I believe there were two events in the twentieth century that established the era of the post-apocalyptic zombie. The first was the publication of Richard Mathesonâ€™s I Am Legend in 1954; the second was the release of the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. Now, purists might argue that Mathesonâ€™s creatures were actually vampires, not zombies. Correct. But what he envisioned was a monster born of some global catastrophe not unlike the events depicted in World War Z. In previous decades, zombies were mainly slaves of the Haitian voodoo variety. And there werenâ€™t a lot of them. There is nothing more nightmarish than having the entire planet swarming with the infected.
I have only ever seen Night of the Living Dead on television, and still, it made a lasting impression. The line â€œTheyâ€™re coming to get you, Barbaraâ€ is forever burned into my brainâ€”a brain that those pesky ghouls probably want to munch on. I hadnâ€™t realized that John Russo, one of the screenwriters, had turned this iconic film into a novel. Having read the book, I can certainly see why.
Where the movie shows us the horror of being devoured by flesh-hungry ghouls, the book delves into the inner life of a few characters trying to survive something they simply donâ€™t understand. Iâ€™m pretty sure that if something like this happened today, we would be more prepared than those innocent folks, having been brought up on The Walking Dead and Z Nation. But in the book, these people are clueless. And they cannot fathom the idea that the dead are shuffling around, not to mention the fact that they are pretty damned hungry.
Try not to be jaded when you read this book. Remember, times were very different. The AIDS crisis hadnâ€™t happened yet, or swine flu, or any of the other horrible outbreaks weâ€™ve experienced in recent decades. The people in Night of the Living Dead were living small, ordinary lives. Then hell arrived.
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Newsweek calls NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD a, â€œTrue Horror Classic.â€
Why does NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD hit with such chilling impact? Is it because everyday people in a commonplace house are suddenly the victims of a monstrous invasion? Or is it because the ghouls who surround the house with grasping claws were once ordinary people, too?
Decide for yourself as you read, and the horror grips you. All the cannibalism, suspense and frenzy of the smash-hit are here in the novel.
This is the ORIGINAL novel by John A. Russo based on the screenplay by John A. Russo and George A. Romero.Â
Through scenes of political upheaval and protests in South Korea, spirited conversations in cramped dumpling houses, and the quiet moments that happen when two people fall in love,Â A Small RevolutionÂ is a moving narrative brimming with longing, love, fear, andâ€”ultimatelyâ€”hope.
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