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The Monster Librarian Presents:
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is one of the most successful current horror franchises. It originated as a black-and-white comic books series, telling the story of Rick Grimes, a small-town policeman who is trying to survive with a group of survivors in a world that is overrun by zombies. In the search for safety, Grimes and his group have to deal not just with the walking dead but also other groups of survivors that are just as menacing. The series is available to libraries in trade paperback form, hardcover collection, and in paperback omnibus. The Walking Dead has since gone from the world of graphic novels on to the small screen with AMC (American Movie Classics), which has created a television show based on the story. The show has finished its first season and will be starting its second season on October 16th, 2011. There has since been a spin-off book, The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, which is being released in both print and audio book format. Scroll down for links to related items.
The Walking Dead has become another successful cross media horror franchise that librarians can leverage to promote leisure reading. The launch of the second season is a great opportunity for libraries to put together a display for books that would be a good fit for those who enjoy the TV series.
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, Fred Berman (Reader) *New Review
Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition, 2011
Available: Audio book and hardcover
In The Walking Dead, the character that is worse than the shambling dead and more of a threat to Rick Grimes and his band of survivors is the Governor. In fact, in 2009, The Governor was ranked as IGN's 86th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time. However, every villain has an origin, and it isn't always exactly what you expect it to be. In The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, we are introduced to Phillip Blake, his little girl Penny, his brother Brian, and their friend Nic, in the first few days of the zombie invasion. The group is merely looking for a safe place to live, and has to deal with both the living and the hungry dead.
Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga spin a good origin tale that works well as a stand alone story, even though it is the first book in a trilogy. The book does very well in its standing amongst the plethora of zombie titles out there. While this is very much a character piece, there is plenty of action, gore, and violence. They do a great job of giving us insight into the main characters without having it bog down the story. If I was reading this as a book, I would call it a definite page turner. Fred Berman is the reader of the audio book and does a fantastic job. For an audiobook, the reader is critical in bringing the listener into the story, and Berman delivers. Berman's tone and inflections really bring the story to life. He successfully portrays the atmosphere of death and gloom, and gives the characters authentic voice. This is a great audiobook for zombie lovers, especially if you have a long car trip to take, as it clocks in at 11 hours.
I highly recommend that libraries look to add Rise of the Governor to their audiobook collection.
Note for librarians: The Governor is a character that has already been introduced in the graphic novel series. He has not been seen yet in the television show. If you have readers who have only seen the TV show they will not know who The Governor is. Other note: If this book were a movie it would be R rated, This is definitely not for kids.
Contains: murder, rape, gore, violence.
Read Alike Zombie Books
World War Z by Max Brooks
Undead by John Russo
Day by Day Armageddon and Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile by J. L. Bourne
Dead Sea by Brian Keene
Looking for more Zombie titles, head on over to our Zombie book review section here.
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