Raising Stony Mayhall
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Raising Stony Mayhall

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,412 ratings  ·  278 reviews
In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda — and he begins to move.

The family hides the child — whom they name Stony — rather than turn him ove...more
Paperback, 422 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
zombie novels are usually about other things, where the zombies/zombie situation is just standing in for whatever larger theme, whatever personal political or social point the author wants to make. zombies are a conveniently adaptable menace: the fluidity of their ontology, the mechanics of their movements and behaviors: fast or slow? sentient or no? brain eating or no? zombies suit the needs of many different authors to many different ends.

this book is no different. it is zombie novel as "what...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker
Made the list for

Best Badass Zombie Books..

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Part 1

This is the story of a little baby found on the side of a road. He is clearly different. He should not be.

Wanda Mayhall does not care. Stony is a baby. She will protect him from the world, and make sure he is raised to be loved and cherished just like her three other children.

Sadly for Stony, he knows he is not like his sisters. His physical self is not only different, but he feels no pain, and things that...more
Mike
Jun 04, 2011 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ceridwen & Richard, in particular...
This was pure pleasure--a reinvention (or is that revitalization?) of the zombie mythos, a compelling and often surprising what-happens-next? page-turner, and as sweet, funny, moving, and yet tough-minded as the very best of Bradbury (or John Crowley, who gets a hat/tip).

My rating may go up. But this is awesome; I've really enjoyed Gregory's novels, but this is something.

(And now Mira Grant and Colson Whitehead have a pretty high bar to jump for their uses of the zombie. . . .)

A longer review to...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Though this is certainly not the very best novel I have ever read--or have read this year, or this month, or even this week--this is definitely the most super funfun time I have had reading a book in ages. I know that by saying that I am running the risk of driving people away from Stony Mayhall out of sheer literary fussiness and general taking-self-too-seriouslyness (not saying I'm not guilty), and that is truly a shame because it really is quite well-written on top of being fast-paced and che...more
Lightreads
Bravo. This is the zombie book I didn't know I wanted. It's a grim, slyly funny, philosophical story about a zombie baby found beside the road in alternate history 1968 Iowa, and the women who risk their lives to raise him (raising, get it? No really, I swear, it's actually very cleverly funny). This is a book that draws its political horror in broad dashes, but does its interpersonal work in tight, minute, precise gestures. It's thinking about zombie fiction, but not in that irritating way wher...more
Reynje
Gregory’s take on zombies in Raising Stony Mayhall is both unusual and ambitious, blending an alternate history, a Living Dead divided by ideology and politics, and musings of the existential variety.

It is an intelligent book that has a lot to say, occasionally taking a philosophical turn as Stony wrestles with the paradox of his existence and the events his life has set in motion. The first part, detailing Stony’s early family life, is strong and richly observed. The characters are written wit...more
Bonnie
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

In Part I, the Mayhall family find a woman long dead on the side of the road with a baby wrapped up inside her coat. Shortly after, Wanda Mayhall realizes what he really is, yet decides that they are going to keep him anyways and hide him from the world. We watch Stony change and literally grow from a baby into a young man just as any normal living human being does. We watch him become an integral part of the Mayhall family and develop into his own...more
Trudi
This book has an outstanding premise and infuses a lot of originality and freshness into the standard zombie canon. I came so very close to giving it four stars, but alas, in the end it remains at a solid, hard won three. In a novel filled with a brilliant cast of characters, everyone unique and engaging in their own way, I felt there was an emotional element largely absent from most of the story.

I'm left a little perplexed why this should be so, since it's a book about "zombies" and how they t...more
Kevin Hearne
I was captivated by this story of a zombie who already had plenty o' brains and didn't need to eat anyone else's. A truly original contribution to zombie literature.

That's right, I said Zombie Literature. This book belongs in that category. It's a must-read if you dig zombies, period.
Bandit
This is a great book. A really great book. I originally came across Daryl Gregory's books while browsing amazon.com and thought they looked very interesting, so particularly with my love for zombie genre, this was a case of judging the book by the cover (or description really since the cover is not very descriptive) and it definitely paid off. There is an epic quality to this book, which easily transcends the genre limitations and simply transforms it into a great work of literature with strong...more
Marvin
At first, this novel begins like The Waltons meets The Walking Dead. It's a clever quarter of a novel that introduces our hero Stony Mayhall as a zombie infant that does something no other zombie does...grow up. The setting is interesting too. It begins in 1968 in an alternate reality that has witnessed a zombie epidemic shortly before that year. The zombies have been pretty much killed off by the government yet small groups still exist The kind Mrs. Mayhall sees that there is something differen...more
David
Jan 06, 2012 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zombies, single mothers of zombies
I'm not sure why zombie novels are all the rage right now, or why I'm reading so many, but Raising Stony Mayhall was unexpectedly good. From the description, I was expecting it to be kind of a one-note gimmick based on the thin premise of a "zombie baby," but some positive reviews convinced me to give it a try, and I'm glad I did.

This is a book written by someone who knows the zombie genre and treats it with appropriate respect, while adding something of his own to the zombie mythology. The back...more
Janene
Occasionally a novel comes along that totally changes the way you view things and your perceptions of what 'should be'. This book was so touching and different. It was one of those books that the further I got, the slower I read. Not because I was bored or uninterested...no. It was because I was afraid of what was coming..the unknown and didn't want to say goodbye to Stony and try to find something equally as precious. There are several great reviews here... all I'll leave you with is....read it...more
Carlos
Este libro es lo que uno espera de la literatura de género. Que use las convenciones, las pervierta, las dinamite y haga algo totalmente inesperado. Gregory no sólo tiene una idea brillante, sino que la desarrolla con competencia más que solvente.

No sé con qué cara se podrán crear nuevas obras de zombies sin hacer el ridículo al lado de Raising Stony Mayhall. Y quien lo haga y no sepa que el buen Stony es el fantasma que vigila a los LDs, mejor que no cuente con mi atención.

5 estrellas para un l...more
Kaora
The blurb of this book is what first drew me in promising a new take on zombies. Not one where they are mindless feeding machines, but one where they are able to think and speak and control their impulses.

The zombies in this book, after turning go through a 24-48 hour fever where they are the mindless feeding machines, but after the fever breaks they turn into the "Living Dead" or LD. Their bite is still deadly, and they are hard to kill but they can function almost normally. If you consider occ...more
Mimi
5 stars upon finishing, but now that I think about it, it's more like 4 or 4 ½, depending on my current mood of interpretation.


John "Stony" Mayhall is a living dead miracle who defy all odds, logic, laws of physics, our understanding of anatomy and physiology, our sense of "living" and "death," etc. He lives despite not having that spark of life, he grows despite not having proper bodily functions, and he ages despite time not being a factor that should affect him. And he thinks, not only intell...more
Leah
http://sosaysthewhale.wordpress.com/2...

I could simply say drop whatever you're doing and read this book. Now. That wouldn't do it justice, though. This is the kind of story that needs to be discussed, demands to be gushed over, and ultimately stays with you long after you've finished those last words.

It is traditional to end with the Last Girl, the sole survivor, a young woman in a blood-spattered tank top. She drops her chain saw, her sawed-off shotgun, her crowbar - these details differ - and
...more
Juan
"The dead stick moves in the wind, and believes it moves itself"

Si te digo que este es un libro de zombis, seguramente, lo primero que pensaras es "vaya, otro más sobre zombis. Ya cansa tanto muerto viviente. Paso de leerlo". Es una reacción normal, lo reconozco. Es tanta la avalancha mediática sobre este tema, que la mayoría de nosotros estamos ya bastante saturados. Sin embargo, te diré que si esa es la razón por la que no piensas leer este libro, te equivocas de cabo a rabo.

Este no es un libr...more
[Name Redacted By Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review]
Okay. It was never easy for Stony Mayhall. He was born a poor zombie child. He remembered the days, sittin' in the basement with his family, diggin' and readin' over in Iowa...

(Apologies to Steve Martin)

Seriously though, this is an incredible bildungsroman about a boy born dead named John "Stony" Mayhall who grows up in an alternate version of America in which John Romero's 1968 film was actually a documentary. For unknown reasons, the dead rise in the Eastern US, hungering for human flesh and...more
Jason
1 Star

I am a fan of Daryl Gregory and highly recommend his previous novels.

This books out starts out well, and for the first half of this novel is an almost sweet and tender zombie story about a boy named Stony. Cool premise, good characters, decent backstory, and a clear hurdle to clear.

After that point Stony and this book turn for the worst. I absolutely hated the things that occur to Stony, the things that he brought upon himself, and the direction that the plot took. With less than 75 pages...more
Paul
Daryl Gregory's visionary zombie novel about a boy born zombie who then grows up and turns into a leader/symbol/more human than human. As a spec fic writer, Gregory's ideas are big and bold. What puts his work over the top is his characters. They're heartbreakingly fragile and real.
Miquel Codony
Una de las características que más a menudo he leído sobre este libro es que representa un soplo de aire fresco en el panorama de los libros de zombis. Dado mi total desconocimiento del subgénero en su ámbito novelístico ese es un aspecto del que prescindiré y no diré más que, efectivamente, no se parece en nada a ninguna película de zombis que haya visto. Pasemos a otro punto.
Raising Stony Mayhall es una de las novelas de ciencia ficción (¿fantasía? Especulativa en cualquier caso) más redondas...more
Odo
(Originally published on http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot.... )

If you think that "charming, intelligent zombie" is an oxymoron, then you definitely need to read Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory. Because John 'Stony' Mayhall is completely charming, exceptionally intelligent and, well, totally undead.

I'm not usually attracted to zombie stories. I find them trite and boring. However, I'd been intrigued by Raising Stony Mayhall for quite a long while. It didn't seem to be your average livi...more
Twobusy
Man, Daryl Gregory is an interesting writer. This is a zombie novel, but it's utterly unlike any other zombie novel I've read (and let's be clear: from The Angels Are The Reapers to World War Z and Breathers, there's a wiiiide range of very good ones out there). Why? Because our title character is a part of the Living Dead community —and he's as rich and fully realized a character as you'll ever come across: an individual loved by his family, first hidden from and then feared by the world, and d...more
Jacqie
Definitely the best "zombie book" I've read, not that I have a lot to compare. The book really is about taking a look at humanity, marginalized groups, and morality. There, now I've made the book sound boring. It's really not!

Stony is an LD (living dead person) who was found as an infant. He mysteriously and miraculously grows, sheltered by the family that found him. Then he is forced to flee and becomes part of the fascinating, strange LD culture. The living dead are ravaging monsters for the f...more
Nancy Moore
Nov 19, 2012 Nancy Moore rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Michael
It's not often that you just grab a book off the library shelf, give it a glance and it ends up being a REALLY good book. I did that and got lucky. Let me say that if the jacket description that I quickly glanced through had used the "z-word" up front I probably would have put it back. But it wasn't until I was a couple chapters in that I realized this was indeed a book about the zombie apocalypse, but not a very common one. The characters, including the living dead are touching, interesting, ve...more
Jeremy
I read an article about this book and was intrigued because it sounded like a story similar to what I tried (and failed) to write during National Novel Writing Month in November, 2010. I really like Gregory's idea that brain-eating zombies suffer from a horrible fever and then return to almost-normal once it passes. I also like the idea of Stony as a zombie messiah, a child born dead (or "LD", living dead), but so much of the book is quips and snark and references to Romero's "documentaries". Th...more
Felix Rios
Este libro pasó de ser "una idea realmente interesante" a "una historia épica". Lamenté enormemente terminarlo porque realmente me cautivó su protagonista. Es sorprendente que un zombie nos de clases de humanidad, pero Stony Mayhall lo logra sobradamente. El escenario zombie, perdón, de "una vida diferente" es el más original y genial que haya visto desde Guerra Mundial Z. La narrativa temporal del autor es virtuosa y cada página es mejor que la anterior.

En conclusión, una joya literaria que tod...more
David Redding
This is a hard book to review mainly because it's almost like a trilogy wrapped into one book. I liked the first and last parts of the book, but the middle just got a little to silly for my liking.

All and all it's refreshing to see an author try something different, Mr Gregory has some very interesting ideas for a zombie story. He dives more into the philosophy of the zombie outbreak and less about the run and gun gore aspect of flesh eating monsters.

In the end how ever, the story as a whole fa...more
Maria
One of my favorite "zombie" books. It is charming and sweet, and has a feeling of innocence and a great sense of humor bc its character development and observations about human behavior are so spot on.

It isn't a typical zombie book, in that it shows the recent idea that zombies aren't mindless animalistic beings, but are just non-living humans, with a right to live their lives just as much as "breathers." The social commentary on what zombies represent is pretty clear.

As a somewhat messianic t...more
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1343790
Award-winning author of Pandemonium, The Devil's Alphabet, and Raising Stony Mayhall.

He is also the writer of comics such as Dracula: The Company of Monsters and Planet of the Apes, both from BOOM! Studios.

His first collection of short stories is Unpossible and Other Stories, by Fairwood Press (October, 2011).

Daryl lives in State College, Pennsylvania.
More about Daryl Gregory...
Pandemonium The Devil's Alphabet Afterparty Unpossible and Other Stories Planet of the Apes, Vol. 1: The Long War

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“Perhaps that's a smile on Delia's face-but Delia's half skull turns every expression into a leer. She says, "Your uncle had a talent, kid. He made families wherever he went.” 0 likes
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