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Handling the Undead

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  9,143 Ratings  ·  1,012 Reviews
Something very peculiar is happening in Stockholm. There's a heatwave on and people cannot turn their lights out or switch their appliances off. Then the terrible news breaks. In the city morgue, the dead are waking up...
Paperback, 384 pages
Published 2009 by Text Publishing (first published 2005)
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Anna This looks like a translation issue; in the Swedish original (I have it in front of me) they actually mention "ruby wedding" (which is 40 years…moreThis looks like a translation issue; in the Swedish original (I have it in front of me) they actually mention "ruby wedding" (which is 40 years according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding... ) at the first occasion.

Still annoying, though!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jayson
(B) 73% | More than Satisfactory
Notes: An interesting speculation, but its main characters are boring, it force-feeds sentiment and it ends without resolution.
Kemper
In this book, the corpses of the recently dead in Sweden become reanimated which leads to numerous legal, political and ethical issues when it comes to dealing with folks who aren’t technically alive. What kind of dilemmas would this cause society? For example, if this actually happened in Stockholm, I’m sure that that the publishers of Stieg Larsson’s books would chain his zombified ass to a desk and let him bang on the keys of a laptop until they got enough to put out a new bestseller, The Gir ...more
Fabian
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional, morbid, & even quite beautiful. This one forms a trifecta with two other grand titans of modern horror lit I've read of late, "The Troop" by Nick Cutter and "The Girl Next Door" by Jack Ketchum. Alright, alright, I was also mightily impressed by the military-novel-slash-zombie-epic "World War Z"... so that's quite a few there! For a snobby reader, I sure am blessed.

The eeriness in this one raises hairs & activates them good ol' goosebumps. The relationships being tested as t
...more
RandomAnthony
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ok, I'm giving up on page 146 of Handling the Undead and giving the book two stars. Sure, I only read about half the novel. I don't care. I feel like I can make the call. Why, you ask?

I picked up this book off the “new fiction” library shelf when a woman was checking out about 14,000 DVDs and I didn't want to stand behind her and wait. Last year I read and loved Let the Right One In, for which this is author is best known, and I was hoping Handling the Undead was just as moving and innovative ex
...more
Paul Bryant
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Another Swedish gift to the world – after lutfisk, Ikea, Abba and the girl with the tattoo on her arse, now we get nice zombies. Well, these ones are not that nice, I guess. They don’t want to eat you, so that’s a plus, but they have limited conversation and really their concept of personal hygiene leaves something to be desired. But like Paul Simon said they’re all right in a sort of limited way for an off-night. In fact I was behind these zombies all the way until the last quarter of the story ...more
Mia Nauca
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 estrellas
Las 3 primeras partes de este libro son increíbles, me encantaron. Es una novela de zombies pero realista ¿qué pasaría si la persona que diste por muerta, por la que lloraste y extrañas con todo tu ser regresa a la vida? Pero no es como la recordabas, es un cadáver que se mueve y no mucho más que eso.

Aquí los zombies no te quieren comer, no te intentan convertir. Simplemente, quieren regresar a casa.

Como dije los primeros 3/4 son hermosos. El último se me hizo aburrido y medio jal
...more
Tatiana
2.5 stars

As a huge fan of Let the Right One In, I can confidently tell you Handling the Undead is not nearly as good as John Ajvide Lindqvist's debut novel. This book is lifeless and barely kicking, just like the zombies it is about.

Now, of course I have to give the author credit for the fresh premise. Lindqvist's zombies are not violent and are not monsters. The story is not about them going after people to chomp on their flesh. Rather, the author raises questions: if the undead are not aggress
...more
Christina
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christina by: Weekendavisen
Shelves: 2009, fiction
A butterfly beats its wings somewhere in the universe - and an electrical field lowers itself over Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and causes a piercing headache in everyone as well as making it impossible to turn of any electrical appliances or machines. When the field lifts, something has changed - the recently deceased have come back to life... - and they want to come home.

That's the premise in John Ajvide Lindqvist's book. This wouldn't normally be a book I would read - much less buy - but
...more
Maria Clara
Segundo libro del reto La casa encantada.

Exactamente no sé qué esperaba de este libro, pero no ha conseguido engancharme.
Becky
Apr 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Insomniacs
I really enjoyed Lindqvist's "Let The Right One In". I liked the feel of it - the tone and darkness and sadness. I liked the immediate connection with the characters, that, while a little awkward at first, smoothed out and became effortless not long into the story. I liked the multi-level creepiness, and then the flat out horror. It was good. There were some issues with the writing, which could come down to translation, but were distracting nonetheless.

Everything that I liked about that book is
...more
Joe Valdez
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rob Zombie, Deadheads, gravely concerned readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annie♡
Reto de la Mansión Encantada. Segundo libro.

Se me hizo una lectura lenta y poco memorable. No logré adentrarme en la historia. Y lo intenté, juro que lo intenté.

(view spoiler)
...more
Paula
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
‘Let the right one in’ also by John Ajvide Lindqvist is one of my favourite reads of this year, a remarkable story, not just a vampire story but so much more. ‘Handling the Undead’ is just as good, another amazing story from John Ajvide Lindqvist.

‘Handling the Undead’ begins in Stockholm on a night when the weather is heavy and everyone can feel that something is about to happen and it does, in the worse way imaginable, people who have been dead for two months are returning from the dead, the g
...more
Chris
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Monkey Paw fans
Preface to review - I'm not a zombie fan. I'm specist that way.

This isn't the Walking Dead. Thank god. If you liked "The Monkey's Paw", you should give this book a try, for it harkens more to that anything else.

In the city of Stockholm (beautiful city btw) and only in the city of Stockholm, some dead people have come back to life, maybe. Kinda. It could be the second coming who knows.

This book because it is a microchasm. Lindqvist keeps the focus on a select few, each of whom has a lost a family
...more
Ragnheiður
The Swedish nation really is exceptionally open minded when it comes to the dead rising.

"THE DEAD ARE RISING!"
"ok"


This book sucks.
I have the same basic problem with it as I did Let the Right one In -Lindqvist simply isn't that good as a writer, or they are badly translated. Most likely both. The text doesn't flow as naturally as it could and the storyline is avarage (stupid more like). Maybe my standard of Horror is too high after all the King books I've read (or after the class on Horror I t
...more
Jo
Aug 10, 2009 rated it liked it
It took me a long time to get into this. I was expecting murderous zombies and plenty of action, but this book was more about the emotions of loss than the flesh hungry, risen dead. Once I came to terms with that fact I started to enjoy it more. Around the half way point I considered giving up but I decided to carry on and take it for what it is. This book is nothing life changing or spectacular but it's ok. I thought he did a good job of capturing grief and the speculation about why it was happ ...more
Chris
Oct 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Fantastic study on how people deal with death and dying. Not a typical zombie apocalypse story. A strange electrical current occurs and about 2000 of the recently departed are returning home. According to a character Flora when asked by her brother about what the dead are like, she replies "They're nice." In the end, it's not that simple.

Difficult to read, weighty themes and topics. Not a light hearted read at all.

Ultimately a human story about loss and how to deal with it. Certainly not an acti
...more
Jason
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I expected a hauntingly sizzling, howling, groaning, shrieking read, but the only real onomatopoeia came from me, the moaning reader - sending this book zooming through the air, raspy pages a-fluttering right up until it thunked dully into the fireplace, anticlimactic crackling of burning pages followed by an eventual dissatisfying smoky, puffing sizzling out - the grunting reader clopping and shuffling it's creaky bones away.
(No actual books were harmed in the making of this review.)

I
...more
[Name Redacted]
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
It is inevitable that John Ajvide Lindqvist's second novel will be compared to his first; "Let The Right One In" was an international best-seller and twice made into popular feature films. Readers who are looking for more of the same will be disappointed, but not because this novel is somehow inferior or less ambitious than the first. They will be disappointed because they are trying to read his first novel again. They will not be interested in what Lindqvist is writing now, and they will be mis ...more
F.R.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first two-thirds of ‘Handling the Undead’ are brilliant. Rather than go the traditional Romero route with his zombie story, Lindqvist tries to present the tale almost within real life parameters.

After a heat-wave and a surge of electricity, the recently deceased of Sweden start to rise. There is chaos, particularly at the hospitals, and the apparatus of state is forced to move in quickly (and clumsily) to sort out the mess. But these zombies are not flesh-eating, brain-craving monsters. They
...more
DeAnna Knippling
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A strange, hard-to-describe book.

It started slowly; it has multiple POVs (which I normally am less than enthusiastic about); it's not about zombies (vs. the undead) until the very end of the book; I wasn't quite sure what the book was about, although it was definitely about something; it should have felt like a pretentious literary interpretation of a pop subject but didn't.

Suddenly, for no reason, there's a heat wave in Sweden, electrical appliances don't work the way they should, and the newly
...more
Colleen
Oct 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: zombies
I had very very high hopes for this book.

And I kept on reading to the bitter end, hoping my hopes would be realized.

Still not sure what the hell I was reading.

It's like if Virginia Woolf set out to write a zombie book, except I think Virginia Woolf could have done amazing things with that. Let's say a subpar zombie Virginia Woolf was dug up and resurrected and tasked to write this book in exchange for brains. Maybe then.

So basically this isn't horror at all. Spooky cover, Stephen King referen
...more
Thalía L/A
Terminado.
No sabría decir si me ha gustado o no... Me parece un libro interesante y creo que el autor utiliza un enfoque muy original para tratar el tema de la muerte, pero al igual que interesante me parece desasosegante. Reflexionar sobre cómo nos enfrentamos a la muerte no es algo que me apetezca hacer ahora mismo y menos con un libro, principalmente porque eso hace que, como hoy, me vaya llorando a la cama. Eso realmente habla bien del libro, porque quiere decir logra transmitir una emoción,
...more
christa
Nov 03, 2010 rated it liked it
A very important lesson was learned while reading "Handling the Undead" by John Ajvide Lindqvist: Just because a Swedish zombie novel is not the Swedish zombie novel I wanted to read, nor the one I thought I was reading, does not mean it isn't a decent Swedish zombie novel.

This probably applies to even things that are not Swedish zombie novels. Consider what it is and is, instead of what it isn't and isn't meant to be. I think I heard that on "Top Chef," which seems a little think-y for reality
...more
Daniel Russell
Let’s see if the beginning of this review can sound just like every other…

John Ajvide Lindqvist is the shooting star of the Swedish horror literature scene, after his vampire novel, Let the Right One In, caught attention after a rather touching, intelligent and brutal film adaption. This turned many readers to the book, this reviewer included, and it was my selected read of 2010. In an industry saturated with mundane vampire novels, Lindqvist did wonders, creating a bleak and depressing book tha
...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
A good horror story that lets you inside some interesting concept.

After a freak eletric event, some people around the capital of Sweden start rising from their graves. But, if you think this is a zombie story you are correct, but not the kind of zombies you are used. This zombies do not feed on people but are just there. Some things start happening, like people getting tired around them, or able to talk to one another in their minds and even reading their emotions.

But, afterwards, as the story p
...more
Hudson
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-in-2014, horror
Wow...this was not what I was expecting at all. I started reading this book knowing that it was about zombies but had no idea what the story would be like. This is a far cry from your average zombie story and there is very little violence or gore, the zombies here are mostly docile.

Basically the book deals with the basic question "what if". What if the dead did come back? And more to the point, what if the recently dead came back, how would their loved one's feel? What if they seemed somewhat se
...more
Cheryl Anne Gardner
Dec 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have to think on this one before I write any kind of review. It was Zombies for the Socially Conscious. Very original Night of the Living Dead as in it focused more on the characters who were alive than the ones who were dead. Excellent book. Very disturbing, but those expecting a horror novel will probably be dissapointed as there are a lot of issues tackled here from civil rights to medical experimentation to the grieving process.
Teresa
In un’estate insolitamente e straordinariamente calda a Stoccolma i morti tornano a vivere.
Merito di questo romanzo, a mio parere, è aver affrontato il tema zombie in modo abbastanza originale. Qui, infatti, gli zombie non infettano i vivi, non vogliono mangiarli, non sono esseri da cui difendersi. Non c’è la solita adrenalinica storia per salvare l’umanità. Perché i morti che tornano a vivere sono il figlio, la moglie, la madre, il nonno… di qualcuno. La vicenda è narrata seguendo principalmen
...more
Matthew Vaughn
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, horror
I'm really surprised to see so many low starred reviews for this book. I thought Handling the Undead was really good. It's a slow book sure, but honestly Ive never read a book this slow that kept me turning the pages. After Let the Right One In I assumed this book would be a very different take on zombies and boy was I right. But it's the writing that does it. Lindqvist is an extremely talented writer. I can't wait to read another book by him!
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Am I the only person who read this book and thinks it was just awful? 35 127 Jan 20, 2015 12:51PM  
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2,145 followers
John Ajvide Lindqvist (John Erik Ajvide Lindqvist) is a Swedish author who grew up in Blackeberg, the setting for Let the Right One In . Wanting to become something awful and fantastic, he first became a conjurer, and then was a stand-up comedian for twelve years. He has also written for Swedish television.

His Let the Right One In was a bestseller in Sweden and was named Best Novel in Translati
...more
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“Viktor had been very sad about their grandfather's death, but Flora had intuited that it was less the person he grieved for than the fact of death itself. Death meant that people actually disappeared. That everyone was going to disappear” 7 likes
“The offender was determined to be extremely violent, in official terms. Completely fucking crazy, in other words.” 3 likes
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