Book Review: The Walking Dead Book One

Title/Author:  The Walking Dead Book One by Robert Kirkman
(Issues 1-12)

Genre:  Graphic Novel, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies

Published:  Octhober 12th, 2010 by Image Comics

Hardcover, 307 pages

How I Got the Book:  Checked it out from my library

Why I Picked It Up?:  Dudes, I freakin’ LOVE the AMC show!  So I wanted to read the inspiration and basis for this unbelievably fantastic Zombie show!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “This hardcover features the first 12 issues of the hit series along with the covers for the issues in one oversized hardcover volume. Perfect for long time fans, new readers and anyone needing a slightly heavy object with which to fend off the walking dead.”

My Review of the Work:

I am a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, which just finished season two last month.  The show is absolutely phenomenal!  Aside from the awesome Zombie-ness, the show also has incredible character development and an intesnse story-line.  And since they based the show on the graphic novel, I was super excited to check it out!

The story focuses on Rick, who is a police officer in a small town in Kentucky.  One day on the job, he gets shot and goes in to a coma.  When he finally wakes up, the hospital is empty, and dead people are laying in the halls.  He tries to find someone alive and stumbles from a room full of ZOMBIES!  Not knowing what happened or where his family is, he heads out for Atlanta, to the place where his wife and son would have gone if they were in trouble.  When he gets to Atlanta, he finds the city completely inhabited with Zombies, and he is surrounded.  A young man named Glen spots him and helps him out of the city to his camp of survivors, where he finds his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, along with his best friend, Shane.  This group of people just live each and every day trying to survive in this post-apocalyptic world filled with Zombies.

As my first graphic novel, I have to talk a little about the graphic novel in general.  I was worried about the whole “comic” idea, but I found really easy to read.  It is, quite literally, reading pictures rather than paragraphs of descriptions, and then you have the dialogue bubbles to understand the plot development.  Surprisingly, I found that I enjoyed it!  I will probably read some more!

That being said, The Walking Dead Book One was…an interesting experience.  I probably set my hopes too high, and maybe that is why I was a little disappointed with the first 12 issues of The Walking Dead.  I already knew, from watching interviews with the director and cast, that there were a lot of plot and character changes.  So from that perspective, the novel didn’t really bother me.  Some of the characters I love in the show were completely different on paper.  Shane is such a flat character who is just mean and rude and has zero character development.  However, had I read this before I saw the show, he probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much.

Taking out the differing characters and plot, there were still some things that really bothered me about this first book.  There is a lot of vulgar and derogitory language in this novel that I just really didn’t expect or appreciate.  Yes, I can understand that in a world full of Zombies, people will probably use some choice words, especially when frustrated or depressed.  That being said, there were just some vulgar words used that really could have been left out and the emotion could still have been conveyed without them.

Another issue I had was some of the dialogue, especially from Rick.  I understand that in graphic novels you have to explain things via dialogue, but does it have to be so dry and lecture-like?  In many scenes, Rick is giving instructions (as he is the leader), but the way in which he says his lines goes against his character that has been developed already.  It was just a little awkward and strange, sometimes, that’s all.

Overall, I probably had a less-than-awesome experience with the first book in The Walking Dead series because I was expecting something different.  That is why I am still going to continue the series, because I don’t have any expectations about where the series goes from here.  Hopefully Book Two will give me a better feeling!

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Second Shelf Book.

Maybe I set my hopes too high, but I just didn’t like the characters as much.  The differences between the show and the novel are huge!  There was way more vulgarity than I expected, and I didn’t like that.  I will continue with the series, especially  now that I know it is so different from the show! Maybe I’ll like Book 2 better!

Love and Miami Ink,
Jennifer

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