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3.3 out of 5 stars12
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 3 October 2003
I have been a big fan of Richard Laymon and have all off his books. I was saddened by his death and eagerly awaited any new releases. When To Wake the Dead was coming out, I pre-ordered it and waited excitedly for it's delivery. I was so disappointed when it had arrived as it IS AMARA which I already owned. DO NOT order this book if you already own Amara or you will be disappointed too.
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VINE VOICEon 14 June 2007
This is another Great novel by Laymon, suspenceful, funny and gory - totally unputdownable. I would definatky recomend this book to horror or Laymon fans.

To Wake The Dead is the American title for "Amara" so the two books are he same - if you own Amara than DO NOT buy this as it is exactly the same book.
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on 5 September 2003
If you already have the book Amara DO NOT buy this book. This is the same book as Amara with a different title. This is not one of his best books, infact it is a short story that has been extended (the short story appears around the middle of the book). If your new to Laymon try The Travelling Vampire Show, 1 Rainy Night or Body Rides instead.
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on 8 July 2011
Robert Callahan interrupts a burglary at his house, kills the burglars and saves his stuff, but in the process breaks the seal on Amara's sarcophagus letting her loose, to murder and destroy, but only at night (?). Callahan dies, badly, and his stuff, including Amara's sarcophagus gets donated to the Charles Ward Museum (!) where the killing continues.

The killings are "investigated" by assistant curator Susan Connors, who is carrying on with fellow staffer Taggart Parker, who is himself being stalked by the grotty, fat, stupid Mabel, who, more pathetic than menacing, is dumber than your pet rock.

All of this could have been a fairly entertaining mummy-on-a-rampage story that could have been a good pulp page-turner if Laymon hadn't left it, and his characters, so underdeveloped. The story also suffers from the fact that Laymon just didn't seem to have any idea as where to go with this idea, as Amara wakes, kills, falls asleep, wash, rinse, repeat. And that's it, with the story crawling on for fifty pages too long, and ending with a clichéd direct-to-DVD explosion.

Unfortunately this novella didn't come to the party alone. "To Wake The Dead" is also printed with a concurrent novella that is braided into the mummy-on-a-rampage storyline. This is essentially a poor, pointless, plotless, pornographic grindhouse bit of torture porn roughie involving two people that have been kidnapped and are relentlessly raped and mutilated. This storyline goes nowhere, slowly, as more captives come and go, while the tedium never ends. This tenaciously mediocre story meanders endlessly, with our captives finally cooking up an escape plot, which never happens. If over a hundred pages of pointless, tone-deaf, and conversely, banal, sexual terrorism is your thing, then prepare to be thrilled into a state resembling an orgasmic induced coma. The denouement, if you can call it that, is a true HUH?!? moment.

The problem is that either of these novellas could have been developed into something with a little effort. Well, okay, not the second one, but at least the mummy-on-a-rampage storyline coulda been. As is, the Amara story works best, but that's like saying that stepping into a pile of cow turds is better than stepping into a pile of dog turds because the cow turds smell better.

Richard Laymon is, along with V. C. Andrews and Robert E. Howard, one of the most prolific dead writers around, and it shows. These two novellas are clearly either rough drafts, the outlines for two separate novellas that couldn't find a market while Laymon was alive, or, they were ghost written by somebody so utterly incompetent that they couldn't be counted on to write bad graffiti on a bathroom wall. While this is marketed as a novel, except for a brief few pages, neither novellas ever intersect.

Another problem is that the book is bloated with too many extraneous characters that go nowhere, and exist for no reason except to pump up the word count. These would include a fearful and oversexed Egyptian, a sad blind girl, a trio of runaways, and a midget transvestite (!). These plotlines are never wrapped up, as too many really important questions are left unanswered, and with most of the cardboard characters literally just driving off novel's pages into nowhere.

This overlong "novel" remained unpublished at Laymon passing, and for good reason. However, it certainly couldn't have hurt to have had SOMEBODY either re-write or edit these novellas into some semblance of coherency, or quality. Dean Koontz gives a decent anecdote about Laymon that was vaguely interesting, but pretty was pretty much non-essential. I remember liking Laymon's early stories, but this is the first thing, that is also known as "Amara", that I read after fifteen years, and what a sad misogynistic visitation this was. I guess I've grown up some since then. Only for the very, very easily amused. One generous star.
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on 8 September 2003
This story is one of the best, but this book is the same story as AMARA.
I love all of Richard Laymon's books and have most of them.
This one was brilliant.
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on 21 September 2007
As i did with Richards book 'Into the Fire'i was thrilled to see 'To Wake the Dead' a book of his on Amazon that i do not own.Being an addicted fan i emediatly ordered both books.To my huge disappointment on opening my eagerly awaited for package,i discovered that 'To Wake the Dead' was actualy 'Amara' which i already own.I know i should of read the books review before buying, but i was so delighted at possibly finding a previously unpublished book of Richards that i forgot.I feel that Amazon could of informed buyers that this book like 'Into the Fire' was also known under its original title
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on 10 July 2008
It seems to me all the people giving this book two starts or less are just angry that they didn't do a bit of re search before buying it as it was quite clear before buying it that it was the same book if you checked the synopsis out anywhere. If your already a fan of Laymon you'll love this book. If you haven't tried him then this is as good a place as any to start out. I would really only have gave this book 4 starts but as other people have gave it one and two stars for the wrong reason I though I'd level things out.
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on 22 May 2009
This is really a collection of several short stories crudely edited together to form what is purported to be a novel. Like the curate's egg, it is good in parts, but it would probably have been better left as three short stories.

Laymon probably didn't intend for this to be published in this form. he has written much better stuff: I'd recommend Night in the Lonesome October and The Travelling Vampire Show to new readers.
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on 27 December 2012
Although most of Richard Laymon's stories are always along the same lines, and you can pretty much predict what is going to happen I still don't tire of his stories and trying to guess from the beginning how each of the separate story lines are going to come together in the end, who is going to die and who is going to survive.

This one doesn't disappoint! :)
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on 4 December 2013
good read but I refuse to write so much for each little object and do will cut and paste this into each section to avoid having to retype endlessly.
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