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The Dead [Hardcover]

Charlie Higson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Sep 2010

The second heart-stopping, mind-blowing book in this killer series - the Enemy is back.

A terrible disease is striking everyone over the age of fourteen.

Death walks the streets.

Nowhere is safe.

Maxie, Blue and the rest of the Holloway crew aren't the only kids trying to escape the ferocious adults who prey on them.

Jack and Ed are best friends, but their battle to stay alive tests their friendship to the limit as they go on the run with a mismatched group of other kids - nerds, fighters, misfits. And one adult. Greg, a butcher, who claims he's immune to the disease.

They must work together if they want to make it in this terrifying new world. But as a fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London, they realize they won't all survive

Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; First Edition, First Impression edition (16 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141384654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141384658
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Brutal, blood-soaked, full of zombies... It's ace (FHM)

Higson has got the balance of blood and gore just right (Daily Mirror)

Clever . . . fast-paced . . . inventive (Guardian)

About the Author

Charlie Higson is a well-known writer of screenplays and novels, and is the author of the phenomenally successful Young Bond series. He is also a performer and co-creator of The Fast Show and Radio Four's award-winning Down the Line series, which was recently made into a popular BBC2 sketch show, Bellamy's People. Charlie is a big fan of horror films and is now hoping to give a great many children sleepless nights with this series.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead brilliant! 4 Oct 2010
By pete
I was a bit worried when i found out that this book would be about a different group of kids and not the group from the enemy. But i was pleasantly surprised.
The action is great and the gore will genuinely make you squirm. The characters all have their own individual stories and you are gripped all the way
through. There are also some surprising twists that kep you reading further.
Overall, this book is amazing and if you are a teenage boy then you should get it. I really cant think of any other reason not to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead by Charlie Higson 9 Nov 2010
By Claire
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My son Adam age 11 wrote this review after a what seemed a very long wait for this book to come out.

I read The Enemy and loved it, I couldn't wait for The Dead to be released.

The book was really well written, a little wierd at the start but I enjoyed it. I would recommend buying this book if you like a good horror with loads of suspense. Another good thing about this book is, I found it didn't link to the first book, The Enemy, until a small part at the end, so if you havent read the Enemy you don't really need to worry.

Overall I would say,this is a, "must buy" book if you are a person who enjoys a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Zombies return 15 Mar 2011
Charlie Higson doesn't hold anything back in this full-on gory fright-fest. If you want to see a zombie story done well then you definitely need to check out `The Dead'. I was a little disappointed that this book wasn't a direct sequel to Higson's earlier book `The Enemy' which I read last year and thoroughly enjoyed. Instead, the story takes place one year before the events depicted in the first book and features a different set of boys. There is only a small amount of overlap between the two books with a few familiar faces appearing at the end but the premise of the story is the same.

The two main characters and best friends, Jack and Ed, are initially trapped in their school - fighting off attacks from their teachers. In the world that Higson has created, everyone over the age of 14 has been struck down by a disease which turns them into zombies. The only thing that will satisfy them is the taste of children's flesh. The boys soon realise that they must escape the school, so a small group of them set out for London in the hope of finding some kind of safety. Along the way they have to fight off attacks from numerous groups of ravaged adults who are looking for their next meal. I liked the relationship between Jack and Ed and the way in which they each have different strengths and weaknesses. They both have to adapt throughout the book and grow in character. They find themselves facing things which they never would have dreamt could happen.

It's also interesting seeing them trying to survive without adults making all the decisions for them. With the circumstances they're coping with, a wrong decision could have disastrous consequences.

Throughout the boys' journey, we learn more about the disease itself and what causes it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart pounding thriller 23 Sep 2010
The sequel to The Enemy is set a year before it, making it a prequel. Sort of.

Only a few weeks before the book begins, adults began falling prey to a strange new disease. Most of them died outright. The ones who are left are desperate for human flesh, and the only source left is children. Anyone over fourteen is dead or changed.

When the book begins the kids have been on their own for only a couple of weeks. Their new reality hasn't really sunk in yet. Most haven't realised how drastically the world has altered. It's not until a group holed up in a school dorm are attacked by the people who used to be their teachers that it really begins to sink in.

Abandoning the school, the group head for the countryside but are rapidly cut off and forced to retreat towards London. They're rescued by by a man driving a coach, the only uninfected adult they've seen in a long time. the roads of London are clogged with zombies, though, and it takes a long time before they find somewhere they can call home.

This book, if anything, is even more gory than the last. There are several loving descriptions of the zombies, including Greg and the one they nickname Pez. There's also a horrific sequence set in the Oval Cricket Ground. The protaganists aren't any safer in this one than they were in The Enemy, either, and it's an entirely new group this time around. There are fewer characters to keep track of this time, and most of the action comes from two specific characters, making it easier to keep track of who's doing what where for what reason.

The ending does provide two very clever links with The Enemy, though; one I saw coming and one I didn't, though I should have. From the way this one ends, I'm guessing the third will bring all our characters together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Violent, gruesome and packed with action. 22 Oct 2011
Anyone who read and enjoyed Charlie Higson's The Enemy will no doubt like The Dead. If you want to start with this one first, that's okay too since this is essentially a prequel. Readers are treated to a fast paced read filled with violent zombie action, and the author spares no sentiment in his descriptions of all things vile and gruesome.

The group of English school boys that make up the focus of this novel are all well portrayed. They are an interesting group, although I wish some had been more developed. Perhaps that is coming in the next installment of the series. They are easy to cheer for, and even break your heart when the author takes a break from the action to fully let us feel their emotions and fears.

While I enjoyed the read, it just barely squeaks into the four star category just because there's not much new here. I found myself skimming the last couple of chapters just to get to the end. Be forewarned, although this book has the feel of a classic boy's adventure story i.e. Lord of the Flies), it is packed with violence of the most gruesome sort. There are no happy endings with rainbows and kisses. The action is intense and the emotions powerful when beloved characters meet surprising ends. The author has a huge talent for gruesome imagery - pictures of piles of decaying and rotting bodies rife with maggots are ones likely to stay with readers of the sensitive sort.

Still, this is a good choice for older teen horror fans, especially reluctant readers who will enjoy the short chapters and the speed of light pacing. I am certainly on board for the next installment when the author is likely to merge the two stories and bring our two groups of kids together. Recommended.
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