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Nothing stays dead for long The dead are returning to life intelligent determinedand very hungry Escape seems impossible for Jim Thurmond one of the few left alive in this nightmare world But Jim’s young son is also alive and in grave danger hundreds of miles away Despite astronomical odds Jim vows to find him—or die tryingJoined by an elderly preacher a guilt ridden scientist and an ex prostitute Jim sets out on a cross country rescue mission Together they must battle both the living and the living deadand the even greater evil that awaits them at the end of their journey

10 thoughts on “The Rising

  1. says:

    The shit has hit the fan and the dead walk the earth Survivors wander around staying one step ahead of the undead hordes and struggling to survive Rogue military units are on patrol rounding up survivors Meanwhile Jim Thurmond is on a trek from West Virginia to New Jersey to find his sonI'm a zombie fan from way back My favorite movie as a teenager was the 1990 Night of the Living Dead remake I have the Return of the Living Dead soundtrack on vinyl I can smell your brains and Zombies the board game About fifteen years ago I kind of fell out of zombie fandom since it felt like it had all been done many many times However in recent weeks we've dusted off the Zombies board game and I had the hunger for some zombie fiction This hit the spot like some nice warm brainsThe cause of the zombie plague this time was the government mucking with the barriers between dimensions Now everything with a brain gets reanimated upon death AND retains some of its own knowledge The zombies in The Rising can use guns and drive as well as munch human flesh I'm old school I like my zombies slow dumb and numerous However these zombies wound up being very scaryThe gore and violence level is pretty high People get chomped uite a bit and there are headshots galore The zombie animals are no picnic either Swarms of zombie birds are nothing to scoff at not even in a helicopterThe different viewpoint characters are what set this apart from being a typical zombie killfest I felt for Jim's plight even though I was pretty sure he'd get Cujo ed at the end Frankie was a born survivor I was pretty sure she'd live through it Baker's relationship with Worm was touching so I knew the emotional wringer was coming my way While I was disgusted by the national guard unit led by Schow I had no trouble believing in itThere were a lot of memorable inventive scenes in this book The Rising was harder to put down than a shotgun during a zombie apocalypse I've read a couple Brian Keene books before but now I'm a Brian Keene fan Five out of five stars

  2. says:

    As the 21st Century dawned zombies if you’ll excuse the expression were dead Independently and through the use of three different media that was about to change Almost simultaneously Brian Keene published The Rising an English film called 28 Days Later was released and Robert Kirkman started planning a comic book called The Walking Dead There’s a story that Kirkman had to tell his publishers that aliens were secretly behind the zombie plague to get the comic approved If true this news comes with a certain irony attached That’s close to the approach Keene took in The Rising The dead were being animated by formless entities escaping an endless void through a dimensional rift The results were not the usual lumbering husks on a mindless search for living food Instead the human race was faced with a near unstoppable force ever growing in numbers who were intelligentKeene chose not to begin with his particular twist on the concept Instead well in to the plague he opens with Jim Thurmond deciding to leave the safety of a West Virginia bomb shelter when he hears on a dying cell phone a message from his young son who is hiding in the attic of his ex wife’s house in New Jersey As Jim prepares to makes his break only then does Keene switch to Dr William Baker the lone remaining scientist in the underground facility responsible for the tear between dimensions It is through his backstory that we meet the leader of the beings that are animating the corpses and learn of their intelligence and intentions With the stage set Keene introduces several characters and in alternating chapters he follows their various struggles with survival This will eventually include a militia once a Pennsylvania National Guard Infantry unit now a merciless and savage military dictatorship that engulfs all that they meet In one form or another this militia will draw all the surviving characters to the same point and time This is very much a first novel Transitions are not always smooth and there are entire stretches with an astonishing lack of detail particularly surprising for a work of horror Also there’s a character who is supposed to have gone through a drastic change after an especially devastating event but the change doesn’t resonate through to the reader Other characters tell us he’s different but we just don’t feel it And yet there is no doubt that from the beginning Keene had a firm grasp of what makes horror stories work The characters at their core ring true and the situations are both visual and visceral Only the execution needed refinement That Keene has had a long and successful career indicates that repetition has allowed him to acuire those skills as wellOh about the ending Within the horror community the ending to The Rising is infamous Aware of the controversy but not knowing the details I went into the novel thinking In a world filled with zombies there can ultimately be only one ending Having now come out the other side I think now it is a uestion of clarity The climactic confrontation takes place offstage In fact it reminded me a bit of Harlan Ellison’s “Jeffty Is Five” another story where the actions that close the piece take place elsewhere In an introduction to “Jeffty” Ellison wrote in part “It’s all there Very clearly It’s done with what I hope is some subtlety and you may have to read the last page or so with some careful attention to detail but it’s all there” I’ll amend these words slightly As The Rising winds down listen carefully It’s all there

  3. says:

    There are too many things wrong with this book Despite some original ideas and a few worthy tense moments it is most of the time laughably bad and embarrassingly badly writtenThe amount of typos and the atrocious grammar was shocking Someone needs to tell Keene the copyeditors and publishers that the past tense of to spit is spat and that you don’t tell a person to lay but to lie down Your prose can also benefit by not using the word again or any word really again and again three times in a single sentence With books like there it isn't surprising that western society is inadeuately literate But I digressThe explanation of what is causing the zombie epidemic is absolutely ridiculous; I won’t spoil it though it’s revealed early on no suspense here The zombies are supposed to be intelligent yet act like hyper teenage boys who make absurd decisions that do little in advancing their cause In fact an integral aspect of becoming a zombie in Keene's world is to suddenly intensely hate humanity to drop several notches on the I pole Kind of like some of our modern cults I suppose Moreover Keene appears uncertain as to the extent of the epidemic He can’t seem to decide whether insects are infected or not and changes his mind mid text or simply forgets If you plan to read this book keep your eyes out for this Maybe he clears this up in its seuel? I won’t know since I won’t be reading itThe characters are two dimensional and Keene’s image of America is a white washed suburbia where Hispanic and black people can only be preachers drug dealers or prostitutes And as mentioned in other reviews here the dialogue is bad And I mean effin’ bad man Holy mother effin’ stinkin’ bad likeFinally I was troubled by the amount of emphasis on rape in the book I don’t need the details Maybe one brief instance to illustrate the morally decayed post epidemic world but not again and again That was only twice It is just inappropriate I know I’m supposed to be angry with the bad guys but the constant exaggerated rape just has me angry at the authorI can go on but won’t since really there’s no effin' need to

  4. says:

    35 starsIt didn't take long to make my way through this zombie filled wasteland of a book Humans whether they still be humans or be they zombies are not the only monsters here I loved the originality of this story I can't get into the specifics of it without spoilers but some of the things imagined and written about in The Rising have still not been done in other zombie books or movies I really felt something for a few of these characters too The author pretty much put everyone and everything at risk so I had no idea what might happen to these people; there was no safe feeling like some books provide you where you know the good guy will win in the end What I did not like is a short list and here it is The narrator and the fate of most of the female characters First the narrator had a fine voice but he mispronounced some words brackish is not brake ish and his tone of voice was often off Obviously the tone thing is a personal opinion while the mispronounciations are not Second I've been a horror fan for a long long time and I'm uite used to the treatment of women in horror stories being less than stellar I also understand that a female or male protagonist for that matter has to be put into positions where the reader can root for her or him However what happened to the women here bothered me a bit than usual Perhaps because the descriptions were graphic? But I've read Laymon Barker and even some Lee and none of those bothered me Maybe it's because I'm getting older and my tolerance for that type of behavior even in books has now dwindled down to nothing? Even if I can't uite put my finger on it it bothered me so that's that Overall I enjoyed this book The originality of it was mind blowing and it must have been the horror book of ALL horror books when it originally came out back in 2003 Remember this was before The Walking Dead and the whole zombie mash up thing Pride and Prejudice With Zombies anyone? WTF? I do plan on reading the seuel City of the Dead but I'm going to do just that read it instead of listening because the narration of this one did diminish my enjoyment a little bit Recommended to fans of ZOMBIES

  5. says:

    Oh dear Where to startWhilst looking for zombie books worth reading I saw this one mentioned and figured it looked like it might be a decent readI was so wrong Maybe the fellow in the forums that mentioned this book as being good was a 7 year old?Reading this was painful It started out alright and well written but then degenerated into what can only be described as a paper version of the worst B movie ever made Really I only need to give you a few examples of things that happen in this book that made me shake my head in amazementThe 'zombies' are dead people posessed by 'demons' out to wreck 'The Creators'read godworldThe zombies are smart and can use guns and vehicles So you have zombies shooting people chasing people around in cars and generally being dicks The zombies make use of one liners that would make Scwarzenegger Stalone Seagal and Van Damne all reel backwards in absolute disgustReally this book is absolute poop and I wouldnt reccomend it to anyone unless you want to see just how bad it is A strong god theme with over emphasised gore and badly described scenes with ridiculous dialogue Zombie baby tearing its way out of the zombie mothers womb and chasing after a guy while talking in sumerian? Yes Zombie tiger killing stereotypical black gang bangers? yesStupid Stupid STUPIDDont read it

  6. says:

    Not your normal Zombie’s thank fuck these can think even plan their main course from well done to medium rare that's where you come in and the return of the dead is eagerly awaited they have purpose Although it’s the normal method of dispatch in a head shot or decapitation luckily that's pretty much one of the few things in common with your average literary zombie catastrophe These Zombies are controlled by a demon like entity that has an intelligence and the wherewithal of the previous host but there's a controlling hierarchy with a definitive means to an end yours The only major difference in Zombie fiction is the characters most of its been done before countless times if the characters are worth reading about then you feel like you haven't completely wasted your time Thankfully this was a refreshing change a scream inducing cliff hanger of an ending coupled with characters that I actually gave a shit about and Zombie animals even your friendly pet can take a chunk out of your leg Best idea blow its fucking head off before it turns and stick it on the barbecueAlso posted at

  7. says:

    I'm sorry zombie fish? I kind of lost it after that

  8. says:

    I'm way late for the Brian Keene party Especially for The Rising a book that reignited the zombie craze and caused countless imitators This is is a must read book for anyone who calls themselves a horror fan not just for the story and the writing but for the incredibly huge impact this book had on society and the zombie mythos As usual I finished the book had my thoughts and then went and read a bunch of reviews here I was actually surprised to see reviews all the way across the board I knew as soon as I finished it that there would be a number of people who didn't like the ending which is perfectly fine You like what you like I actually loved the ending Unfortunately I can't say any than that without getting into spoiler territory but I was expecting that reaction However I was surprised by how many people disliked the zombies in this book Walk up to any person on the street and ask them to describe a zombie Most people are going to say a shambling undead person with a reanimated body and bent on eating brains This does describe most zombies in books and television or movies uite accurately It does not describe the zombies in THE RISING almost at all Keene's zombies are different because this isn't just a zombie story it's a cosmic horror tale An entity called the Siuissim which have lived in The Void enters our world when scientists create something like a Hadron Collider that tears open a portal in whatever keeps The Void separate from our world The entities inhabit dead bodies and their only goal is to amass as many vessels as they can for Siuissim to enter our world That means that not only are the zombies intelligent and able to use tools and weapons but they also speak Talking zombies is definitely something you have to get used to but it makes a lot of sense when you remember that dead people are being controlled by a race from another universe And I really like that Keene plays around with the tropes Talking zombies can make some scenes in this book truly heartbreaking or downright creepy but I found that a number of reviews considered that element humorous than harrowing I failed to mention that the Siuissim inhabit animals too so I think a lot of the humor came from animals that were attempting to speak once they were inhabited by the Siuissim Basically pretty much everything Keene does with zombies in THE RISING is fresh and different from most tropes Except they still eat brains and body parts You have to keep something similar right?Anyway if this book didn't work for you I get it These are not the zombies that society is used to Personally I really enjoyed this book I liked the changes in zombie tropes and the added element of cosmic horror I liked the characters uite a bit too Most of them are on the run and just trying to survive but one character in particular is on a personal mission and I really felt myself rooting for him even though I didn't really think he would succeed The zombie apocalypse is brutal and that particular character and his situation seemed impossible yet sympathetic This is a book that's not super long in page count but seems large in scope Eventually all the characters are forced together and then all hell breaks loose I also appreciate that Keene doesn't seem to consider any character to be to precious to kill In some books you just know who is going to ultimately survive Keene keeps you guessing I'm really glad I chose this book as my introduction to Brian Keene I know a lot of people love it and I had a blast reading it It's uniue and that's something I'm always looking for in horror fiction Definitely give this one a read friends I'm eager to read from Keene now and I look forward to an upcoming Instagram group read of CASTAWAYS

  9. says:

    When you're reading about the end of the world what's better than zombies? They are relentless they spread like wildfire and they hunger for human flesh Under the weight of hordes of the undead civilization folds in on itself and the survivors are left to fend for themselves That's why I like a good zombie apocalypse story And that's why I was so excited to read Brian Keene's storyThe problem with zombie apocalypse stories is that they tend to be formulaic There is an outbreak Civilization collapses A small group forms and tries to survive against the undead only to learn that the real enemies are other survivors When reading about the coming zombie apocalypse I really want to see something original Okay something original or just damn good writing and characters The Rising starts off well Jim was a bit of a survivalist so the story opens to find him in a bunker with the undead clawing away outside He is alone depressed and ready to off himself when he gets a call from his son Dropping everything Jim starts a uest to rescue his son in distant New Jersey Okay the author has my attention If I thought I could save my kid I'd take the chance tooFurther sparking my interest are the zombies themselves Yes they are dead and rotting but they are also possessed of a keen and burning intelligence They are capable of talking of using tools of driving of firing guns Worse they set cunning traps for the unwary And after they gorge on their victims the unfortunate souls rise to join their ranks What's the zombies aren't limited to humans Anything that dies joins their ranks dogs cats cows birds etc Notable exception of insects apparently Again the author has my interest The roots of the zombies is a bit corny but still interesting The story unfortunately goes bad uickly After a brief spark of interest I really didn't care for any of them That's a problem when the main story arc follows a man trying to rescue his son Worse the author throws so many characters at you that I found it hard to really connect with any of them It seems to me it would've been wiser to build a few solid characters before adding to the mix Somewhat related was it just me or was every black character a stereotype? You have a preacher a prostitute gang bangers etc What about just a former small business owner or cop or teacher or factory worker?And as the story progressed the author repeatedly intervened to save characters deemed important The worst was about halfway through when Jim and his companion are saved just in the nick of time not once but twice Trapped by zombies on the Pennsylvania Turnpike the undead are gunned down by a couple of country yahoos Great Only these guys turn out to be cannibals who want to cook these two for dinner Fortunately the Deliverance rejects are gunned down by a kindly old man and his son who just happen to be in the area Really? Miraculous rescue once sure Twice no way Piled on top of this is the really annoying descent into the standard story line The real enemies are the other survivors mainly Colonel Schow and his unit of National Guard troops in Gettysburg With civilization in tatters they decide to set themselves up as petty tyrants The male civilians are used as force labor and the ladies find themselves forced to ahem service the soldiers Two huge problems with this First rape Second it's lazy How many times have we seen this story line?Adding to this mess of a story is the logic of the author's zombies As any newly dead creature will rise as a zombie the author's story runs into a major logic problem that I couldn't shake If each zombie simply kills one living creature each day the number of zombies will uickly reach uncontrollable levels And I'm sure that they kill than one a day That means that after just a few weeks it is almost inconceivable that any living creature could avoid the decaying eyes of the almost countless undead How then do Jim and others somehow manage to trek across Pennsylvania?Finally the worst of the worst is the ending It was a cheap cheap ending Let's just say that the main characters are placed in a situation at the boy's house where they split up There is gunfire and shouts And then the book ends So 1 I never learned whether or not Jim rescues his son and 2 I never learned what the gun play and shouting was about Apparently to find out the answers to these uestions I need to buy book #2 Really unsatisfactory I completely understand leaving some story lines incomplete eg the main zombie dude and what he is conspiring but to take you to literally the front door of Jim's son's house and then end the book? That is unacceptableOne and a half stars grudgingly rounded up to two I gave him the benefit of the positive rounding due to the intriguing premise and the uniue zombies Not a book that I could recommend other than to the most die hard of zombie apocalypse fanatics

  10. says:

    So to be perfectly honest I’ve been going back and forth on whether on not I actually wanted to write this review It basically came down to ‘not burning bridges’ in a very small universe or being honest with my readers I know all three of youWhen I weighted it out I decided a bad review treated fairly and note based on gut reaction might be better for the internet as a whole then a blank space Plus that way as new readers show up I’ll welcome you reader number four they can feel secure that I’m reviewing for honesty and not just for links and incestSo without further ado my review of Brian Keene’s first novel The Rising Not his last book by far God bless him I never intended to review only new books however so bare with meHow I Found This Book Do you know I’m not sure? I think it’s one of those convoluted social networking messes like a guy who knows a guy invited me to Ning network and I followed him back on Twitter and then he mentioned Keene and I was like ‘I want writers I love’ so I went out and picked up this book Internet ties always make me think in run on sentencesThat said let me tell you I really really wanted to love this book I wanted to pick it up and love every goddam page of it and eat if for breakfast and run out and buy everything Keene ever wrote and be a fangirl and run screaming through the rain to get to the front of the line at book signingsSo you know the fact that I actually kind of hate this book A LOT makes the possibility of those other things happening pretty slimLemmie see a book with a construction worker a old priest and a ex junkie ex hooker team up to save the construction worker’s son from the zombie hoard? Where the hell do I sign up? I usually hate the synopsis on the back of the books In this case I actually wish the book fit it’s back cover Alas not so muchThe Good Erm Well You know um Okay that’s not fair To be fair this book has a lot going for it Keene’s got a real gift with sensory detail which is important in a zombie novel There are things in the book that are really truly gross in an enjoyable way and I think that was the writer’s intention At one point he describes the smell of a man’s infected leg not unlike a microwaved hotdog I don’t know if this is completely true but it sure was vivid I’ll also note that this is a first novel and maybe some of the problems I had with it had to do with Keene exorcising some demons then any actual defect in his personality Who knows right? Also there are some KILLER ideas in there Sentient zombies? Check The host of Hell? Check The military going crazy and trying to take over? Check A heartfelt search to save a man’s estranged son? Well most of a checkThe Bad The problem is none of those good ideas got followed completely while Keene instead chose to focus on a strange rape fixation and this weird ‘all people are bad or if not they’re dead’ philosophy that seemed forced Time and time again the characters run into people who have gone from normal to people to mustache twirling evil in the few months since the dead started to walk I understand that without civilization people are likely to get WAY selfish and blah blah but Keene’s focus seems to all but ignore the zombies and focus on the ‘evil that men do’ in such cartoonish fashion that I imagined the demonic zombies sitting on the side lines going ‘hey we’re over here yanno We’ll rape pillage and eat you too if you’d just give us a little attention’When I was talking to my husband about this book I had a long feminist rant about how disgusted I was by much of the stories fascination with taking sexual advantage of the main heroine but I think I’ll spare you Suffice to say when Keene decided to describe in detail a gang bang followed by urination on the woman I assume I’m supposed to identify with I threw the book across the room And don’t even ask me about the Meat Wagon a brothel on wheels that the National Guardsman build to turn every woman they run across into a sex slave I’m sure a busy man like Brian Keene isn’t going to read this and if he is I’m sure he’ll dismiss it because it’s a bad review but really Brain man lighten up on the women huh? We want to be your audience too If you really think this is the way men would behave when society falls I weep for your outlook on lifeSo why did I finish reading it? I guess I kept hoping the last few pages would be some kind of pay off That I’d get some reward for the disgusting cartoon I had read that far but alas I was never satisfied The book brings you right up to the point where you find out if the construction worker’s son is alive or not you know the reason I’m reading the book in the first place? The story? And that’s it To the door no furtherThe damn thing didn’t endI don’t know if I was expected to make up my own ending or if I was expected to read the seuel as a result but I can tell you one thing I LIKE open endings and cliff hangers I did not feel like this was either a cliff hanger or open ended To be perfectly honest I feel like the ending was a cop out Like Keene had lost his real story some where along the sadistic rape happy way and couldn’t bring himself back to it in time to end the book But what the fuck do I know right? This guy has had a dozen novels published and I’m still 0 for 0Who Will Like This Book I want to say something snide like ‘not anyone I want to be alone in a room with’ but that’s probably unfair I know he’s got a hell of a following I’ve checked out his fan community but wasn’t terribly surprised to see a lot of military or ex military men in the forums I’m sure they saw things in this and other books by Keene I’m just not seeing or maybe they just didn’t see the degradation and humiliation I found so appalling That’s not really for me to say so I’ll just say this; true to the back cover this book is not for the sueamishWho Won’t Like This Book Other than me? Again hard to say I read some unnecessarily scathing comments on but that wasn’t a big surprise I know my husband would hate it I figure if you want a deep psychological look at humanity and their responses to chaos and damnation this probably isn’t the book for you