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Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Handling the Undead (original 2005; edition 2010)

by John Ajvide Lindqvist

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930489,380 (3.57)36
Title:Handling the Undead
Authors:John Ajvide Lindqvist
Info:Thomas Dunne Books (2010), Edition: Reprint, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2005)

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English (41)  Swedish (4)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
One unusually warm night in Stockholm, Sweden, something very strange happens. Everyone in the city experiences a terrible headache. Electrical appliances refuse to turn off, even when they're unplugged. And the recent dead begin to rise...

It sounds like a bog-standard setup for a zombie story, but what John Ajvide Lindqvist gives us is something very different: a deconstruction of the zombie genre, or a subversion of it, or maybe just a very different take. Because these zombies do not rise up and immediately begin hungering for human flesh. They are merely your loved ones, dead and rotting, not what they were, but not entirely gone, either. And, ultimately, it's a novel that's more concerned with the people that once belonged in those shuffling corpses than in the bodies themselves.

It is kind of an odd book. If you go into it looking for plot, or even for big drama, you might well be disappointed. Ditto if you're hoping for simple, logical, scientific explanations for everything in the end. And the writing can feel a little awkward, in a hard-to-pin-down way that I'm inclined to blame on the translation. But there are lots of fascinating subtleties to it, things that invite you to contemplate the mysteries of life and death and to take a new look at a horror trope that's become so familiar that we no longer bother to consider too closely at what it's really made of. Plus, there were a surprising number of moments when I found myself thinking, "Wow, zombies that don't' eat people are a thousand times creepier than ones who do. Who would have thought?" ( )
1 vote bragan | Jan 23, 2015 |
A different take on the zombie novel! About 2000 people, who have died recently, have mysteriously come back to life! They are Sweden's "unliving"! And the author treats this story with great emotion and tenderness! I could totally see myself doing what the grandfather does, after the initial revulsion to the state of the unliving. Poor guy. ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Mar 3, 2014 |
A strange occurrence causes the corpses of those who recently died in Stockholm (this author is Swedish) to come back to life, so to speak. I found this book to be a refreshing (if it is possible to use this adjective given the subject) take on the current popularity of zombie fiction. The author manages to create the horror of this genre yet humanizes the story at the same time by emphasizing the relationships of the characters affected. Maybe he has started a whole new genre - lovely zombie fiction? ( )
  michellebarton | Aug 1, 2013 |
Rating: 4 of 5

1/17/2012: Whoa! I really liked this one. Review to come after I digest the story a bit. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Apr 14, 2013 |
"Handling The Undead" is a book about exactly that. It is not a traditional horror book (especially as is usually attached to zombies) by any stretch with only one really creepy scene to speak of and a few disturbing ones sprinkled in. Rather the horror lies in the examination of grief, loss, and the disintegration of family ties. In short, how would you "handle" if your loved ones came back to life? How would the government "handle" an influx of unliving? And how do the unliving "handle" being back?

Not a bad book, but not what I was expecting or wanting to read when I picked it up. As with Let The Right One In, I found the translation left the language a little flat for me. Liked it. Didn't love it. I would recommend it to people who like books that examine social, political and religious climate and consequence, but I doubt I will ever read it again. ( )
  erincathryn | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Ajvide Lindqvistprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sybesma, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Solidarity is always directed at 'one of us' and 'us' cannot refer to everyone....For 'we' assumes someone who can be excluded, someone who belongs to others, and these others cannot be animals or machines, but people. Sven-Eric Liedman_To See Oneself in Others

All that we hope is, when we go Our skin and our blood and our bones Dont get in your way, making you ill The Way they did when we lived. Morrissey_There's a place in hell for me and my friends.
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Book description
A power surge and heatwave in Stockholm leads to odd happenings, first signposted by all electrical items remaining switched on despite the power buttons being turned off. Then come headaches and feelings of illness and unease. Nothing too strange until the recently deceased start coming back to life and those around them, mostly medical and armed forces personel, discover that when the groups of the 'reliving' are large enough it is posible for the people near them to read minds. Journalist Gustav Mahler is among those trying to discover just what is happening.
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Something very peculiar is happening in Stockholm. There's a heatwave on and people cannot turn their lights out or switch their appliances off. Then the terrible news breaks. In the city morgue, the dead are waking up .... What do they want? What everybody wants: to come home.… (more)

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