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Loved, loved, loved this book. I am a HUGE zombie genre fan and this was great - it took it to a whole different level. So much of the fun of a zombi Loved, loved, loved this book. I am a HUGE zombie genre fan and this was great - it took it to a whole different level. So much of the fun of a zombie story is the "what if?" game - at least if it is a good story! And this one is a great story, zombie or otherwise. Not only did I love the entire plot idea (the zombies have basically taken over and won, we are fighting to regain lost ground - countries are in chaos and many have completely disintegrated), but I loved the details. He really thought about what would happen - to governments, people, military, families and even gave careful consideration to the different world government, cultures, etc that would impact how each would react to the crisis. I also loved the writing style. This is not a linear story with one story teller, it is more excerpts of stories from different characters that add up to an overall picture. Sort of like a written documentary - bits and pieces from different perspectives and certain people that might appear a few times, as their knowledge adds to a particular area of discussion. (there might even be a back story that this is research for a documentary, or a reporter's notebook or something like that - I don't remember now as it has been quite awhile since I read the book -I read it when it came out.) You can choose to read the book as a social commentary on world politics - it is incredibly intelligent and accurate in its knowledge of cultures, governments, etc etc. It is fascinating to see someone who truly knows that much about world politics play the "what if?" game. If politics just aren't for you, you can also read it as just a zombie book. I personally feel you would be missing out, but the story would work at on that level as well, it is just that entertaining. I will also say that for once, I thought someone finally got the feel of the military correct. So many authors that are in the military write military geared books and that appeals to such a niche market. But authors who have never been in the military often write about the military and it is just a train wreck. It is always stereotypes. Either the military people are hero supermen OR they are baby killing, women raping monsters. The military community is very difficult to understand for an observer. Well, this man did his research or he knows someone or something -because it was dead on. Not just the big stuff (uniforms, weapons, structure of troops, etc) but even the little details - the things soldiers talk about, the things that they bitch about, the issues that are inherent in the chain of command and what can strengthen and weaken the troops. Brilliant. If you like horror writing at all, if you like politics at all, if you like military books, then you have to read this book. FINALLY, an intelligent zombie horror story....more
I hated this book. Maybe it was because I was expecting so much with all the hype, maybe because I thought the original idea was so great, whatever. EI hated this book. Maybe it was because I was expecting so much with all the hype, maybe because I thought the original idea was so great, whatever. End result, I freaking hated this book. This is a book that makes you want to sit down and re-write it yourself because it is such a shame that such a great idea was so mishandled. I loved the idea of delving into the witches and their past and seeing them from a different view point. I loved the idea of the politics of the different realms of OZ. There was so much source material to interpret in so many ways. But no - the biggest thing I hated was the timeline. It would start with the witches childhood and get really in depth into it - chapters of the family and their day to day lives and the family dynamic. And then it was like the author realized that if they continued on this way, the book would have to be a series and every book in it a tome. So the next thing you know, abruptly, he jumps forward in time. And the explanation of what happened in that gap is only briefly described - if that! It is so jarring. I also felt that the characters were fleshed out during those brief times, but after the jump, And then it would seem almost like they were different characters. Or a variation of the character you had come to know. If there were life altering events during the gap that changed the character's personality, you can't just skip it! Don't spend that much time making the reader get to know the character and then change them without showing how and why! I hated the way the author would spend enormous amounts of time describing certain places or characters or situations in a way that gave the reader the idea that it would be significant and play into the main story. Nope. Which makes you feel so unsatisfied. Imagine an entire chapter (and a long wordy one at that) devoted to a certain character or group of people and then then just drop out of the story completely. Where did they go? What happened to them? Why spend so much time on them to just go no where with it??
Also, after awhile, it really seemed like the author had a definite AGENDA and he spent so much time forcing the characters and the plot to fit that agenda, that it disrupted the flow and felt forced. I often felt like the characters wouldn't have acted that way - given his own description of them! I don't like being preached to. If you want to really write a political book with obvious leanings, then do so. But don't package it like this. And this book could have been a great vehicle for a basic statement on many different things - animal rights, our ideas of "others", our treatment of people different from ourselves, a broad idea of what is good and evil as opposed to what people often label good and evil - but didn't have to be so skewed to the author's personal beliefs. (Animal Farm, 1984, and many others come to mind - I really believe that this story COULD have had the potential to be a classic, had it not been so mishandled.) So many of these concepts were brought up and then abandoned. Or they were brought up and dealt with in a talky soliloquy, and without any real opposing view or anything. It was like the author was determined to present every possible political view he had and, one way or the other, force it into the story. But as he got writing and trying to actually write a STORY as opposed to an editorial opinion piece, he lost track of what he was saying or the point he was trying to make.
So many themes and ideas were a complete mess. Not explained fully, explained too fully, so vague and complicated they were impossible to understand, or more often than not, forgotten altogether. I would have appreciated ANY resolution - even skewed to the author's opinions - rather than what he often offered, which is nothing. It also felt so smug and superior - it seemed like he referenced things for the sake of feeling smart or proving he was informed- like a college student mentioning Nietzsche in conversation, not because he really wants to discuss the ideas or whatever, but because it sounds smart and proves he's beyond such things as keggers.
I just didn't like anything about this book. I stuck with it to the end, hoping that maybe things would change, or maybe things would come together in a way I didn't expect - but nope. I can only assume that it was so popular because of the interesting concept of the book or the fear to admit that they didn't get it or the broadway play - which I have heard is great and might better explain of the popularity of the book. (People loved the musical and bought the book thinking they would like that too.) Anyway, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone....more
I read this book as a pre-teen and just fell in love with it. I loved the Jo character. I cursed my mother for naming such a terrible name and tried tI read this book as a pre-teen and just fell in love with it. I loved the Jo character. I cursed my mother for naming such a terrible name and tried to make my whole family call me Joanne (so I could then argue with them to call me Jo!) It was melodrama at its best. It IS melodramatic - death! love! betrayal! redemption! It is all there. But it is done with such sweet intent and a firm belief in the good of people that I couldn't help but love it. I haven't read it in YEARS, but I have read it easily 4 or 5 times. If you read it, watch the classic movie with Hepburn playing Jo (not the crappy one with Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder). The language might take some getting used to, and for some that might be an annoyance they can't deal with, but if you can manage to get a hang of the words and tone, this is a beautiful book....more