At 180 pages, Return of the Living Dead by John A. Russo is what I refer to as a “quick read,” having done so in just under three hours on February 7, 2010.
A huge fan of the 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead, I was fairly certain I’d enjoy this book. And Return of the Living Dead was a fun reading experience, but it was also plagued by grammatical errors and typos, which are a big pet peeve of mine when it comes to a published novel, especially one I know had to have been reprinted at least once since 1970.
Nitpicking aside, the story delivered what I expected: a rural community under attack from zombies. There was ooey gooey graphic consumption of human flesh, emotional turmoil, and humans actin’ a fool.
Mostly, I enjoyed Russo’s ability to go one step further to make the situation that much worse for the characters just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse. Their desperation and inability to process any of the emotions that would accompany such a situation added to the book’s overall feeling of hopelessness. However, I wonder, did Russo intend to make the looters and rapists come across scarier and more intimidating than the zombies?
Here’s the blurb from the back cover:
AT DAWN THEY WAKE…
They’re back. The terror from beyond the grave returns once more in John Russo’s nightmarish classic Return of the Living Dead. And their taste for blood is as strong as ever.
After a bus turns over in a quiet American town, the entire country is thrown into the grip of the hands of the dead–or undead. No one is safe from the flesh-eating ghouls who have risen from their deathbeds to feed on the living. As the horror spreads, the blood begins to flow. But can their craving for living flesh be stopped?
Wanna read more zombie lit? I found two lists that may be of interest: