is a great BK fan and who recommended me his work :)
Bark's Book Nonsense
It’s zombie month and I am reading this one for Jare’s Spills & Chills Release Challenge over at I seem to have quite the backlog of Keene books and they are neatly fitting the challenges. Awesome.

Having enjoyed Keene’s Conqueror Worms post-apocalyptic novel about giant worms (seriously) I’m excited to see what he does with zombies.

The book starts out similarly to The Conqueror Worms with a male protagonist telling the story of how his world collapsed but this time arou
Kris Lugosi
I realllly enjoyed this book. It's a zombie book and to be honest the genre has been done over and over with very little variation, but Mr. Keene brings a new voice (yes that's right voice) to the way you perceive zombies. There is no virus or outbreak that causes the people in this book to turn. It's possession. The details of how the demons posses the dead human body are intricate without being confusing. Keene paints an awesome picture of how and why these demons are possessing the bodies of ...more
It's been almost eight years since I read the original version of The Rising, and though I recalled it being a great novel, I was surprised by just good it was. And here's the kicker: this Author's Preferred Edition of The Rising is even better. Aside from a 3 page passage that sticks out as unnecessary, everything else re-included here by Keene adds to the novel in a positive way. The characters are better drawn, and their actions seem more authentic for it. The ending has been much spoken abou ...more
This is a great zombie story, a bit different from the others I have read, as these zombies are demon spirits, accidentally released from the void, following orders from their leader, Ob. The Rising was my first Brian Keene novel and I can't wait to read more. I can tell that Keene is a fan of Stephen King as there is a line straight out of The Shining and a lot of mention of other worlds. Annoyingly poor editing aside, this was a fantastic read. The ending was extremely frustrating, as it didn' ...more
mark monday
Sep 07, 2010 mark monday rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horrortime
Despite its too-frequent dips into mawkish sentimentality and general corniness, this is a fast-paced, exciting, and at-times surprisingly heartless page-turner. Zombie animals are a first to me. Demon possession is not so new, but the concept is used refreshingly in this novel; it reminded me of peter hamilton's Reality Dysfunction. Overall, a shallow but satisfying and often original read, despite the jarringly abrupt ending.
Majo's Library.
Bueno, antes que nada creo que tengo que hacer una confesión… Y es que a estas alturas me siento hasta un poco avergonzada de lo que hice (o dejé de hacer) con respecto a este género literario.
Me refiero a la categoría "Z" más conocida como Zombie.
Sí, sí… Ya lo sé. Había jurado y re contra jurado sobra la tumba de mi gato que nunca caería en una lectura como esta, pero (parezca o no) mi caída fue accidental.
Y vamos, lo admito: Me gustó bastante.

Y es que aL final de año encontré por purísima c
Jonathan Echevarria
Oct 20, 2014 Jonathan Echevarria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of fast zombies
The Rising has always been one of my favorite zombie stories of all time. For me it's always ranked up there with Blood Crazy, Autumn, and Hater. There are so many zombie novels out there, but for me these have always been my top four. Now almost ten years later a new version of the Rising has came out called The Rising: Author's Preferred Edition. During this time Brian Keene has written many masterpieces, some can say The Rising was the work of a novice writer. However despite all of this, The ...more
John Wiltshire
Well this is a bit different (I assume) for a zombie book. Intelligent zombies. I think we have them currently on the news. Demons in human form.
I'll update when done.
Finished this one in a day--it's not thought-provoking reading. If you like zombie tales then this would be a good one to get your teeth into...
The demon-possessing-the-dead theme didn't really come to much, to be honest, but the book ended on a total cliffhanger, so presumably there's a second one where this might be expanded upo
When I picked this up, I was looking for a zombie book. Y'know, the original traditional shambling creatures that move on instinct to try and kill you? Instead we get some kind of demon alien things who arrive on Earth and start taking over the bodies of the dead. They have a nibble on new victims just to keep them going calory wise but not enough to damage the person before a fellow demon takes it over as his new home. Oh and these zombies talk, preach their hatred for the Creator dude, drive v ...more
May 14, 2014 Marvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autographed, horror
Note: The following is a critical analysis of The Rising Trilogy which is comprised of three books: The Rising, City of the Dead, and The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World. This analysis will appear on the Goodreads page of each book. There may be some minor spoilers.


I recently attended the 2014 World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon. That was an vastly enjoyable event that I could write a huge article about and just might at a later time. The Grand Master was
Oh please, this is not literature. It's a zombie book. I'm not even going to waste too many words on this review because it's just a simple story. If you're looking for prose, you most certainly wouldn't pick up this book based on it's cover, right?

Merely entertaining, the book equivalent of a B movie, I read it while on vacation. It's the kind of book you can read while also watching your kid go down waterslides. (And kind of make the other parents near by look at you a little funny, which is
Jun 13, 2011 Damian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 27, 2012 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Having been a fan of zombie fiction since I was a child, I've struggled to find great novels relating to the walking dead. To date, the only ones to impress me have been Stephen King's "Cell" and Max Brooks' "World War Z." Today Brian Keene's "The Rising" joins those favorites.

This isn't your typical take on the zombie genre; the newly risen dead don't shamble and they aren't stupid. Instead, these zombies put an entirely new fear behind the concept of our dead coming back to life - they're inte
B. Pope
Apr 06, 2012 B. Pope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rising is a novel based squarely in the genre "Zombie Apocalypse". It follows characters from differing backgrounds and with a number of different motivations struggling in a zombie-infested East Coast. The three main characters, a construction worker dad, a junkie hooker and a scientist, provide a wide range of insights and opinions that keep the story interesting and different.

Jim, the construction worker, is driven entirely by the hope that his son is alive. He is willing to travel hundre
Alejandra Cruz-lopez
Mar 13, 2009 Alejandra Cruz-lopez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody who love horrors!
The Rising is a very interesting book. This book is about the rising of the undead upon the earth. This book is very detailed and you feel like you are at where the author is describing. There are four point-of-views in this book. The four are: Jim, a former construction worker before the rising; Baker, a former Havenbrook scientist before the rising also; Frankie, a junkie; and the last are the soldiers. All these narrators would meet at the end of the book. Jim went in hiding after the rising ...more
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What's The Name o...: alien/Zombie book request! [s] 5 42 Jan 18, 2013 01:45AM  
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more
More about Brian Keene...

Other Books in the Series

The Rising (2 books)
  • City of the Dead

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