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The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World / Brian Keene

thrising-scenes.jpgDelirium Books / December 2007
Reviewed by: Jeff Burk

Brian Keene is back with his third short story collection, The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World. This time each of the stories explores an aspect of his dual-novel epic The Rising and City of the Dead. The book is composed of thirty-two short stories, each about six to eight pages. Beginning with the first zombie to rise and concluding with the end of the world, Keene provides short vignettes exploring the devastation in every corner of the planet. Cannibalism, serial killers, cults, crazed-soldiers, and, of course, zombies take center stage in each Grand Guignol-style tale.

In the last few stories, which take place after the events of City of the Dead, is where the book really shines, as the zombiism spreads to insect and plant life. The reader even gets a glimpse of the final destruction of Earth, as walking trees, swarms of ticks, and fire monsters move the book away from zombies and into the realm of the surreal.

Primarily known as a novel writer, short fiction has never been Keene's strength; yet these stories rank amongst his best works. Even with just a scant few pages, Keene is able to create moving characters and thrilling scenes. At points, the stories border on becoming monotonous, with looping plots of survivors hiding, something appropriately freaky happening, and the survivors dying. Repetition aside, there are more than enough surprises to keep readers engrossed through the last page.

If the names Troll, Worm, and Ob mean nothing to you, this book is not for you. But if you cannot get enough of Brian Keene's zombie universe, this is a wonderful companion piece to his two novels. Reading like a love-letter to his hardcore fans, The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World is sure to delight those starving for a few more morsels of Keene's violent and bloody zombie mythos.

Pre-Order Brian Keene's The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World 

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 11:50AM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

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