Customer Reviews for

Dying to Live: A Novel of Life among the Undead

Average Rating 4.5
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

This is an intriguing intelligent zombie thriller

Almost one year ago, the dead began to reanimate. The zombie infestation spread and soon few humans are left to choose fight or flight. Jonah Caine, a former English Lit professor, has been alone for most of this time. He prays that he find other humans, but so far h...
Almost one year ago, the dead began to reanimate. The zombie infestation spread and soon few humans are left to choose fight or flight. Jonah Caine, a former English Lit professor, has been alone for most of this time. He prays that he find other humans, but so far has not met anyone except the undead.

Needing food, he enters a dead urban center in which the abandoned jewelry store is stocked but the liquor store has one bottle of bad bourbon left. Jonah knows how dangerous the urban centers are so hr hopes to leave soon. At a convenience store he hits the jackpot with Twinkies and snow ball cakes until zombies attack him. He kills some and flees with the zombies in chase when a man with a bullhorn calls to him. His first human he has mot seen in weeks, perhaps months. They rescue him. Their leader is Jack Lawson who welcomes Jonah into the group staying inside the Museum of Science and History. He meets Doc a former dental hygienist turned medical practitioner and the odd Milton who is different yet obsessed with rebuilding civilization; it is the latter he finds stimulating as they intellectually discuss philosophy.

This is an intriguing intelligent zombie thriller that hooks the audience from the opening when Jonah kills from a tree house. Kim Paffenroth effortlessly intertwines plenty of action with literary commentary and philosophy. Besides obvious names like Jonah and Milton, there are references from the bible, Dante's Inferno and works of the Bard. Yet with all that the story line is loaded with action. However, it is the optimism of Milton contrasted to the grim description of a dead America especially the small Midwest city that keeps the reader's interest in a strong fresh zombie tale.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on September 12, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Seems familiar....

Any zombie fan ever read day by day armegeddon? If not read it because this book is pretty much an exact copy of it and is much better than this pile of rotting crap.

posted by 6408752 on March 29, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Seems familiar....

    Any zombie fan ever read day by day armegeddon? If not read it because this book is pretty much an exact copy of it and is much better than this pile of rotting crap.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is an intriguing intelligent zombie thriller

    Almost one year ago, the dead began to reanimate. The zombie infestation spread and soon few humans are left to choose fight or flight. Jonah Caine, a former English Lit professor, has been alone for most of this time. He prays that he find other humans, but so far has not met anyone except the undead.

    Needing food, he enters a dead urban center in which the abandoned jewelry store is stocked but the liquor store has one bottle of bad bourbon left. Jonah knows how dangerous the urban centers are so hr hopes to leave soon. At a convenience store he hits the jackpot with Twinkies and snow ball cakes until zombies attack him. He kills some and flees with the zombies in chase when a man with a bullhorn calls to him. His first human he has mot seen in weeks, perhaps months. They rescue him. Their leader is Jack Lawson who welcomes Jonah into the group staying inside the Museum of Science and History. He meets Doc a former dental hygienist turned medical practitioner and the odd Milton who is different yet obsessed with rebuilding civilization; it is the latter he finds stimulating as they intellectually discuss philosophy.

    This is an intriguing intelligent zombie thriller that hooks the audience from the opening when Jonah kills from a tree house. Kim Paffenroth effortlessly intertwines plenty of action with literary commentary and philosophy. Besides obvious names like Jonah and Milton, there are references from the bible, Dante's Inferno and works of the Bard. Yet with all that the story line is loaded with action. However, it is the optimism of Milton contrasted to the grim description of a dead America especially the small Midwest city that keeps the reader's interest in a strong fresh zombie tale.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    I've seen a lot of zombie movies and read a lot of zombie books. Dying to Live blows them all out of the water. It's intense, thrilling and easy to get wrapped up in. The perfect book to get you in the Halloween spirit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Intelligent horror

    Dying to Live, both the original and this book, the sequel, are heralded as "the intelligent man's zombie novel" and I can't think of a better description than that.

    The second book picks up twelve years after the first as Zoey, the baby rescued at the end of the first book, prepares to be inducted into life as an adult-in-training. Between Jack, Will (aka Popcorn) and Milton (the other zombie Christ figure) the survivors have branched out quite a bit from their initial encampment in a museum. Now part of a prosperous town, with the zombie threat so far diminished that terror and survival has given way to a ritualistic reverence of the ambulatory dead, Zoey concentrates with precocious skill on the nature of their existence and surviving in a new kind of world.

    As she faces danger from zombies and other humans she slices into the nature of the people around her (dead, living and somewhere between) with a painfully keen intellect. Harder-core horror fans shouldn't be disappointed. Through the commentary on human nature there are fights, gore, moaning undead and more.

    There are also peculiar things happening among the dead, including a pair of zombies who seem to remember their lives before death, and who refuse to be dismissed as mere mindless creatures of hunger. Truman, once a philosophy professor, now a dead man, challenges the town's perceptions of the creatures who destroyed the world with his refusal to eat flesh and his joy of reading.

    And because Paffenroth himself is a shrewd flayer of human behavior, there are not-so-subtle reminders that the walking dead are far less sinister than the living who embrace cruelty and savagery.

    It's very readable, smooth and insightful. Intelligently horrific and outright beautiful in places, it's a must-read for zombie fans looking for something more than a zombie uprising story of a motley crew being picked off one by one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2012

    This book, the third in the Dying to Live line, was an excellent

    This book, the third in the Dying to Live line, was an excellent read. I've found Kim Paffenroth's books to read a bit differently (style and his thought process) but I've also found this to be a refreshing change. These books are a unique take on the Zombie theme that will make you think about larger issues. If you're looking for more than just another apocalyptic work then you've come to the right place.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Interesting

    Pretty good writing, interesting, kinda slow at times.

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  • Posted July 30, 2012

    The author admits his main influnces are the Bible and Dante's I

    The author admits his main influnces are the Bible and Dante's Inferno and you can tell because he quotes them about every other page, a little annoying. The story pulled me in right away but came to an aprupt ending, but what can you expect for 180 pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    Hmm

    What is up with these reviews? I read all of the and it seems like they are for ten different books!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    George Romero movies then this is the book for you!!!!!!

    If you enjoy watching George Romero,Resident Evil films then ,,,Kim Paffenroth Trilogy "Dying To Live" is a Must Read. Warning you will get Addicted One of the Best Trilogy I have read .Great Work........ *** Bram Stoker Award ****

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    Get this Book

    This is just one of those zombie books you should really read. This is the first zombie book I'd ever read at the time, and i really enjoyed it. I love the characters, the gore, and Milton definitely gives this story a twist!

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  • Posted December 5, 2011

    A thinking man's zombie novel

    - I don't think there is a better way of describing this book in one sentence. If you are fan of the genre, but you are tired about repeating the same stories, tired of two dimensional, buffed like Superman heroes, if you want to read about normal people and their problems in the time of zombie apocalypse - this is a book for you. It's amazing how the author manages to touch some philosophical and psychological aspects of life in the destroyed world without boring readers to death.

    Solid title, few ideas you probably didn't saw ever before. Give it a try and you won't regret it.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Great read

    Absolutely a great read! Not your typical zombie novel though; more of a mixture of a zombie novel and "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". Well worth the read, even for non-zombie fans (if there really is such a person).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    Best of a great series!

    All three of the Dying to Live series are must-read, but Last Rites is by far the best and most character-driven of the three. Truman's character especially is fully fleshed out. Paffenroth is much more character oriented than most zombie fiction authors, so it's really pleasant if you're not into the same old action packed zombie books. There's plenty going on, but Last Rites really gets you thinking. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    could NOT put it down

    as a lover of traditional zombies i was skeptical but i loved this book! top notch character development. very interesting. this story will pull you in, sink its teeth in and wont let go.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    wow!

    very good read! page turner!

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Great and Interesting

    A good portion of the Dying to Live series. This book begins where book 2 left off, following Will, Rachel, Truman and Lucy after they've been tossed from their only home.

    This book is written in third person from the perspective of each of the four on the journey.

    The story is about love and hate, fear and understanding... and mostly about sacrifice.

    I missed Truman's journal style and wished for a touch more action. But a really good read all the same.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    Really love this story.

    Hated to see it end. The struggles of man-kind continue years into the Zombie plague. Told from the perspective of a bright and curious child who only knows the world as it is now, not as it once was.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    Great book about pain and survival

    Trying to survive and finding a pocket of other survivors Jonah is a man without purpose. In the beginning he was looking for his family... but now? He is wandering. Then accidentally finds a home.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Words can't express the greatness

    From the first page this book grabs you and just won't let go. This book forced me to enter into a reading binge that I could not stop. Such a great book I ordered the next book and preordered the third one. Hope there is a fourth book because I just don't want to quit reading.

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    Human side of a not so human issue

    The book was a good read...fast paced..not too much detail to overwhelm the brain and I have to say the amount of research done in order to portray the Military weaponry was very well done. The romance/human side of always hoping for better and making certain sacrafices is really a key issue here. One question for me remains un-answered though..(I am hoping I just missed the detail) where is the wide wide world of sports did they get the fuel for the helicopter?? Now I am being picky..I would not hesitate to recommend to others and I already have loaned my hardcover to 6 different folks who said they could not put it down. ENJOY!!

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