Book Review – Dawn of the Dead by George A. Romero and Susanna Sparrow

Dawn of the Dead
by George A. Romero & Susanna Sparrow
Courtesy of Gallery Books
Release Date: May 26, 2015

dawn of the dead

When it comes to movie adaptions of books, the literary version usually trumps the screen version every time. This is often attributed to the fact a movie can only present so much in an allotted timeframe, whereas a book can present just about anything it wants. I often read the book prior to seeing the movie because this allows me to create my own images of each character, instead of picturing the actor/actress in each scene. DAWN OF THE DEAD is a unique scenario for me because I didn’t even realize a book version existed. Therefore, when I read it, I couldn’t help but picture the cast of the film in my head as each scene played out. But even so, the book is just as entertaining as the film, and I suggest fans of Romero’s celluloid classic snatch up a copy of this one as soon as possible.

If you are not familiar with DAWN OF THE DEAD, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Gallery Books:

The novel of the classic horror film, with an introduction by Simon Pegg!

George A. Romero terrified a generation with his iconic horror film and with this cult-classic novel. Immerse yourself in this unparalleled vision from the revered master of the zombie apocalypse…and be terrified all over again.

Zombies have overpowered the living and ravaged the world. Society has collapsed as humans race to save themselves. No one knows how far the creatures have spread, or how to stop them. In downtown Philadelphia, four people escape the chaos and find shelter in a vacated shopping mall. But as their greed spirals and the undead close in, their haven for waiting out the end of the world becomes the last battleground for survival. And there is nowhere left to hide…

I love how Simon Pegg was picked to write the introduction. SEAN OF THE DEAD is a hilarious horror-comedy, but it’s also a silent homage to the terrifying world Romero created. As such, Pegg makes the perfect person to set the foundation of the book.

DAWN OF THE DEAD is written well and flows nicely, just like its screen companion. The prose is not overdrawn or lengthy, but reads quickly instead, allowing the action and the intensity to mesh into the story. I like this attribute, as it makes the book a quick read and an adrenaline-fueled trip into terror.

The story is very much like the film, however we get much more backstory. I found some reviews from readers who did not like this aspect, saying it bogged the story down; I disagree. I think the deeper exposition gives us a broader picture of the characters as well as the plot. This grants a more fulfilling experience with the story.

DAWN OF THE DEAD is a definite literary win for me. I recommend it to fans of the film and anyone looking for an introduction into Romero’s dark world. The book is available now in a variety of formats, so give it a look.


3 thoughts on “Book Review – Dawn of the Dead by George A. Romero and Susanna Sparrow

  1. Is this the novelization of the Snyder remake from 2004 or for the Romero original from 1978? Because there was a version that was released in 1978 (that of course didn’t have the introduction by Simon Pegg of “Shaun of the Dead”). I think I read somewhere this was the re-release that still followed the old plotline but no longer included the photos from the 1978 film.

    • Hi, Liza. Thanks for your question.

      This book is the novelization for the Romero film. The copy I read was a review copy and it did not come with pictures, but I’m not sure of the marketed version did or not. Hope this helps!

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