Ostensibly, I've read it over the last twelve days. Finishing it took over my life just a little, and I don't know how many nights I p...moreThis book. Wow.
Ostensibly, I've read it over the last twelve days. Finishing it took over my life just a little, and I don't know how many nights I put it down and got to bed before 4am. Probably not many. It feels like I've been living with The Stand for much longer than that, though, and in another respect, I've really been reading it for almost three years. I made my first attempt at it in April 2009. At the time, IIRC, the only Stephen King books I'd read in full were Misery, Dolores Claiborne and Cell - the first two years beforehand, and all of them pamphlet length compared to the doorstop-sized Stand.
I've always had a taste for the apocalypse, and so the premise appealed greatly to me. The first chapter bore that out, but I hit a stumbling block with the introduction to Stu Redman. At the time, I just wasn't acclimatised to King's tendency to use twenty words where one would do, and by the time I fought my way through to meet Frannie Goldsmith on a pier in Maine, I was ready to give it up as a bad job.
Still, over the months that followed, my mind would turn back to it from time to time, and in November of that year I gave it another shot. I got a lot further that time around. Over the course of three or four months, dipping in and out, never reading for too long in order to savour every chapter, I eventually reached page 466, only just shy of finishing the first book, "Captain Trips". I can't really say why I never finished it from there. Mostly, it was never wanting the book to end. By then, I wasn't frazzled with Stu and Frannie, I loved them, and Larry Underwood and Nick Andros too. I wanted to feel that their world was there waiting any time I wanted to visit. The Stand was put to one side, and while I always kept it on my 'currently reading' list, I don't think I opened it once between February or March of 2010, and present.
One night a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't feeling great and couldn't sleep. Laying in bed, wide awake at 3am, I scanned my shelves for something to read, and paused on The Stand. The time felt right to give it another try. I was pretty confident that I could still pick up from where I'd left off, bookmarked just after Nick leaves Shoyo and before Larry awakens beyond the Lincoln Tunnel. But I thought back on those 466 pages, of seeing the world end over a couple of weeks from mid-June to early-July, and wanted to read it all over again. So I did. I re-met the old characters and fell in love with them all over again. And when I got to page 466, I kept on going, right through "Captain Trips", through "On The Border", "The Stand" and "The Circle Closes". It was exhausting, frequently frustrating, and I don't know that I'll ever have it in me to read it again, but I utterly loved it, and can happily say that this belongs on my favourites shelf.
All of this is not to say that The Stand is without flaws. I don't hold its length against it (though in the event of a future re-read, I'd plump for the original, rather than uncut edition). I think my first real discontent began with the introduction of Randall Flagg, the levitating, near-omniscient bad guy. I'm not keen on books that begin grounded in the real world, go on that way for hundreds of pages, and then throw in a surprise supernatural twist. I was even less keen when the emergence of Mother Abagail made plain that not only would the following events be strongly supernatural, they'd be driven by religion. Good v evil, God v devil. Not my cup of tea at all. Once it became clear that The Stand is very much a homage to Lord of The Rings (which, by great coincidence, is next on my re-read list), I could accept the supernatural elements and Flagg's all-seeing eye more easily. I never got so accustomed to the constant presence of God. When Larry went bravely into Vegas in the expectation that it was what God intended, and that He had something in motion that would come through... that was probably the pinnacle of my frustration, because I'm a cynical, pre-Mother Abagale Glen Bateman at heart.
Other things bothered me too. I was never all that interested in the antagonists, but might have been more so if "On the Border" hadn't been almost exclusively in the good guys' camp in Boulder, and "The Stand" with the bad guys in Vegas. I'd have liked a little more intermingling. The second book was my least favourite overall. The chapters were too long for my liking, the focus too squarely upon Stu, Frannie and Larry. Nick all but disappeared in this book, and I'd come to love him so in "Captain Trips". From reading King's On Writing last year, I knew about the bomb. I didn't know who would die, and for a chapter there I could hardly read on through fear. But afterwards... I didn't feel so much. I'd become emotionally disconnected from the lack of focus. It hurt more in "The Stand", when Nick came to Tom in dreams.
It shouldn't have come as a surprise that the women were mostly background characters, either weak or under developed or repulsive. King does this a lot. And then there was bloody Nadine, who was all of these and less. My least favourite character, without a doubt. The shift from when we met her, to our next encounter where she was CRAZY was just bizarre, and I could never but never empathise with her. There was Mother Abagale, yes, and I did enjoy her segments, but she was the utter embodiment of the "magical negro" trope. And as for the page where Frannie and Lucy sit sadly drinking tea while their men go bravely off to confront Flagg... oh my eyes about rolled out of my head. Two characters I would have loved to have seen more of were Susan Stern and Dayna Jurgens. Strong and brave and utterly badass, but with hardly ten pages of development between them. There was a much more fulfilling story there waiting to be told.
Then came the ending. After my second failed attempt at reading The Stand, I read a Goodreads review of it, so I knew one fact. (view spoiler)[I knew Larry was going to die. (hide spoiler)] There were times that I was desperately sad and scared for him, but in the final confrontation and aftermath... again, I didn't feel so much. I genuinely thought this book was going to tear my heart out, stomp all over it and make me cry. The closest it ever came to doing that was when Stu broke his leg and sent the others off without him. I closed that chapter almost literally shaking with the unfairness of it all, but even then, there was some hope. There was Tom Cullen. Words cannot describe how much I love Tom Cullen. If I had to pick a favourite character, I think he would be it. And yes the final journey was protracted and slowed the pace down when we should have been racing for the finish, but despite that, despite all these gripes and complaints, I'm sat here the afternoon after finishing it reflecting on how satisfying it was, all told.
The Stand isn't a literary masterpiece. It isn't perfect, and maybe it was even better 400 pages lighter. But it is a bloody good book, one of my all-time favourites, and I'm so glad to have finally read it. In a way, it doesn't feel like I've sat in a recliner and read it for twelve days. It feels like I've been on a journey. Like an experience.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was so unprepared for this emotionally. While the previous volumes were full of angst to the highest degree, I feel... distraught. Nauseous. A littl...moreI was so unprepared for this emotionally. While the previous volumes were full of angst to the highest degree, I feel... distraught. Nauseous. A little like I need to cry. The turn things have taken is so dark, but at this point I truly can't say whether I think it was for the best. (view spoiler)[When the Governor cut Rick's hand off, when he raped Michonne, when he sat in front of the dozens of heads he'd collected... I wished we could just go back to the prison, and be as cosy and domestic as a zombie apocalypse possibly can be. And then that happened, and it was admittedly dull. So Hershel nearly had the generator going. Woo hoo. So Carol is pretty out and out crazy and wants a polygamous marriage to Lori and Rick. Weird but... Michonne. Rick. (Admittedly, I loved Andrea just plain forgetting she's meant to be a mom to the twins now. Ha.)
I take back what I said about not "getting" Michonne in the last volume. She's brave and fierce and badass and I hope she gets the opportunity to tear the Governor limb from limb, agonisingly slowly. I really really like the Rick-Governor parallel that the doctor drew out. You can really appreciate how the paths they started on were similar, and in a way I think this was needed after Rick shooting Dexter. I also found it interesting how Andrea seemed to tacitly approve, practising her marksmanship up on the watchtower in case anyone came along to take "their" prison. I'm so worried about them all though, and I predict that I'm going to be a wreck before the day is through (because there's now zero chance of me getting anything productive done today. I'm going to be reading until my eyes fall out.) (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Fear the Hunters wasn't my favourite volume of The Walking Dead, but the fact I knew about the major moments beforehand really served to lessen their...moreFear the Hunters wasn't my favourite volume of The Walking Dead, but the fact I knew about the major moments beforehand really served to lessen their impact. I must try harder to keep away from Wikipedia, but it's to Kirkman's credit that I'm so damn anxious about the survivors that I need to check up on what's ahead for them. I think this volume's biggest problem for me was plausibility and emotional resonance. And I know, I know it's set in the zombie apocalypse so griping about realism is silly, but I'm going to do a little of it anyway. (view spoiler)[As Kirkman acknowledges in the letters pages, the twins have hardly even spoken throughout this series. We see them in the background stood with Andrea and Dale quite often, fair enough, but we never really see any bonding between them as a family unit. So when one murders the other and is in turn killed by Carl, it's hard for me to buy Dale and Andrea's grief. Her heartbreak over Dale's death felt believable, natural and appropriate, but it's hard to envision her as a bereaved mother, because she's never really been depicted as a mom. So there's that, and then you add in the cannibals... it's not something I really bought in McCarthy's The Road either, though Kirkman almost had me with the group's explanation for their actions. It's just really hard to imagine that so much food has been looted they need to eat their own kids. Eeesh. (hide spoiler)](less)
Zombies and safe zones and domesticity, oh my! I think this arc has a lot of potential, and I like what I've read so far. It's nice to take a breather...moreZombies and safe zones and domesticity, oh my! I think this arc has a lot of potential, and I like what I've read so far. It's nice to take a breather from the constant threat of death and delve into the characters' psyche's now they're relatively safe for the time being. (view spoiler)[I feel bad for Carl, and I hope he isn't damaged beyond repair, but it must be near impossible to just segue back into being a normal kid after everything he's gone through. Andrea's chat with Rick about how fucked up they all are made me sad, but I love that they're developing a friendship between them. The strip where she told Rick she'd follow him to hell if it meant she could keep hold of who she is... ack, I love her fiercely, and that really got to me. I totally buy how difficult it is for Michonne to settle back into society too, and it definitely made me smile when Rick had Glenn scope out the armoury, but I hope they don't blow a potentially great thing because of their (albeit understandable) trust issues. (hide spoiler)] The series is in a pretty great place right now, and I can't wait to move on to the next volume.(less)
(view spoiler)[This was my least favourite collection so far - not to say it had no merit, because it did, I just didn't find it as compelling as the...more(view spoiler)[This was my least favourite collection so far - not to say it had no merit, because it did, I just didn't find it as compelling as the others. After finishing volume three, despite it being 5am, I couldn't stop reading. This one, I found easy to put down mid-way through, despite the fact Carol had just slit her wrists. I know it's a zombie apocalypse, but the angst factor really amped up here, what with Rick turning killer and defending his actions, Allen dying (impact lessened immeasurably by the fact he hasn't done anything but mope and call Andrea a cunt since Donna died), Tyreese cheating on Carol with Michonne... As for her, pretty much everything I've read about the comics tells me she's an awesome character, but I'm really not seeing it, or "getting" her so far. Plus she called Andrea a bitch, so... I did smile a little at Carol throwing herself at Rick, after earlier doing the same to Lori. Poor Sophia will likely be traumatised in a sitting-in-a-pool-of-her-mother's-blood Grey's Anatomy way. I think the best thing this collection had going for it was driving home the fact this is essentially a world without hope. The zombie problem will never ever be eradicated, because as soon as the living die, blam, more zombies. That final line of Rick's, "We are the walking dead" is truly chilling. (hide spoiler)](less)
Whew. That was cathartic. (view spoiler)[After the last volume, I wanted Michonne to exact painful and bloody revenge on the Governor, but I really di...moreWhew. That was cathartic. (view spoiler)[After the last volume, I wanted Michonne to exact painful and bloody revenge on the Governor, but I really didn't see that coming. It was difficult to read and watch, but in a sadistic way, it was good to see the "good" characters come out of the situation on top. I like(d) the three new characters introduced, though Dr Stevens' quick, unexpected death makes me think I shouldn't get too attached to Alice. I didn't expect Martinez to turn traitor, and I don't know how to feel about Rick killing him to protect the prison's location. I can appreciate now why the TV series has elected to keep Shane alive this long. I think it's good to have a strong foil who can go to these dark places, while keeping Rick back from this precipice, because it's damn hard to read, and even harder to decide a moral position on.
Going forward, I'm not sure whether I trust Hershel's injury to be a shot rather than a bite... I badly want to know why Michonne keeps talking to herself, and I guess I'd like things to stay a little insular for a while, because there are definitely more dark days on the horizon. (I was also confused by the Christmas interlude with Morgan and Duane - was that a flashback? I guess it must have been, otherwise Lori would be over a year pregnant by now... or their calendar is really out of whack.) (hide spoiler)] I'm determined to get through these all today if possible, but I really need to take a break to let my emotions wind down a little. Kirkman is damned good at tension.["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[(First read 10-11 Dec 2010, re-read 16 Feb 2012). The first time I read this, I really liked The Walking Dead TV series, but wasn't as...more(view spoiler)[(First read 10-11 Dec 2010, re-read 16 Feb 2012). The first time I read this, I really liked The Walking Dead TV series, but wasn't as all-out obsessed with it as I am now, so it was fun to return to the beginning again. It's a criticism often levelled at the show that the pace is too languid. In contrast, I think the comics move just a little too fast. The pilot episode of the series is brilliant at building up tension and slowly revealing more and more of the world gone to hell. Here, Rick wakes up from his coma and is straight off to Atlanta before sundown. He's reunited with his family by the end of the second issue, and by the end of the six issue collection, the camp are gun-trained, and seven-year-old Carl has killed Shane. Despite the pace, the events that fill the gaps feel a little dull at times, particularly when Lori, Donna and Carol sit doing the camp's laundry. Lori's first encounter with Rick is no sparkling "I miss my vibrator" scene. There's some real poignancy there too though, especially when little Sophia realises her daddy is never coming back. Also relevant: I love Andrea ferociously. (hide spoiler)](less)
(Originally read from 11-12 Dec 2010, re-read on 18 Feb 2012). "Miles Behind Us" certainly moves a lot quicker than the TV adaptation, and that's no b...more(Originally read from 11-12 Dec 2010, re-read on 18 Feb 2012). "Miles Behind Us" certainly moves a lot quicker than the TV adaptation, and that's no bad thing. While I wasn't totally keen on the fast pace of the first collection, here I don't feel that it's particularly at the expense of character development. The unfolding events are horrifying, but its the characters' reactions to their losses, setbacks and encounters that make this a superb read. This is as far as I got last time around - I didn't want to get too far ahead of the TV series, but seeing how far they've veered from one another, I'm happy (more like compelled) to keep going this time around. Also relevant: I still love Andrea ferociously, but I don't know why the new artist randomly decided to give her Amy's freckles. I love all the tiny character moments nestled in the background of scenes though - Dale always with an arm around Andrea, Glenn's crush on Carol which was evident from just a couple of panels long before he mentioned it to Maggie. It definitely adds to the richness.(less)
This is my dad's girlfriend's favourite book, and she leant it to me thinking I'd love it. I tried and tried to get past the second chapter, but it fe...moreThis is my dad's girlfriend's favourite book, and she leant it to me thinking I'd love it. I tried and tried to get past the second chapter, but it felt so over-written from the very start that I never made any headway with it, alas.(less)
I'm going to restart this one when I have more time for it, I think. I owned a paperback copy of the first volume, which was perfect for dipping in an...moreI'm going to restart this one when I have more time for it, I think. I owned a paperback copy of the first volume, which was perfect for dipping in and out and carting round with me. As an ebook, it's harder to skip willy-nilly through the stories that look less interesting or just too long for me at that moment, so I've reluctantly abandoned it for now.
It's 5am. I need to go to bed. I also need to keep reading and the latter state is by far the most compelling. Wow... I love this arc. (view spoiler)[...moreIt's 5am. I need to go to bed. I also need to keep reading and the latter state is by far the most compelling. Wow... I love this arc. (view spoiler)[From the suicide pact, to Carol's two-panel lesbianism, Tyreese killing all the zombies in the gym, the extreme close up on Hershel's decapitated girls, Andrea escaping that psychopath like the badass she is, Rick going back to put another bullet in Shane then half-beating Andrew to death... and goddamn, that chilling revelation that even those who aren't bitten come back as zombies. I near enough held my breath for an entire issue after that creep cornered Andrea in the laundry room. (hide spoiler)] I can see now why some comic fans thing the TV series moves way too slowly. I can appreciate how it would be frustrating to still be stuck on Hershel's farm when this could be going down instead. (I also appreciate how the new artist doesn't draw Lori like a blow-up sex doll like the old one did, and I super appreciate Rick telling her to shut the fuck up.) I really want to read another collection now, but I don't want to turn into a zombie myself.(less)
This is a tricky book to review, as my feelings towards it changed very abruptly and quite vehemently about a hundred pages in. Throughout the first h...moreThis is a tricky book to review, as my feelings towards it changed very abruptly and quite vehemently about a hundred pages in. Throughout the first half, I was utterly perplexed by all the accolades and praise this book has accrued. A lack of apostrophes, an abundance of run-on sentences and a thoroughly disjointed style do not an astounding book make - not in and of themselves, at least, and more than anything I actively and quite strenuously disliked the book for its incredible pretentiousness. And then, just before the half way mark, something clicked. I was finally able to connect with the characters, or moreso at least envision myself in their place. I think it took some doing because the whole dystopian landscape is so utterly implausible, and even now, from a position of having finished the book and on the whole come away liking it, I can absolutely understand why well-versed science fiction fans find it absolute crap. There's not a great deal of world-building that realistically holds up to any level of scrutiny. But taken as a story about love first and foremost, it touched me. It took a long time and a great deal of projection to get there, and I can't help but feel that I had to put in at least as much effort as McCarthy to propel myself into it, but I think I'll remember it as a book I enjoyed and am glad to have read.(less)
This volume served as much-needed respite from the on-going horror, though will, I fear, prove forgettable. It's only been a few hours since I finishe...moreThis volume served as much-needed respite from the on-going horror, though will, I fear, prove forgettable. It's only been a few hours since I finished it, and I can't find much to say about it. (view spoiler)[It's nice to see Glenn and Maggie married, it's awesome to see Andrea step up and serve as the prison's sharp-shooting guru, and Dale's jealously of Tyreese was cute. Dale losing his leg was horrifying, but it's definitely an interesting twist with the amputation saving his life. Alice wanting a Roamer to study stretched credulity a little - however apt she might be at learning, she's not a medic or a scientist - what could she possibly have hoped to achieve? Carol's suicide method was horrific and unexpected, but it felt like she'd been on borrowed time for a long time beforehand. Poor crazy Carol. (hide spoiler)] Huh, I guess I came up with a few things after all. Worried as heck about the next arc now.(less)
The end of issue 48 is the closest this series has come to making me cry yet. (view spoiler)[I knew it was going to happen. I knew it before I ever be...moreThe end of issue 48 is the closest this series has come to making me cry yet. (view spoiler)[I knew it was going to happen. I knew it before I ever began reading, and yet Carl's "Where's Judy?", the tears in Rick's eyes, they had me welling up. I had my doubts about this arc before it kicked off. It's all well and good to proclaim that no-one is safe, but there was a lot of dead-weight in that prison I won't miss... Axel, Patricia, Billy - they were okay, I didn't dislike them, but their deaths didn't particularly phase me. Tyreese's murder was hideous, I felt awful for Hershel finding relief in death, and while I've never much taken to Lori... ouch. The Governor's death left me a little nonplussed. It was good to finally see his people turn on him, but I think it would have been more satisfying to have him die at Michonne's hands. I had mixed feelings about Dale, Andrea, Glenn and Maggie taking off with the kids, but the moment Andrea reappeared on the roof of the RV and resumed shooting was glorious. I felt awful for Rick when he realised how depleted their numbers were, but to give Andrea her due, she must have at least decimated the Governor's people before she took off. (hide spoiler)] I don't imagine I'll sleep well tonight, but I simply must get another volume in before bed.(less)
I really liked this volume. (view spoiler)[I think it was needed, in the same way The Calm Before was - Kirkman is great at building tension, but some...moreI really liked this volume. (view spoiler)[I think it was needed, in the same way The Calm Before was - Kirkman is great at building tension, but sometimes things become so intense that I need a breather as much as the characters need to regroup. The first two issues in this volume probably have the least action of any to date. Rick and Carl stagger away from the prison to a town which offers relative temporary safety, but Rick has a raging infection, and after dispatching one biter, Carl has to fend for himself a while, and we see just how much this poor kid has grown up and how much this new world has twisted him.
In the next issue comes one of my favourite moments in the entire series. Out of the blue, Rick hears a phone ring. The woman on the other end is from a group of 14 survivors trying to make contact with others, but they need to trust him before they can meet up. So she calls, and talks to Rick for a few hours over several days, but his supplies are running low, and he and Carl either need to join them or move on. When he plans to do just that out of desperation, he realises he's never even asked this woman's name. "Rick, it's me... Lori" she tells him, and we realise this has all been in Rick's head, that he's finally cracking up. I thought this whole issue was just stunning.
It's followed by the utter joy of their regrouping - first Michonne saves Carl from a biter, then Glenn and Maggie turn up on horseback and lead the three of them to Hershel's farm, where Andrea, Dale, the twins and Sophia are sitting pretty. Just before Judy's birth, when Rick came back from his first encounter with the Governor, there was a hard-to-read scene in which he admitted to Lori that he just couldn't care about the rest of their group - that he would sacrifice them all for her and Carl if required. But here we have a Rick who's just so damned delighted by the reunion, even if he's now so mired in self-doubt that he tries to hand the leadership reigns over to Dale. Also, Sophia has gone a little cuckoo and is calling Maggie her mom now, and we finally find out who Michonne is talking to - not a schizophrenic split personality, but her dead boyfriend, in a bid to stay sane.
The last issue was my least favourite. Three strangers turn up, and it seems that the group will be following them on a quest to DC now. I've enjoyed them just sitting still for a while, fighting zombies instead of other people, but it seems we're moving on from that again now. It's a pity, because these issues have been so reminiscent of the early ones, when they were first on the road from Atlanta, and really captured the essence of what first made me love the series. I'm not overly keen on the three new characters, but that's mostly just because Abraham hit Andrea. I know she was getting trigger happy, but it didn't endear him to me. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Another really solid volume. I'd worried that being on the road again would detract from what I enjoy most about the series - which is that it's at it...moreAnother really solid volume. I'd worried that being on the road again would detract from what I enjoy most about the series - which is that it's at its absolute best when the characters are at the forefront, rather than the emergency of the week. That hasn't been the case. Volume ten delves deep into the minds of the characters, particularly Rick, Abraham and Dale. (view spoiler)[It's interesting that early on, I struggled to agree with Rick's actions, eg with Dexter and Martinez, but here, when Dale wants to break off from the group and put down roots, I was firmly against that and glad that Andrea was reluctant too. It's great to see Morgan again, though very sad about Duane. Interesting that both he and the Governor took to feeding strangers to their zombie kids... The issue where the bandits tried to rape Carl was harrowing, as was Abraham's origins story, but it definitely made me accept and empathise with him. Maggie's suicide attempt was probably the first time I've really cared about her, but poor Sophia. I could have done with more of the other characters at camp in this volume, but there was still some interesting stuff along the way, like the fact one of the twins seems to be a budding psycho. (hide spoiler)] I'm really liking the current direction, but nervous for the upcoming arc previewed at the end of issue 60.(less)
I should have reviewed this right after reading, because already it's blurred into an amalgam with volume 14 for me. The special ending to issue 75 wa...moreI should have reviewed this right after reading, because already it's blurred into an amalgam with volume 14 for me. The special ending to issue 75 was just plain awesome, but it's probably not a great sign that it's not proving memorable just a couple of hours after reading it.(less)
(view spoiler)[I have such a difficult relationship with Rick Grimes. Sometimes I love him and his everything-for-my-family, talking-to-my-dead-wife-o...more(view spoiler)[I have such a difficult relationship with Rick Grimes. Sometimes I love him and his everything-for-my-family, talking-to-my-dead-wife-on-the-phone shtick... and then he pulls something like "Let's run away - it's morally justified because everyone else's kids aren't our kids!" and it's a lot harder to go on loving him. Idk, I know how desperate he is to protect Carl and I'm sure that's only natural, but I prefer Andrea punching out Spencer at the mere suggestion that they bail. Shows how far she's come - in the beginning, she was willing to ditch the group and take off with Dale in the RV if he wanted. Then they did take off at the end of the prison arc, but she turned that RV around, drove back and started sniping from the roof. And now just the suggestion of turning tail is worth punching out her paramour. I love it, and I sort of love the idea of Andrea/Rick, but right now I can't see how that would work, especially after he cut his lover's hand off to drag Carl through the herd. And then there's the fact that his kid killed her kid, which she's still unaware of... Ack. I'm getting pretty fatigued now, having read 84 issues in 2 days, but I shall plough on until I've finished the available run. (hide spoiler)](less)
I'm going to be totally honest - I read over 90 issues of The Walking Dead in a single weekend, and the end of the run has all sort of blurred togethe...moreI'm going to be totally honest - I read over 90 issues of The Walking Dead in a single weekend, and the end of the run has all sort of blurred together for me now, so I can't quite remember my thoughts on these particular five. I'm still totally willing to follow whether Kirkman leads though, even if I do now have to wait an interminable month between issues. (view spoiler)[The main thing I do remember is Andrea and Rick. Last volume, I wasn't sure whether it would win me over, but man has it ever. I hope she can talk him round, I hope she doesn't get herself killed, and I hope the Carl-killed-her-kid thing doesn't screw everything up. (hide spoiler)] I would recommend that anyone who enjoys the TV series but hasn't read the comics stop reading this review immediately and head to the shop.(less)
This was a pleasant enough read, but a bit too technical to sustain my interest throughout. The sections that focussed on Kirkman, Darabont, the chara...moreThis was a pleasant enough read, but a bit too technical to sustain my interest throughout. The sections that focussed on Kirkman, Darabont, the characters and cast were enormously interesting, but I think the book was hampered by Ruditis' selection of principal interviewees. Of the cast members, only DeMunn, Yeun and Riggs have a voice here. The crew are by far the most predominant, and while, yes, it is interesting to read about Nicotero creating zombies, I'm just not sure I was ever this interested in the scoring, visual effects, post-production process etc. It's the insights into the characters' psyches, the development of the comic and the transition into the TV series that really interested me, and compared to the bulk of the book - which focusses on the technical process - they're a bit lacking. Still, it was enjoyable enough to dip into here and there before bed each night, if not a compelling can't-put-down read. I'm sure there's something to relish here for most avid fans, if not the casual viewer. I'd like to read something similar on season two, but given the veil of secrecy that descended over Darabont's departure, it's sadly hard to imagine that working.(less)