Chibineko's Reviews > Handling the Undead

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist
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Nov 25, 2010

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Read in August, 2010

As a fan of the zombie genre, I immediately snapped this book up the moment it showed up on my vine listing. Then I worried- would it be as interesting as my anticipation was telling me it would be? Well, the answer is yes & no. Yes because it brings a very interesting spin to the zombie genre & no because it was slower than I'd anticipated & as such, it took me a little longer to finish it.

Handling the Dead focuses around the idea of how people would react to their loved ones coming back from the grave. Some are overjoyed at the idea of being reunited with their loved one. Others are horrified when they see what the "reliving" have become. Some people view their reanimated family member with a sense of detachment or ambivalence. The different reactions by these people as well as the reactions from the staff forced to care for these beings make up a good portion of this book.

Overall this was a satisfying enough read & many will love seeing the different reactions by the many characters in this book. One such character is Elvy, an elderly woman whose husband returns from the grave. He'd been suffering from Alzheimer's, so for her his new reanimation isn't that overly different from before. (Although she is still freaked out by everything.) Another element many readers will enjoy is that Lindqvist has his zombies (or reliving, as the book calls them) initially very calm & not attacking anyone. In a genre where the norm is for the zombies to immediately start nomming on human flesh, this was a refreshing twist.

Howerver, one of the drawbacks that many readers will face is that this is a very slow moving book. It takes at least 1/4th of the book for things to get started, so people looking for a faster read will probably want to look elsewhere. Others might get a little irritated that the book focuses around so many different viewpoints that at times the story thread just seems to unravel a bit rather than being a tight read.

Mostly though, the audience should be pleased with this book as a whole. It isn't the best zombie book out there, but it does bring a nice fresh perspective to the zombie genre & is sure to be an entertaining read for people longing to get in touch with their spooky sides.

(ARC provided by vine)

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message 1: by Robin (new) - added it

Robin Alves I totally agree with you. I'm reading the book now and my interest in the new take pulls me forward. However the pace of the book makes it feel like I'm dragging the book along behind me the whole way up hill.

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