Handling the Undead

Handling the Undead
By John Ajvide Lindqvist

So, you're telling me that the author of one of the most haunting, original vampire books, a book that created one of the best ever vampire movies also wrote a book about zombies???? How could I NOT read this book?

Handling the Undead
is a completely different take on the zombie story- of course- how could we expect anything else from this amazing writer? The focus here is on the slow rise of the recently deceased and the emotional impact of having said goodbye only to have loved-ones return to us.

This novel begs us to ask ourselves how we would feel, honestly, if we had the chance to have a loved-one back while still unable to avoid the blatant truth that he or she has died and is not the same person. The dead return as shells of their former selves, some decayed so terribly that their return is nightmarish to their families and those who know them in life. For example, a child who had died tragically is back in the loving arms of his mother, but he is dessicated, blackened, and still rotting. She still loves her child but wrestles with whether or not he has returned to her or if only his physical body has. Consider the difference.

The zombies are not monsters who crave the flesh and brains of the living, but a sort of mindless, simple animal. They are not evil or malicious, but reflections of the living. If we are still, they are still. If we are aggressive, they follow suite.

There are moments where this book is wonderfully haunting and always beautifully written. But, yes, I admit that there is a "but"- I am not sure that the plot really came together for me. There were several points where the plot seemed to head in one direction but then would end somewhere else- leaving painful plot-holes.

I'm not sure what to make of this book. I want to love it so I recognize that I overlook its issues. It was enjoyable and thought-provoking but something just didn't quite work in the end.

I recommend giving it a read- I think I might give it another- then send me a message and tell me your thoughts!

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