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Reign of the Dead Paperback – Aug 2001


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Paperback, Aug 2001
CDN$ 132.31 CDN$ 0.21

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Iuniverse Inc (August 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595192033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595192038
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 413 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,901,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I read some of the bad reviews written on these pages and I can see some of the points they are making, like the single dimensionality of the characters, half developed dialoges, and editing inconsistencies. On the other hand, I still love this book, because of its creatvity, story line, and the fact that it provided me with a good-old Romero type zombie survival book which is so hard to find for Zombie fans like myself. I think reviewing this book for its literary value is a big mistake.
Let's be honest... If you don't like the 1970-80's philosophy of zombies and horror/survival genre, the chances are this book will not mean much to you. This is not a Stephen King type thriller book. The targeted audience for this book are people who grew up with such movies as the Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead. People who like their zombies slow walking and easily killed with a bullet in the hand. People who fantasize over the idea of apocolyptic survival and self dependency. If you think you fit this demographic description, you will think that this was your best spent $15-20.
I do not know the author, I never read any bibliographic information on him, but yet I am almost sure that he belongs to this genaration of people. So I would like to thank him for providing me with 5-6 hours of joy of reading a highly entertaining Zombie book.
I am looking forward to his new book which I think takes place in New York and will be published in the Spring of 2005.
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Format: Paperback
I am really into the subject of the living dead. Movies, books, comics, you name it. Because of this I have a hard time disliking anything in the genre, including this book. To me, the idea is strong enough to carry most attempts, even if poorly executed. That is, unfortunately, the way I see this. book. A great story idea, but a very weak book.
The grammar is horrible, almost bad enough to not read the book. When I say the grammar is bad you may be thinking that I am being harsh and overly analytical, but I assure you that is not the case. The author has made grammatical mistakes that shouldn't be made after the second grade. We're not talking about simple misspellings (although there are plenty of them), but structural errors that caused me to have to reread sections two or three time to get what the author meant.
One other thing that got to me was the complete lack of research done. If you are going to take the time to write a book you really ought to take the time to read about the incidental subject matter covered in your book. Learn about how viruses work. Read up on the electron microscope if you are going to have one used in the story (electron microscopes don't show images of living, moving things. You have to coat what you're looking at in a silver solution, and everything is dead...thus, no evil diseases floating around).
Anyway, I do recommend the book if you like the living dead, and if you can tolerate bad writing in order to get to a really good story idea.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of apocalyptic fiction of all genres. Being such, I've read a lot of great fiction and some bad. Even with the bad it's usually of the pulp, B-movie type so you pretty much know what you're in for before you start reading so you generally take the whole thing tongue-in-cheek. This first attempt by Len Barnhart is at the far end of the "bad" scale. I love the concept of zombie-fiction, but there's nothing original to be found in Reign of the Dead. Looking at the front cover of the book I immediately thought of Nosferatu. This is just the first of Mr. Barnhart's apparent fetish for borrowing from past masters. The rehashed cliches and tired story concepts come up page after page after page. We only have to wait until the last sentence of paragraph number three to get to the first bit of his story that has already been used countless times in far more creative ways. In that paragraph we find that Jim, our main character, has been taking some R&R at his cabin in the woods for the past 3 weeks. Already I'm thinking of Stewart's Earth Abides novel (the first nuclear age apocalyptic novel) and Johnston's Out of the Ashes series. Pretty soon we're introduced to zombies who are described as walking Frankenstein's with arms stretched out in front of them. Romero did a much better job of visualizing a zombie's shuffle. I don't need to have a sophomoric comparison to Frankenstein. Pretty soon we're introduced to a man of religion gone over the edge. There goes another familiar tune. The same old themes that have been used time and again pop up on a regular basis. There is nothing original here.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I have to admit that since the age of ten I have been a huge fan of the zombie sub-genre. To be quite honest, I will read or watch just about anything that is produced dealing with our favorite flesh eating ghouls. However, I am consistently disappointed with the lack of originality that writers and directs have for the possibilities that zombies offer a good story-teller. Reign of the Dead is no exception. Although I had great expectations for this novel, it became quite obvious by the second chapter that the author was an amateur writer. Specifically, several of his main characters are noticeable clichés and at times emotionally void. Furthermore, they serve relatively no purpose in advancing the plot. Although I was expecting a huge pay-off at the end of Mr. Barnhart's novel, considering the variety of his character's geographical and environmental backgrounds, I was completely disappointed with his flat conclusion.
I think that it would have been more prudent on Mr. Barnhart's part to have re-edited his novel. By removing some of the more incoherent ideas such as apocalyptic visions of holy retribution and political power struggles, while sticking to more solid ideas such as the suffering and horror the survivors face - specifically, his interesting take on the Romerian pseudo-science of zombification and the loneliness of desolate cities - Mr. Barnhart would have established not only the eerie atmosphere that he at times evokes early on the novel but a palpable feeling of despair with the reader.
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