Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist

I got a copy of Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Linqvust from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. I didn't really care much for this book for several reasons. It's not really a bad book. In fact I think it's pretty good, but it's really not for me.

First off, this is being marketed as a horror novel, but isn't really a horror novel at all. Yes there are reanimated corpses, but I tend to be of the opinion that, much like vampires, that doesn't make a horror novel. What horror needs is to be horrifying. This book is not horrifying in any way. The titular undead aren't standard flesh eaters. They don't kill people. They're figures of pity, not terror.

Secondly, I don't much care for the translation. This is an American edition of the book, but the publishers seem to have gone with a British translation. I know what the British words mean, but for an American audience, you'd be better off using a translation geared for Americans.

Thirdly, this book is kind of slow moving. The dead come back. The government hauls them off. Their families fret a bit. Some try to hide the "reliving." Really, there's far to little action.

This is the sort of book that's supposed to make you think, and it does that, but fiction should also be entertaining, and this really wasn't very entertaining at all. I give it three yo-yos.