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To Wake The Dead by Richard Laymon

To Wake The Dead (2003)

by Richard Laymon

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This book had one great thing going for it: A 4,000 year old mummy is released of her magic-induced coma and busts out of her coffin in the present day, essentially going on a killing spree whilst trying to fulfill her ancient, ancient goals. I love the idea, but despite her name being the headline of this (UK version) novel, she's very much secondary for a lot of the in between, and that's the first of many stumbles.

What works against this book? First of all, and most annoying, the dialogue is usually not fun. It's juvenile. It's full of lame-ass contrived jokes that you imagine each character sporting a smug, shit eating grin after each sentence. It's simultaneously the kind of dialogue teenagers write to sound adult and adults write to sound like a teen again, and that's quite the feat, Mr. Laymon. I wrote many of my characters like this in high school. They weren't very good. Don't even get me started on Imad. There is a way to make a character sound very educated without being insufferable. You won't find it in this book.

There's also this whole kidnapped for torture-sex subplot that takes up much of the book's pages (and also is home to some of the worst exchanges of dialogue in the whole book), which starts off interesting enough, but takes too long to build to a meaningful climax (which is completely groan-worthy and absolutely contradictory to a certain character by the way), that I found myself skimming through those chapters until something important happened.

The only saving grace this book has is Amara. She is fierce, strong, and almost completely unstoppable. The fact that she "hungers" for human flesh is a bit disappointing but her scenes are fast, tense, bloody, and fun. The two that really stand out in this book are the struggle at Claire Thompson's home and the final battle that's Susan, Geoffrey, and Tag vs. Amara.

The book is weird. It's imaginative, and it's fast. Had it been any slower, I don't think I would have been able to finish it. I'm glad I did though, so I could see some of the characters I wanted to stop talking get ripped apart by Amara. This was my first Richard Laymon novel. I have maybe 24 left to read. I haven't written him off yet, but I'll be cautious of the next one. ( )
  TheTylex | Jun 3, 2016 |
What if characters from a porno movie were stuck in a lackluster horror plot? This. ( )
  scarequotes | Jan 23, 2016 |
Amara was one of the first book rings I signed up for through BookCrossing. The ring got stalled or lost along the way, so I purchased my own copy. Finally after having the book sitting on my shelves, I've bothered to read the book. Frankly, I wish I hadn't.

Amara the rampaging, blood thirsty mummy has very little to do with the over all plot of the book, save for killing off a bunch of otherwise pointless characters late in the book. The bulk of the story is actually a bunch of poorly written, ill-conceived erotica. There's a house with a basement where kidnapped people (of both genders) are being raped through plastic barriers but the experience is so pleasurable that they actually enjoy their situation (um, yeah, sure) and there's an Egyptian Copt who is apparently God's gift to womankind. So in between the Copt's sexual exploits and the torture in the basement, the actual plot of the curator and her detective boyfriend tracking down Amara before she can kill again lumbers along.

Frankly the book bored me to tears. Erotica. just isn't my thing and the sex in this book seemed to be the only point. Of all of the books I've read this year, Amara is one of the worst. ( )
  pussreboots | Jan 17, 2015 |
Something a little different from Richard Laymon... As a matter of fact, as I worked my way through the first 50 pages or so, I actually wondered if the book was even written by Laymon (especially since the novel was published a year after Laymon's death in 2001). It didn't take long after that point in the book to put those thoughts to rest as it took off in classic Laymon style (i.e., gore, violence, sex, great characterization, and a non-stop, action-filled plot).

The story revolves around the Egyptian mummy, Amara, and suspicious murders that begin to take place in the museum that houses her body. When police find Amara's coffin lid open, the body missing, and strange markings and hair fragments on the dead body of a nightwatchman, the mystery begins to take shape. When another set of murders take place with the same MO, police and museum officials begin to question whether supernatural forces might be at work. Surely there couldn't be any connection between the deaths and the thousand-year old mummy, could there?

Laymon does a great job providing the reader with a number of diverse subplots and interesting characters that all come together in the end. Of the twenty or so Laymon novels that I've read, "To Wake the Dead" may have the most complex plot because of all of those sidebars. Because of this and the great cast of characters in TWTD, the book now ranks in my top 10 of favorite Laymon stories. Yes, it's a little different than some of his other works, but I would feel confident in saying that most of Laymon's fans will really enjoy this book. NOTE: A later publication of the book is entitled "Amara". ( )
  coachtim30 | Aug 26, 2012 |
This book took about four days to read, not really because it was a good book but it took my mind off recent events. It was recommended to me by a girl I went to school with after my review on the last Stephen King novel I read.

The basis of this story is an age-old tale about the cursed mummies walking the earth after thousands of years and wreeking their vengeance. The main plot was good, but it was the side stories that (finally) joined up at the end that had me confused and wondering if the book had been a misprint of more than one.

His story telling and descriptive nature is very good, much like King especially around the gore and splatter, but what is his fascination with gratuitous (and sometime sado-masochistic) sex? Not that I mind sex myself, but it seemed somewhat 80s in its mix of horror and rumpy-pumpy. And if he can paint a picture on slash, he certainly has done his homework on the finer points of blowjobs!

Not bad, but not great. However in the interest of giving the guy a fair go, and because he was referred, I will get out another of his novels to see if it was just a bad’un. ( )
  scuzzy | Jun 13, 2011 |
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What may this mean / That thou, dead corse. / Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon, / Making night hideous? - William Shakespear, Hamlet, Act I, Scene iv
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Emil Saladat leaped down from the cab of the U-Haul van and rushed to the cover of bushes near the wall.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 084395468X, Mass Market Paperback)

An ancient beauty . . .

Amara was once the Princess of Egypt, the beautiful wife of Mentuhotep the First. Now, 4000 years later, she and her coffin are merely prized exhibits of the Charles Ward museum. Her lovely face and strong, young body are no more. If you were to look at her today you would see only a brittle bundle of bones and dried skin. But looks can be very deceiving. . . .

A missing mummy . . .

Barney, the museum’s night watchman, is the first to make the shocking discovery that the mummy’s coffin has been broken open. He immediately assumes it’s the work of grave-robbers who care nothing about the sanctity of the dead. But Barney doesn’t have a chance to do anything about it. Then two security guards come upon the open coffin and they too believe that the mummy has been stolen. What else could sane men think? By the time they realize the unbelievable truth, it’s far too late for them to do anything . . . ever again.

The walking dead!

Now Amara is once again freed from the cramped confines of her coffin, free to walk the earth, free to stalk her prey. Free to kill. Nothing can satisfy her deadly bloodlust. And no one can stop her. You cannot kill what is already dead.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

AMARA, Princess of Egypt, the once-beautiful wife of Mentuhotep the First, lies in her coffin in the Charles Ward museum. Dead these 4000 years, now she's just an inanimate bundle of withered skin and desiccated bone. Or is she? When Barney the nightwatchman, discovers that the mummy's coffin has been broken open, it seems grave-robbers are at work, out to steal valuable artefacts, just as their kind have done for centuries. It's a pity Barney and the guards can't tell the authorities how the mummy came to be missing. But the dead can't testify to anything. Now Amara is free again, driven by an ancient need that can only be assuaged at the cost of human life. No one can oppose her, no bullet can stop her and nothing can kill her - for she is dead already.… (more)

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