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on 16 April 2012
Having watched the first two seasons of The Walking Dead and hearing about the variations in the story I thought I would give the books a try. First things first, the price. At £15 (price at time of purchase) I couldnt beat this. Waterstones was the only high street bookshop I could even find this in and it was priced at £29.99! I purchased this using next day delivery option. I purchased this item on the 25th March with the estimated delivery time of 1-3 weeks. As usual with Amazon they overestimated how long it would take them to get this in stock and I received this on the 4th April.

The Book:

Fantastic story, with it being a graphic novel it doesnt take long to read. I finished it within 1 day picking it up periodically. Season 1 & 2 of the walking dead covers most of the action from book 1 in this series, but so much more happens in the book! It is understandable why they have left some moments out of the tv version as a hell of a lot happens in this edition!

If you like the tv show, buy the books!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 November 2009
I'd never heard of Robert Kirkman or his ongoing comic series The Walking Dead but I've always had rather a soft spot for zombies, bless 'em, so when Amazon recommended Book 1 I gave it a shot & was utterly glad I did! This is by far the most exciting, fun, gory & thought-provoking series I've seen in a long time!

If you haven't heard of The Walking Dead before, it opens with small-town cop Rick waking up from a coma in a deserted hospital, to find that the area has been overrun by the living dead. Like the beginning of 28 Days Later, this puts us straight into the action without having to summarise how this came about. Anyway, Rick heads to Atlanta to look for his family, only to find it's one big zombiefest. He soon teams up with some other survivors & since military rescue doesn't seem to be forthcoming, they set about clearing the zombies out of the local prison, so they can set up camp there. This echoes the shopping mall in Dawn Of The Dead.

In theory, that would be a good plan, as they have fences & high walls to keep out the undead. In practise, these people are traumatised & constantly surrounded by danger, so tend to implode during lulls in the action, when they have too much time on their hands to contemplate the madness around them. They also find that there are other survivors out there & not all of them are friendly - after all, a key dynamic in George A. Romero's classic zombie flicks was always conflicts among the living - particularly in Night of the Living Dead.

Because believable characters are so important, this series would only work if it was incredibly well written - and it is. Kirkman is incredibly economical, fitting a huge amount of character development into brief lulls in the action. He's brutally unsentimental, too, fleshing out characters in interesting ways & then suddenly killing them off. No one is safe - he proves time & again that any character can be killed off at any time. That really makes this series work.

This collection covers #1-48 of the comic, also reproduced as #1-8 of the softcover trade paperbacks & #1-4 of the hardcovers. This is only the first part of the story but it ends at the completion of a major storyline, so can be read as a complete book in itself. This collection is incredibly good value, too - this material would cost around £70 if you bought the hardcovers, around £55 if you bought the softcovers. The only problem with it is that it's hard to resist the temptation to read great chunks of it in one sitting & see hours race by!
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on 25 March 2014
It has been ages since a TV show grabbed my attention. I burned through the first season and waited for the second, completely oblivious to the fact that it was based on a comic book still running strong till a friend told me. I hesitated ordering it till the finale of Season three of the TV series thinking that the book would spoil it for me but I did and to my shock, the book is different when it comes to the storyline. True, the characters are the same and some of the settings (like the prison and the farm - these two are in the book as well) but what they go through in the books are different from what they suffer in the series. For those out there thinking the books or the TV series would spoil the other, you are wrong. At the time of writing this, the two are not completely related except the characters.

With that out of the way, the book does a splendid job of juggling between zombies chomping and human brutality in a world where the living come back from the dead. Different characters have different back-stories that just doesn't make them extras in a book but a person you 'may' relate to.

One thing I may add here which I don't think a lot of reviews have touched here. The storyline is not for the weak of heart. There are underlying tones of suicide, torture, rape and many other crude stuff. This is certainly not the kind of book you would buy for your 13 year old nephew or grandson. Characters change and develop when they go through such horrors and how they overcome (or don't) is something that makes this book unique.

As for the compendium itself, its a collection of first 49 issues of the comic series still running strong. Its an excellent value for money. The book itself is split in chapters (not issues) so you won't be disturbed with pages that say 'End of issue One' that goes up to 49. Its a neatly compiled book gives you necessary breaks between chapters for you to catch your breath. On the service side, the condition of the book was neat, clean and the delivery was fast.

Overall, an excellent book for adults that is excellent value for money, considering you are not paying for 49 comic issues but one. Recommended for all mature comic book readers out there.
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VINE VOICEon 8 June 2013
This is the latest volume in The Walking Dead series, tales of survival in a world of the dead.

I have to admit to being stunned after the last volume of the walking dead (17) and wondering where this was going next.

Kirkman has handled this beautifully here. There's no one dimensional bad guy here and no stereotype being recycled, this is a whole new kind of monster But if this shows us anything it's that this is a new kind of Rick, a new kind of Carl and the survivors are not who they were.

This is building beautifully and I couldn't put this down racing through it in one session.

Truly gripping and a sign the series is still thriving.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 September 2009
The Walking Dead is an ongoing black-and-white comic book series about a group of survivors looking for sanctuary in an America which has been overrun by zombies. Book One of the hardcover releases ended with Rick & his not-so-merry band finding a prison which they hope will protect them from the overwhelming hordes of walking dead. But first, they'll have to clear out the zombies which are already inside. They also encounter a group of former prisoners - but can they be trusted?

This volume covers #13-24 of the comic, or #3-4 of the softcover TPB's. Aside from including cover art from the original comics & a couple of sketches, it's printed in an oversized format, which really brings out the best in Adlard's atmospheric art.

Fans of Book One may find this hard to believe but Book 2 is actually even better. Events progress at break-neck speed with so many shocks & cliff-hangers that I could not put it down & read almost all of it in one sitting. The writing is incredibly economical, with every panel crammed with action, or character development, or both. The survivors become embroiled in several thought-provoking, ethically murkey situations. Seeing how the pressures of leadership affect Rick is especially satisfying - he may have started off as an all-American hero but he is quickly becoming something more well-rounded & unsettling.

The Walking Dead ticks all the boxes - it's action-packed, touching, thought-provoking and has zombies by the skipload. What more could you possibly want?
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on 17 February 2012
This is one of those volumes where not a great deal happens but the scene is set for whatever the next major arc will be. It reminds me of why I follow the series in trade format as this run of issues would be interminable on a monthly 22 page basis.
Basically the characters are dealing with the last scuffle and a chunk of the story is dealing with whether one character survives. Thanks to Kirkman's ability to kill off pretty much anyone, we know this character is by no means safe so this does create some tension. The rest of the story is more about making their new home as safe as possible and thinking of creating a community that can survive into the future. The problem is that the original residents of the new home aren't all happy that Rick and crew have taken charge and there are even hints of a split within Rick's own crew. Like I said, it's all foreshadowing that I'm sure will pay off eventually but we'll probably have to wait at least another 6 months before we get the pay-off. Regular readers of the series will know what I'm talking about, I'm sure. It's not bad it's just a bit insubstantial.
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on 30 May 2009
Not much more needs to be said than this collects volumes 1-8 of Robert Kirkman's superb Walking Dead series. At over 1000 pages this is a zombie epic, with terrific black and white graphics, understated dialogue, outstanding characterisation, an ever evolving cast, gruesome deaths, peppered with some fantastic plot twists. I am not a Zombie comic fan, but this compendium is irresistible. A+
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Twenty third volume in the series of paperbacks which collects issues of popular horror comic the Walking Dead, which is all about a group of people struggling to survive when the world is overrun by zombies.

This collects issues 133 to 138 of the comic. It's not a good jumping on point for new readers. Who should start with volume one.

The paperback follows the usual format in that it runs all six issues worth of black and white art together into one long narrative, although you can usually tell where one issue ends and the next one starts.

The last volume saw Rick's new society continuing to grow, whilst a new threat suddenly appears. So this picks up from that cliffhanger.

Said new threat allows for some suspensful and exciting early action scenes. But then doesn't go the way you might have expected, as more about it is revealed.

What happens next as a result does allow for this volume to concentrate on a central theme. The new world Rick is building, and many of the moral arguments that result from the choices he's made to get this new society working. Some interesting discussions result.

As does another threat that none of them see coming. Which leads to some very suspensful moments as someone's fate is in the balance.

The large cast of characters the series now has means that some don't feature very much. If at all. In particular Rick, who is absent from the narrative for a lot of it. Some things that the last volume set up barely get touched on, so presumably the series will come back to them in due course.

But one regular character, who makes a couple of brief appearances here and no more, might just break your heart.

By the end, someone has a made a choice. Which will leave you desperate to know what will happen next as a result.

One hundred and thirty eight issues in, but there's still plenty of life in this series. Roll on volume twenty four.
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on 29 December 2015
I bought this for a Christmas present for my son and as I bought it back in October is it now not eligible for return. The reason I am not happy with it is because it has completely blank pages throughout Chapter 2. I should have checked before I wrapped it up but thought as it was from Amazon it would be okay but I urge future customers to check as it completely ruins the book and the story. I could have taken photos of many more pages like those attached. My son was completely gutted as you would expect and I am not very happy!!!
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on 20 May 2013
This monster of a book is about 5cm thick and weighs in at a huge 2.1kg so brace yourself when lifting it and bend your knees or you'll do your back in! I don't really have much more to add to the existing reviews; this is a must-have whether you've watched the TV series or not.

However, I will say that I much preferred the artwork in the first chapter. For me, Tony Moore's art is cleaner and more detailed than the Charlie Adlard/Cliff Rathburn partnership. It's not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but I'm disappointed that Moore's work only featured in just one of the eight chapters. I do understand, though, that this is purely a subjective matter and no doubt many of you will disagree with me on the artwork thing.

Take a look at the photos I've uploaded for an idea of what I mean.

Whatever you think about the art, this compendium is well worth the money and represents excellent value at £28 (60p an issue). The same content in the hardback books would set you back about £66. The hardbacks are very nice but I couldn't justify the extra expense. If you can afford it, then definitely go for the hardbacks.
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