Tatiana's Reviews > Handling the Undead

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist
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's review
May 18, 2010

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bookshelves: 2010, mysteries-thrillers-horror
Read from October 24 to 26, 2010

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 aggressive, how will people react to them, handle them? will the relatives welcome the return of their dead beloved or be disgusted by them? how should the undead population be treated by authorities, as corpses or as human beings? what place do they have in a society? This is definitely not something often explored in zombie literature.

In spite of the interesting premise, the book is just so dull and slow! There is maybe a couple of scenes of genuine horror and gore, the rest is all unrelatable, unremarkable, cardboard people going about their dull business, thinking dull thoughts. And then it's written in a very juvenile style. IDK if the translator didn't do her job properly. The best parts of the story are snippets of TV interviews, medical research, and newspaper articles.

Basically, the novel lacks psychological depth, complexity, emotional impact and excitement of Let the Right One In. It is a half-baked effort, a story that never reaches its full potential. Give it a miss if you are a fan of the author's first book.
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Reading Progress

10/25/2010 page 60
16.0% "Not sure about this one yet"
02/04/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan Ohhh, I loved Let the Right One In! Can't wait to see what you think of this one.

message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather Is this one on par with "Let the Right One In?

Tatiana I don't think so, at least not yet.

message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather Well boo. I was looking for mind teaser to read in honor of Halloween.

Tatiana This one is a no-go for sure.

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather That's unfortunate.

message 7: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Sorry this one disappointed =(

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you, once again, for reading something so I don't have to.

message 9: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan That's too bad :(

message 10: by Mara (new)

Mara Sounds like Generation Dead to me, which was also slow and dull. Looks like non-aggressive zombies are boring zombies.

Tatiana Pretty much. They only perked up at the end, but too late to make things exciting.

message 12: by Mel (new) - added it

Mel Too bad that it wasn't as good and accomplished as Let the right one in was. That's what I was expecting from it. Thanks for the warnings lol.

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