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Among the Living Paperback – Sep 9 2011

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Paperback, Sep 9 2011
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Permuted Press (Sept. 9 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1618680064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1618680068
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 120 reviews
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Stories of those who walk among us...4.5 stars Aug. 28 2009
By Patrick S. Dorazio - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Among The Living takes place in Seattle and starts out sharing with the reading audience the lives of four different people in the city. The author uses both third and first person perspectives as we go through the routines of their days. Hints of the start of an undead uprising are sprinkled throughout the story but much of the early part of the book keeps that as background noise for most of the characters...there is a gas leak in a neighborhood, it is cordoned off, there are strange stories on the internet but the news networks are saying nothing and the stories are disappearing as quickly as they appear. As the story rolls on we are given small bits and pieces, a few attacks, there is footage found online of some shaky cell phone video, etc. but the city and the main characters, for the most part, have no real comprehension of what is going on until it is far too late.

The author slips from one character to the next with relative ease, pacing the story through their eyes, and in particular, through Mike, a journalist's eyes, who is telling us his story in first person. The other stories, about Lester, a drug dealer caught inside the neighborhood that is originally cordoned off, Kate, a serial killer who is just getting warmed up, and Grinder, the lead singer of a heavy metal band, are all told in third person. Tim does an excellent job of getting us up to speed on all his character's lives and how they act and react to everything going on around them.

I found it particularly interesting that the only person we are given first person exposure to is the journalist and likely the most normal person of the bunch. Mike is dealing with difficult issues but his burgeoning relationship with a co-worker seems a bright spot in a story filled with three other characters who are all, in my humble estimation, disturbed in their own particular ways. It would have been interesting to see the first person perspective of the serial killer, though the insights into her psychy are pretty indepth (I would especially like to see the first person perspective of the "other", which drives Kate to do the horrid things she does).

When it is finally clear that the deaders are at their full strength and their numbers are growing rapidly, the violence is in your face, visceral, and merciless. The author indiscriminantly throws us into the blender and lets us taste the agony of a city that is dying and coming back to life with the undead. A sequel would be natural and makes complete sense because in many ways, this tale has only just begun.

The story is solid and the characters real and fascinating. I kind of figure Tim decided to give us the first person perspective with the more "normal" character of the lot. Since these four barely get to interact during the book, it will be interesting if he decides to carry along with a first person view and see what perceptions Mike develops about the drug dealer, the heavy metal lead singer, and the serial killer.

The book is excellent and Tim, a first time novelist but someone who has written quite a few other works, definitely has some chops as a writer. My only true criticism is that there are some typos sprinkled throughout the book. Nothing that really detracts from the story but they are noticeable. It certainly did not keep me from enjoying the book a great deal and I am looking forward to picking up the sequel down the road when he gets around to writing it.

If you are a fan of zombies or just of apocalyptic fiction in general, this is definitely one to pick up.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Disturbing Jan. 27 2012
By Star - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This story was gory, disgusting and terrifying, everything a zombie novel should be. I loved it! The descriptions painted a very vivid picture. I'll have nightmares for weeks, but I can't wait until the next installment comes out! A number of reviewers seem to have issues with the grammar and spelling. I can't say I really noticed the errors as I was reading, but I might be more forgiving than some readers. If you are someone who is offended by those type of errors, this might not be the book (or version) for you. Other reviews also talk about some of the unnecessary characters that don't add to the plot. Since this is the first in a series, I believe those characters will become important in the following books. They appeared in this book to provide their background as the events were happening. Yes, most of the characters are horrible people. Sometimes I felt the zombies were more sympathetic and easier to relate to than the live characters. However, I look forward to seeing those characters' personal growth in future installments.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
It's okay if you're into character driven drama with some zombies April 27 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Went through the book, thought it was alright, but missing something major. Thinking back, it was the very, very slow build up to a full on zombie outbreak. Personally I thought the character development was pretty solid. However some of the plot seemed a bit implausible, such as the government response to an impossible to hide epidemic along with some actions the characters took when confronted by zombies, which reminded me of a B grade horror flick. But perhaps other readers enjoys that type of horror. So if you are into a book which is more about how a zombie pandemic very very slowly building up along with a fairly decent development the the major character and thier associates then this is for you. But if you're more into some action packed reading + frustrating decision making by the protagonists. Read the last third of the book only.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Kracky Boston - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Seriously, how can you not love a zombie novel with a character named Grinder. The characters in this fascinating story all come with baggage--and thank god for that. What Mr. Long has done in this novel is quite admirable. He makes us genuinely feel for the characters, understand their motivations, and even like some of them. We get introductions to all the characters just as the alleged 'gas leak' on Queen Anne hill breaks. Mike, a middle-aged reporter of a small newspaper, is struggling to get over his divorce caused by the death of his younger son. Lester is a pretty resourceful drug dealer. He likes sex and drinking, and more sex. He's basically a scumbag until the plague forces his hand. I like that Mr. Long has the chops to make a pathetic character likeable. Gotta love Grinder, slashing and headbanging through his concert while the zombies ravage the crowd. Now that's some serious death metal and Grinder fully accepts the mayhem, until members of his own band catch the plague. Best character is Kate. She gets paid to slapped around by men. But she gets her revenge in the end, and this evil part of her character is rooted to a troubled childhood. But boy can she ever wield those martial arts weapons when the plague hits. The arrival of the plague allows her to totally integrate her person and be whole, and we readers feel vindicated by this fulfillment.

Among The Living is a fun and wild romp through the heart of Seattle in the midst of a zombie crisis, and I would have loved to give it 5 Stars. The only minor issue I had with the novel were a couple of interludes that took me away from the action, as well as the main characters I loved and cheered for. Can't wait to read more from this author. Anyone with a penchant for zombies, sex, drugs and rock & roll will certainly not be disappointed. How can you go wrong with Grinder. Eat your heart out, Eddie Vedder!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
You MUST Read this book! Fabulous zombie mayhem within! Oct. 30 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, I'm a big fan of Timothy W. Long's work. He submitted a short story to the witches anthology I am editing and I was instantaneously hooked on his writing. I then became a fan of his completely hilarious and gruesome online blog called "The Zombie-Wilson Diaries." It has been snatched up for publication by the Library of the Living Dead Press and I am thrilled to be the editor.

But despite my great love for Timothy Long's work, I had yet to read "Among the Living." When I found out I would be editing "The Zombie-Wilson Diaries," I decided to order the book and add it to my huge stack of "to read" novels.

This last week I dove into the book and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Tim has a unique way of writing that is very fresh and entertaining. Humor mixes easily with horror as he weaves a story about four very different people living in a city that is slowly sliding into chaos. The characters and their relationships come across as realistic and you find yourself being drawn into their world. Even though a few of the characters were not the best humankind has to offer, I found myself caring about their fate as the tension ratcheted up and the undead (or deaders) became more of a threat.

Though there are four "major" characters, their time at center stage varies greatly. In fact, a "minor" character, named Alice, had me utterly wrapped up in her fate, whereas one of the major characters, Grinder, could have disappeared out of the story completely and I wouldn't have missed him. His time at the center of the story was very limited and did not give me enough time for me to actually care about whether he lived or died.

Lester, the drug dealer, and his girlfriend are a strong presence in the book and their sections are very suspenseful and frightening. Kate, the serial killer, is interesting, but really doesn't have much to do other than off a victim then spend a lot of time talking to her neighbor, Bob. It is not until the end that she really comes into her own. Mike, our first person narrator (the others are written in third), has a tragic past and his budding relationship with a co-worker is very well-done. They really don't do much until the very end, but by then, I was so emotionally invested in their relationship, I was on pins and needles as they tried to escape the hordes of zombies.

This is definitely a solid four stars. I wish I could give it more, but I felt the uneven distribution of time among the characters weakened their impact on the overall storyline. I really loved the entire overall plot, the slow buildup of tension until the city explodes in mayhem, the characterization as a whole, and the gory, action-packed scenes toward the end. This is a good, solid zombie book and I highly recommend it.

That being said, the best Timothy Long writing has yet to be revealed when "The Zombie-Wilson Diaries" is released in the near future. I may be a little biased in my review because I know this writer hits his full stride in that novel.

One last note: the editing is not what it should be, but it does not deter from the story one iota.

In short, BUY THIS BOOK! You won't regret it.