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Dead Things

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Nearly two decades have passed since the fall of the United States. And the rise of the church to fill the void. Nearly twenty years since Ian Sumner lost his father. And the dead took to the streets to dine on the living. Now Ian and a lost band of survivors are trapped in the wilderness, miles from safety. Pursued by madmen and monsters, they unravel the secrets of the p ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published March 31st 2012 by Grand Mal Press (first published July 25th 2011)
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  359 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Ryan Thomas
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a thinking man's zombie tale. I loved it. Finally someone has put art back into horror.
Dave Lightfoot
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was totally blown away by this novel.
The writing style is exciting, quirky, intelligent, humorous and completely engrossing.
I was immediatley grabbed from the first page and couldn't stop reading until the very end.
Matthew Darst weaves a tale set in an apocalyptic world that keeps the reader interested and constantly wanting more with a style that is rarely found in this genre. The story itself is brilliant, a true zombie novel that fits well into the genre. The difference between this and man
Chip Fehd
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A superbly written story. It's one of the rare character driven zombie stories you'll find where the zombies actually take a back seat. Emotionally satisfying and hard to put down.
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This first novel by writer Matt Darst ranks highly in my top ten list of 2011. I won’t go into too much detail suffice to say you ought to go out and buy this right now !!!

This beautifully crafted novel will appeal to the nerds (or should I say intelligent? in all of us), with his careful use of social commentary and character dialogue, Darst has strayed into areas that most novels just ignore, and leave us more “astute” readers thinking “why and how” ?, Darst answers these questions. Dead Thing
David Bernstein
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Dead Things, the narrative for one really stood out. It was different than most books I've read, and a good change for me, as i usually enjoy past tense books more. But it wasn't even the present tense that i enjoyed as it was the way in which the author wrote--his style. A lot of telling, instead of showing, but it really worked, which for most authors it doesn't.
It's clear the author loves certain topics and educating the reader, hence the long sections of off-the-main-story
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So what did I like? The gradual reveal was done great. No big info dump of the backstory, but little pieces here and there, where it made sense. Sure there were some flashbacks, but still they felt "right."

This is and isn't your standard zombie book. It is in that the expected stuff happens; the zombies are zombies, etc. What's different is the story of the society and “government” that survives and how it relates to the main characters.

If you’re a zombie book reader, read this…
Chris Smith
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'll start by admitting that I'm not a zombie fan: It's a genre that's really overstayed it's welcome. However, I'm always up for a decent story, well written characters, and the possibility of a new twist on a tired motif. Sadly, this book had none of those things.

The biggest issue I had with this book is that the author suffers from "Brownian Crichtonitis": devoting huge swaths of the book to long-winded exposition, soap-boxing, or "look at this cool theory I thought up!", which MAY touch bri
Suzanne Robb
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombies
When I first started to read this book I was a bit lost as the POV is an omnipresent one. We know what everyone is thinking. Usually this works against a story, but NOT in this case.

The story is very much character and plot driven. This is not your typical zombie apocalypse. It has come and gone, and what this writer does is weave a world pieced together by bits of the aftermath. What he imagines is something that is scarily possible, though I will not spoil it for you as to what happens.

The mai
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a Goodreads Firstreads giveaway.

I give this book 4 thumbs up (my two and two from the zombie sneaking up behind me)! What an excellend debut novel.
Matt Darst takes the reader into an alternate future, 20 years post-zombie infection. The tale is told from a narrator who sees all and knows all (including the thoughts & feelings of the characters). I think this provides the reader the best viewpoint of everything going on. The story is about a group traveling via plane from
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my first exposure to zombie lit, and I absolutely enjoyed it. Dead Things tells the tale of a society years after a zombie epidemic. Most of the U.S. has been overrun by the undead, but large pockets of survivors remain. The political debates of today have been settled (at least publicly) because the government has been replaced by religious institutions. That background allows themes (like church vs. science) to play out. Things heat up when a small plane traveling from Kentucky to a re ...more
Holly Cochran
The author sent me the book as a prize in a drawing. I consider myself incredibly lucky in that regard. I just finished the book and it is, without a doubt, fantastic. I don't know which creeps me out more - the zombie stuff or the church-run country. The novel is almost TOO true to life. I hope there is a sequel, because I love not only the world building, but the characters, the reality, the blending of current events with an all-too-plausible future, and add
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have to agree with the reader comments concerning the author's irrelevant, rambling dialog inserted during inappropriate moments in the novel. There could have been so much more done with the tension of these moments. I also felt the character should have been fleshed out a bit more. I feel I barely 'know' them and I'm 75% through this book already. Not one of them has engaged my full interest.

I really feel that long rants on various subjects and lists of quoted reference material were great
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! It's a totally unique take on the done-to-death zombie genre, and Darst did his research very, very well. I know that others have commented on his "lists", and I have to say that they didn't bother me a bit, although it would have been nice to read them in conversation form. Other than that, the story was amazing, and again, I loved that I couldn't figure out where he was going with his zombie theory until close to the end of the book. Zombie fans who are sick of the same old th ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm impressed yet again with another "zombie" book. I have been fortunate enough to select books in this genre that keep the subject interesting. I liked that this book didn't really center around zombies, but more on the people who are surviving the outbreak and the type of civilization they live in. I really enjoyed the role the "church" takes on in this story. I wish the author went a little further in this area because I truly believe that the religious aspect is even scarier than the zombie ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Read this book if you want to read about the scientific way why a zombie apocalypse might occur. Or if you want to read about the difference/similarities between Star Wars and Dune. Or if you want to read about endless cross-references to vampire outbreaks vs. meteor crashes.

Don't read this book if your looking for a nice, exciting, adventurous book about a zombie world because you will be distracted from the story by all this useless nonsense. The story could be SO good if the author just stay
Apr 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting premise but the author tends to go off on a tangent on seemingly unrelated topics (Dune Vs Star Wars, George Bush, etc) The jumping back and forth between the past and present is a bit jarring as well as it tends to happen in the middle of something else going on in the present. I think a more thorough editor could have really brought out a gem here as the thought of religion gaining a foothold in the world thanks to a zombie apocalypse is a very unique idea for the genre.
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: badass-reads
I have one word to say about this book, extraordinary! I've really been on this post apocolyptic kick since reading The Hunger Games, so when I won Dead Things by Matt Darst (I didn't even know until it arrived in the mail, haha) I was thrilled. I grew up on horror and zombie movies, and this is just completely my type of plot. Even still, I was surprised by the stories' contents. This isn't your typical zombie story, and it'll keep you up at night slightly creeped out and deep in thought!
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won this book on Goodreads.

I love Zombies, so I have read many stories about them. This book stands out because the focus is the characters rather than the usual story of here are some people and they get eaten by zombies. I enjoyed the subtle humor and the detailed discussions (like the Star Wars vs. Dune for example). I enjoyed them because I can relate to them as well. I wish it would have been longer, maybe a second book would be great.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love zombie novels but I'd gotten bored with them lately, most of the latest offerings being mediocre formulaic attempts to cash in on the coming Zombocalypse. Was I glad I made an exception for this one! Darst tackles the genre from a pseudo-scientific angle, and almost seemed to be channeling Crichton in some passages. My only complaint is that the novel was a bit short and left me wanting more. Oh, one other complaint - there are no more Darst novels out there for me to devour!
Nachelle Butler
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have one word to say about this book, extraordinary! I've really been on this post apocalyptic kick since reading The Hunger Games, so when I won Dead Things by Matt Darst (I didn't even know until it arrived in the mail, haha) I was thrilled. I grew up on horror and zombie movies, and this is just completely my type of plot. Even still, I was surprised by the stories' contents. This isn't your typical zombie story, and it'll keep you up at night slightly creeped out and deep in thought!
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror-suspense
Story set in a post-zombie apocalypse theocracy and the characters get trapped outside of the safe area. It was a good premise but the story is disjointed. It skips over a lot of stuff and tries to do too much in too few pages. In order to live up to its potential it should have been much longer to explore all the themes it touched on.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Got this free. Quick, pretty entertaining read. My biggest takeaway was that zombies are really vampires-- ugly, dumb vampires. That, and if there is actually a zombie apocalypse we better hope our gun rights are in tact because you need loads of guns to kill them.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: free-kindle-book
I started off impressed by this, but it gradually turned into a book I was just desperate to get to the end of. It drug on and on, with weird political & religious undertones that would surface in a very preachy way.
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombies
It's good, and I really enjoyed this read. However, the constant back and forth of the point of view--changing constantly. I like how it all came together, but felt like the end was a bit rushed.
Rachel Dingman
Aug 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
I love to read anything zombie... however, this one was tough. It has some great moments of true zombie goodness! A plane goes down in a zombie infested wasteland?! Yes! Bring it! However, the characters were hard to love, the story has gaps that caused me to stumble through, and I grew tired of all of the Star Wars vs Dune references. (And I’m a die hard Star Wars fan.). I found myself skipping vast pages to avoid the drivel filled dialogue! Sorry zombie fans but this is one to skip.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, however it felt incomplete. I wanted more. It was so... short. I will revisit this author.
Joseph Scipione
Could have been a good twist on the typical zombie novel. Great ending but it took a lot of work to get there.
Loveliest Evaris
I had won this book in a GoodReads giveaway... Yaaaay me!

That was probably a few months ago. But winning books? God that's like a special present for me.

But I finally decided to read this book. Not because I really WANTED to, but because I had unfortunately misplaced World War Z by Max Brooks in a movie theater when I went to see The House at the End of the Street last weekend... So worried, and it was a school library book, too!

Anyway. The back of this book advertises the writing style was lik
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)
I was sent a copy of this book to review by the Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing it.

The only thing scarier than a Zombie Apocalypse is a Nation ruled by religion.

Dead Things starts off nearly 20 years after a viral outbreak caused the dead to rise. Cities are closed off from each other and technology exists only in the most basic form. This world is ruled by the church, science is all but extinct and even doctors are limited in the scope t
Jeffrey Snyder
Not worth it even if it's free

I thought this book was horrible. Jumps around so much doesn't finish storylines and draws the book out with needless information almost like reading a textbook in places.
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Matt Darst got hooked on books early. He read recreationally at first, but soon began hitting the hard stuff after discovering a dog-eared copy of "Salem's Lot."

By twelve, Matt’s addiction to the written word took a turn for the worse. He started writing…for fun. His experimentation with notebooks (a classic gateway) led to dabbling with typewriters.

Matt went cold turkey in law school. He decided
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