Guide Raising Stony Mayhall

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And he thinks, not only intelligently, but deeply and ponders questions like, "What is that spark of life? One cold blizzard evening, Wanda Mayhall and her daughters come upon Stony and his birth mother by the side of the road, almost frozen and certainly looking dead. Stony's mother doesn't make it, but miraculously he does. The Mayhalls bundle him up and bring him back to their farm and then realize what he is, a zombie baby.

He seems almost like any average human newborn, except for his gray skin and inability to eat or sleep. Wanda decides to keep and raise the baby on the farm, instead of informing the authorities. Stony grows despite all the things mentioned in the above paragraph and learns to live as human. However, there's always something missing or feels not quite right in his life and he doesn't realize what it is until he meets other living dead and live among them.

Then to his disappointment, he finds out he's not quite like other zombies either because he was raised by a human family, which brings up that age-old question of nature vs. It's alternate, yet familiar history. The War in Vietnam never happens and the Cold War never happens either. Instead the US government is fighting a silent war against an unstoppable viral outbreak that, if spread again, can spread at an alarming rate.

The world Stony lives in is a world that traps itself in a police state for fear of another outbreak, and while people comply with zero-zombie-tolerance laws and regulations, there are some who help the living dead as part of a network that runs all across the country. The infection is passed on through saliva entering the bloodstream. After 48 hours, the infected regain control of themselves and a majority resume whatever state of mind they were in before the infection, though there are a few who never recover.

The living dead can die and be killed, but they don't feel pain or heal themselves. Though no exception to the limitations of zombies, Stony is a special case because he grows and achieves a level of body awareness that's never been seen before. He comes to understand why "the stick" moves and what actually makes it move. Gregory does so in a believable way. What keeps this story from a 5-star rating is the large time jumps. There are a couple that jump over a decade or so, and that's just too much time lost from this reader's perspective.

Other than this one minor thing, I really like the direction in which Gregory takes his zombie story, and I hope he's planning to write more. When I saw a friend reviewing this book last week, I knew a reread was in order. It's been too long since I'd read anything by Daryl Gregory, and I missed his subversive spin on classic genre tropes.

So a reread was definitely in order. This is still as good as I remember, and I still stand by everything I wrote in the review above. The upside to being snowed in and home alone is there's nothing to stop you from reading all day and all night, which was what I did for the past 3 days.

It helps to have a book you can't put down. I guess the downside is, if you have a fitness tracker, it would probably think you've died. This book 2. The Girl with All the Gifts by M. Carey 3. The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell All 3 are stellar reads that I would recommend to anyone regardless of personal genre preferences or inclinations. View all 11 comments. It is an intelligent book that has a lot to say, occasionally taking a philosophical turn as Stony wrestles with the paradox of his existence and the events his life has set in motion.

The characters are written with obvious care, particularly Stony, who is very endearing as the boy who is not a living boy. However, beyond this point, I began to feel as if I was reading another book entirely. The shifts in time and tone created distance between myself and the story that I found difficult to bridge, and I felt less involved with Stony on an emotional level.

The plot is detailed, and the LD world Gregory has built is interesting and much more complex than a simple mass fever for brains type scenario. Unfortunately, I found large portions of the story quite disengaging to read, given the slowing pace and the vast amounts of information incorporated into the narrative. While I appreciate some of the deeper themes and discussion throughout the story, and I enjoyed the climactic scenes, I felt it was let down by a rather predictable ending. View all 4 comments.

Dec 26, Emma rated it really liked it Shelves: zombies. The main character is a zombie who gets adopted by a family in Iowa. I really enjoyed the first third of the novel but liked the rest of it less. Some interesting ideas about how the zombies organised themselves. May 09, Carly rated it really liked it Shelves: alternate-history , dystopian.

But then the story skips forty years backwards, to a time right after the first zombie attack. Wanda Mayhall is driving through the snowy countryside of Easthall when she stumbles upon a frozen body of a young woman clutching a baby. But despite the biting cold, despite the grey skin, despite the lack of heartbeat, the baby seems alive. Well, perhaps not alive. But not fully dead, either. I love his wry sense of humour and the way he injects it into the most serious of situations.

Some of my favourites: "As you might imagine, conspiracy theorists had a field day with this. And as usual, what began as a terrifying secret on the fringes of culture eventually found its way into the plot of a TV movie. But give him a uniform, and he will beat you every day, then complain about how tough it is on his rotator cuff. The threat has been successfully combatted, and the government relentlessly pursues any living dead that might have escaped their nets.

It is about people who believe that separatism is the only way to bring peace, people who become so disillusioned by the world they live in that they seek to remake it, to reverse the inequality that stifles them. Comparisons to the history of racism and oppression in the US were unavoidable. The directness of the allusion simultaneously gave the book tremendous power, yet also seemed to detract from it as a novel. I know, weird. The real history is so complicated, so emotional, so vivid, that the simplified version in the zombie world just feels lacking.

Gregory is thoughtful and careful, but the issue is so raw right now, so explosive, that it was difficult to read about in this simplified portrait. I think my other major issue was my sense of distance from the story. Part of this was due to the structure. From the prologue, we know the world is going to fall apart; after that, I was holding my breath, waiting with a cold sense of inevitability for the first fracture in the facade of order.

It was too easy to guess what would happen and where, and it was too hard to become attached to anyone when I knew the world was going to fall apart. He is humble, forgiving, patient, cautious, careful, close-mouthed. And his emotions are so carefully held in check that I had difficulty empathising with him. Part of this was due to the ever-changing cast of characters. The book spans over forty years, and characters drift in and out, and their exits are often violent.

The way they are forgotten soon after their loss contributed to my sense of distance from Stony. If I was still mourning a character, how could he have forgotten them? Consider his mother, who is trapped in prison. But another huge problem for me was the lack of answers. What allowed the zombies to move? Was Stony somehow special? What does it mean to make an informed choice if the full knowledge of the choice requires a change in self?

Jul 18, Trudi rated it liked it Shelves: fantastical-speculative , rusa-reads , all-in-the-family , , science-fiction , love-the-premise , zombies. This book has an outstanding premise and infuses a lot of originality and freshness into the standard zombie canon. I came so very close to giving it four stars, but alas, in the end it remains at a solid, hard won three.

In a novel filled with a brilliant cast of characters, everyone unique and engaging in their own way, I felt there was an emotional element largely absent from most of the story. I'm left a little perplexed why this should be so, since it's a book about "zombies" and how they t This book has an outstanding premise and infuses a lot of originality and freshness into the standard zombie canon. I'm left a little perplexed why this should be so, since it's a book about "zombies" and how they think and feel and remember and even love.

The entire story is a curious, valiant attempt to "humanize" a monster that for so long has been dehumanized and even demonized. If you are going to give zombies personalities, worries, fears and dreams, if you are going to give them a family who loves them or people willing to risk their own lives and safety to hide them, then shouldn't there be an overwhelming sense of This book is filled with philosophy and action and world-building, but amidst all of that drama there is very little emotion.

I felt disconcertedly detached throughout. Now if that doesn't necessarily bother you, than by all means I cannot recommend this book enough. Daryl Gregory accomplishes something here that I didn't even think was possible -- he writes a coming-of-age zombie tale about zombies who now must fight for the right to live dead. What are they anyway? Do they still have a soul?

When is dead More than once I did have the refrain from The Elephant Man running through my head: "I am not an animal, I am a human being! These kind of zombies become the heroes of their own story but get in the way of putting live humans in impossible situations forcing them to make impossible choices to survive. Overall, I think this is a brave novel that is gripping and interesting in the questions it raises. I wanted to think less however, and feel more and that's where I was let down.

Aug 01, Kaora rated it it was ok. The blurb of this book is what first drew me in promising a new take on zombies. Not one where they are mindless feeding machines, but one where they are able to think and speak and control their impulses. The zombies in this book, after being turned, go through a hour fever where they are the mindless feeding machines, but after the fever breaks they turn into the "Living Dead" or LD. Their bite is still deadly, and they are hard to kill but they can function almost normally. If you consid The blurb of this book is what first drew me in promising a new take on zombies.

If you consider occasionally losing a body part normal. The book did not flow. It was broken up into parts, each one a different time in Stony's life - his growing up, on the run with other undead, in prison, and after prison. With each section comes a jump in time, that kept me from fully investing in the story. It was like a skipping CD that when you started to get into it, you found yourself somewhere else entirely without a clue on what you may have missed.

I didn't enjoy the writing that much, as I usually enjoy a descriptive writer and unfortunately the author seemed more intent on conveying deeper themes than setting the scene. He also put in a lot of details that were just unnecessary, like this one: He started the car, put it in gear, looked over his shoulder and pressed on the gas. The car lurched forward, and he slammed on the brakes. I don't need an up to date play-by-play on every second of this guy's life. The entire book is written from a 3rd person perspective, but towards the end the writer suddenly attempts engage with the readers: Do you remember Officer Tines?

It's important that you all know this so you know that William Tines was not a bad man. The change is so abrupt, but I guess it fits with the general choppiness of this book. I did like how the book brought up questions about humanity, and what makes us human, but it could have been executed much better than it was. Cross Posted at Kaora's Corner. Feb 18, Lightreads rated it really liked it Shelves: disability , fiction , horror , science-fiction.

This is the zombie book I didn't know I wanted. It's a grim, slyly funny, philosophical story about a zombie baby found beside the road in alternate history Iowa, and the women who risk their lives to raise him raising, get it? No really, I swear, it's actually very cleverly funny. This is a book that draws its political horror in broad dashes, but does its interpersonal work in tight, minute, precise gestures.

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It's thinking about zombie fiction, but not in that irritating way wher Bravo. It's thinking about zombie fiction, but not in that irritating way where it's all did you know none of this makes any scientific sense? But instead in that zombies are a way to think about embodiment, and the persistence and unholy power of consciousness.

You can read it as kind of about disability if you want to, but I think that's a little too narrow a lens. Really it's about the mystery of being alive in inexplicable flesh. And that's pretty universal. It made me laugh a lot, and facepalm, and then, eventually, want to hold someone's hand for a while. There are so many perfect small touches, like how zombies are asexual but in our protagonist's case, not a-romantic , and how everyone knew the world was going to end, the only question was when.

But the big picture emotional push of the book was so good, I really don't need to pick it apart. And now I really want to know what this Daryl Gregory fellow is going to come out with next. Highly recommended. View all 7 comments. May 09, Megan Baxter rated it really liked it. Goddammit, people. I don't want to read zombie books. I'm not a huge fan of zombie cinema I've seen two Romero movies, and that's about it. I don't read horror.

I like to sleep, and I'm far too sensitive to such things! Although it's easier to let go of when it's the written word instead of the screen. So how have I ended up reading two zombie books this year, both of which I really liked? Dammit, Daryl Gregory! Dammit, Mira Grant! Stop that! Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn d Goddammit, people.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog! In Part I, the Mayhall family find a woman long dead on the side of the road with a baby wrapped up inside her coat.

Shortly after, Wanda Mayhall realizes what he really is, yet decides that they are going to keep him anyways and hide him from the world. We watch Stony change and literally grow from a baby into a young man just as any normal living human being does. We watch him become an integral part of the Mayhall family and develop into his own Interested in more of my reviews?

We watch him become an integral part of the Mayhall family and develop into his own unique person. This was my favorite part of the novel. I did enjoy the scientific aspects of the story and how the Living Dead were researching to find out what made them the way they are and what made it possible. The transformation had occurred between observations, like the state change in a quantum particle.

Like death itself. Once the toe was finally off his mind and he had failed to continue checking on it and thinking about it, only then did it finally start rotting and decomposing. I found this to be quite an interesting concept yet extremely hard to understand. That if they had stopped thinking about themselves as a living dead person would they simply cease to exist? I had a hard time understanding where all the money came from… how one person could be the sole benefactor of so many. Also, the ending was inevitable but a bit too anticlimactic I thought. I loved Stony in the beginning but I was pretty disappointed at how the rest of the story unfolded.

View all 92 comments. Jul 11, Bandit rated it it was amazing. This is a great book. A really great book. I originally came across Daryl Gregory's books while browsing amazon. There is an epic quality to this book, which easily transcends the genre limitations and simply transforms it into a great work of literature with strong This is a great book. There is an epic quality to this book, which easily transcends the genre limitations and simply transforms it into a great work of literature with strong well developed interesting characters and exceptional writing. Stony Mayhall is quite possibly one of the best characters zombie or otherwise that I have ever had the pleasure to read.

Just like in Warm Bodies, where R's driving quality is his humanity, it's what makes the book so irresistable. I read it within 24 hours of starting it. In fact Stony Mayhall is sort of like zombie Superman I checked this book out from the library, but now I know I have to get my own copy as well as read other Gregory's books.

Very highly recommended. Shelves: audiobook , zombies , alternate-history , contemporary , science-fiction , coming-of-age. I'm not sure why zombie novels are all the rage right now, or why I'm reading so many, but Raising Stony Mayhall was unexpectedly good. From the description, I was expecting it to be kind of a one-note gimmick based on the thin premise of a "zombie baby," but some positive reviews convinced me to give it a try, and I'm glad I did.

This is a book written by someone who knows the zombie genre and treats it with appropriate respect, while adding something of his own to the zombie mythology. The back I'm not sure why zombie novels are all the rage right now, or why I'm reading so many, but Raising Stony Mayhall was unexpectedly good. The background is that in yes, that date should ring bells if you know your zombie movies , there was a brief zombie outbreak, which was quickly contained after a large number of deaths.

Unbeknownst to the public, however, the zombies weren't all destroyed, because it turns out that zombies are only mindless brain-eating monsters for a few hours after they "turn"; after that, the madness passes and they become their normal selves again The government has been imprisoning or destroying every zombie they find and keeping their existence secret. Stony Mayhall was a zombie baby found in the arms of the dead teenage girl who had recently given birth to him.

The baby is found by a single mother and her daughters in , just after the outbreak, and instead of turning it in, they keep it. Somehow, this "dead" baby grows up. Stony has to live his life in hiding with his adoptive family, though he does have one childhood friend who knows about him.

Other than being undead, he matures mentally like a fairly normal kid, until one horrible night when he is a teenager, events force him to flee and go underground. He discovers that there is an entire secret society of living dead hiding from the authorities. They are divided into factions: some want peaceful coexistence with the living, others want to start a zombie apocalypse.

This book has many strengths. The writing is a cut above; Daryly Gregory does not write this like a pulp horror novel, but more like a literary bildungsroman. Stony is a compelling, sympathetic character, as he's smart and introspective and while a good person, he's also capable of learning to become a hard-bitten, cunning one.

The book raises many issues concerning the morality of the living dead and what defines a human being; to its credit, it never goes for camp and while there are some funny parts, it's not satirical. Gregory has thought out the rules for his zombies very carefully, and everything is internally consistent. He confronts certain physical impossibilities head-on, which become important in the final climax.

My only complaint is that it skips around in time a bit, spending the first half of the book with Stony's upbringing from into the s, and then jumping around from the early 90s to the present day. So the overall chronology of the book isn't always clear. Other than that, though, this was an excellent read. I've never read such human zombies, nor a zombie novel with so many touching moments. It's entirely self-contained and there's absolutely no need for a sequel, so I recommend it for anyone even mildly interested in the genre.

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory

It wasn't quite blow-my-mind awesome, so I'm giving it 4. Nov 17, Marvin rated it it was amazing Shelves: horror. It's a clever quarter of a novel that introduces our hero Stony Mayhall as a zombie infant that does something no other zombie does The setting is interesting too. It begins in in an alternate reality that has witnessed a zombie epidemic shortly before that year. The zombies have been pretty much killed off by the government yet small groups still exist The kind Mrs. Mayhall sees that there is something different about Stony and raises him as her own, keeping him hidden in her rural Iowa home.

It's kind of sweet. However when the second quarter of this book begins, Stony starts to meet other living dead or LDs "We don't like to be called zombies" and they are nothing like he and the world envisioned them. This is where the novel takes on some interesting socio-political overtones. I think it is purely intentional that this novel starts in and ends in The early parts has definite comparisons with the civil rights movement while anyone who misses the Al Qaeda implications in the later half must be living under a rock.

To say this is a zombie novel is a gross misrepresentation. It has more to do with the socially minded science fiction of Asimov, Heinlein and the religious overtones of Philip K Dick than any horror writer. Because of this, it is a engrossing read that speaks of the meaning of being human and our fears of different life styles and thoughts. Highly recommended.. Oct 18, Linda rated it really liked it Shelves: , audio. I love the way he writes about family, and his humor is right up my alley.

I thought this book was pretty awesome for the first half, and slightly less so for the second half, but there were still a lot of funny and thoughtful scenes. A few favorite bits: Kwang and Stony in the barn with a bow and arrow Mr. View all 5 comments. Jan 24, The Captain rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi. Ahoy there me mateys! I was first introduced to this author with his book afterparty. That book was a sci-fi dealing with illicit drug use a topic I normally avoid which I found to be fun, thought-provoking, and twisty.

Then me last novel of , spoonbenders, was a five star sci-fi read about psychics and much more. So when I saw that the library had this title which deals with zombies, well I had to read it. This book begins in the time after the first zombie apocalypse. Humans got lucky a Ahoy there me mateys! Humans got lucky and for the most part the zombie uprising was quashed. However stragglers are out there and the government and populace is in fear of the next outbreak. Wanda Mayhall is living with her three daughters in Iowa when she discovers a dead for real teenager and a baby.

The baby happens to clearly be one of the undead. Wanda makes a choice to keep the baby despite the consequences of discovery. This is the story of what happens to the baby, Stony. Well Gregory does it again with an odd and compelling read. In this version of the zombie apocalypse, the dead can rise and bites can cause infection. However, ye only be a ravenous husk for about two days and then lucidity can come back. So there are rational zombies out there.

This book treats ye to zombie politics, human and undead relationships, scientific study, religious rationale, and much more. The novel is told in several parts and follows Stony throughout many decades and chapters of his life. While I loved Stony as a character and his several family groups, the highlight of the book was the ramifications of what happens to the zombies and the unpredictable ways zombism sp?

I thought the author stretched those possibilities in some truly unique fun ways. So if ye like weird, quirky zombies then give this one a chance. Nov 01, Justine rated it really liked it Shelves: read , audiobook. This has been a banner year for me as far as zombie books are concerned. My favourite aspect of Gregory's novels are the incredibly unique yet absolutely everyday characters who populate his stories.

Raising Stony Mayhall is no exception. There are so many things I liked about this, all the little pieces that just came together and worked. I'm glad I finally got round to reading thi This has been a banner year for me as far as zombie books are concerned. I'm glad I finally got round to reading this one because it was very much worth it. I listened to the audio of this, which was excellent. The narrator suited the familiar and conversational style of the book, and made it seem like such a personal story.

Jan 02, Bill rated it really liked it. Stony was born into the world not knowing really who or what he was. It was like he was an Etch A Sketch that had been drawn upon and then shaken.

A very interesting twist on the Zombie apocalypse that was refreshingly original in premise and execution. The c Stony was born into the world not knowing really who or what he was. The characters were written flawlessly and the pacing flowed with barely a hitch. My second excellent read from Mr. I look forward to more. An emotional story about the Mayhall family, and their unusual, zombie son. There's chomping, since it's a zombie story, but it's really about the super strong relationships amongst the iron-willed Mayhall women, who totally upend their lives caring for Stony from when they find him with his dead mother by the road soonish after the first big zombie apocalypse in to his middle age when the constantly feared next zombie apocalypse occurs.

Because of his upbringing and childhood relationshi An emotional story about the Mayhall family, and their unusual, zombie son. And, Daryl Gregory has created an intriguing undeath for his zombies, with a believable clandestine set of factions within the zombie population; because, of course after the chomping, eventually comes the social and political concerns for the average undead individual. I was left with a sense of satisfaction at the end of the book, with a certain sadness that I wouldn't find out more about Stony and the Mayhalls.

Jan 23, Figgy rated it really liked it Shelves: oh-my-zombies , zombies , reviewed , favourites , favourites Featured on my favourites list! In , after the zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. This book was not what I expected, at all, and I found it an incredibly refreshing take on the zombie genre. Stony is just a normal boy growing up in a house full of girls, Featured on my favourites list! When I could completely overlook the fact that he was zombie, when I saw him for the person he was, regardless of his grey skin.

The rest of this review can be found here! Jul 06, Janene rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction-family-issues , suspense , thrillers , humor , twisted , horror-paranormal , horror , paranormal-fiction , favorites , zombies.

Reviews: Shambling Towards Hiroshima, Raising Stony Mayhall

Occasionally a novel comes along that totally changes the way you view things and your perceptions of what 'should be'. This book was so touching and different. It was one of those books that the further I got, the slower I read. Not because I was bored or uninterested It was because I was afraid of what was coming..

There are several great reviews here Highly recommended reading for the Living Dead fan or person who's not so much of a fan. PS: And if you read and enjoy the flavor of this book Sep 12, Leah rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , badass , horror , , fantasy , paranormal , zombies. I could simply say drop whatever you're doing and read this book.

That wouldn't do it justice, though. This is the kind of story that needs to be discussed, demands to be gushed over, and ultimately stays with you long after you've finished those last words. It is traditional to end with the Last Girl, the sole survivor, a young woman in a blood-spattered tank top. She drops her chain saw, her sawed-off shotgun, her crowbar - these details differ - and stumbles out of the ramshackle house and into the light. Perhaps the house is burning. Dawn glows on the horizon, and the ghouls have been defeated for now, for now - all happy endings being temporary.

Perhaps she's found by her fellow survivors and taken to an enclave, a fortress teeming with heavily armed government troops, or at the very least gun-toting civilians, who will provide shelter until the sequel. Perhaps this enclave is located in Easterly, Iowa, about sixty miles northwest of the ruins of Des Moines.

Perhaps the girl's name is Ruby. So begins our story. To say this is a zombie story would feel like a lie. Yes, the main character is a zombie and, yes, there was a zombie outbreak. However, Raising Stony Mayhall is so much more than a horror novel. There is an unassuming elegance in Mr. Gregory's writing and it's clear he carefully deliberated over each word. There were countless passages where I lost myself in the imagery and forgot I was reading what was being put forth as a run-of-the-mill zombie tale.

There are few gorey scenes. There really is nothing in-your-face about Raising Stony Mayhall. Are you sleeping, Are you sleeping, Brother John? The story opens in Easterly, Iowa in the winter of The prologue was set in the present day, On both coasts there has been a zombie outbreak and what's left of civilization is trying to pick up the pieces and attempt to return to some sense of normalcy. Wanda Mayhall is a widowed mother of three girls: Alice, Chelsea, and Junie.

One night while heading back to their farm, they come across the body of a young woman barely out of her teens. There's no hope of saving the woman, but Wanda is unable to leave behind of body of the newborn discovered in the woman's arms. Other than this one minor thing, I really like the direction in which Gregory takes his zombie story, and I hope he's planning to write more. When I saw a friend reviewing this book last week, I knew a reread was in order. It's been too long since I'd read anything by Daryl Gregory, and I missed his subversive spin on classic genre tropes.

So a reread was definitely in order. This is still as good as I remember, and I still stand by everything I wrote in the review above. The upside to being snowed in and home alone is there's nothing to stop you from reading all day and all night, which was what I did for the past 3 days. It helps to have a book you can't put down. I guess the downside is, if you have a fitness tracker, it would probably think you've died. This book 2. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.

Carey 3. The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell All 3 are stellar reads that I would recommend to anyone regardless of personal genre preferences or inclinations. View all 11 comments. It is an intelligent book that has a lot to say, occasionally taking a philosophical turn as Stony wrestles with the paradox of his existence and the events his life has set in motion.

The characters are written with obvious care, particularly Stony, who is very endearing as the boy who is not a living boy. However, beyond this point, I began to feel as if I was reading another book entirely. The shifts in time and tone created distance between myself and the story that I found difficult to bridge, and I felt less involved with Stony on an emotional level. The plot is detailed, and the LD world Gregory has built is interesting and much more complex than a simple mass fever for brains type scenario. Unfortunately, I found large portions of the story quite disengaging to read, given the slowing pace and the vast amounts of information incorporated into the narrative.

While I appreciate some of the deeper themes and discussion throughout the story, and I enjoyed the climactic scenes, I felt it was let down by a rather predictable ending. View all 4 comments. Dec 26, Emma rated it really liked it Shelves: zombies. The main character is a zombie who gets adopted by a family in Iowa.

I really enjoyed the first third of the novel but liked the rest of it less. Some interesting ideas about how the zombies organised themselves. May 09, Carly rated it really liked it Shelves: alternate-history , dystopian. But then the story skips forty years backwards, to a time right after the first zombie attack. Wanda Mayhall is driving through the snowy countryside of Easthall when she stumbles upon a frozen body of a young woman clutching a baby.

But despite the biting cold, despite the grey skin, despite the lack of heartbeat, the baby seems alive. Well, perhaps not alive. But not fully dead, either. I love his wry sense of humour and the way he injects it into the most serious of situations. Some of my favourites: "As you might imagine, conspiracy theorists had a field day with this.

And as usual, what began as a terrifying secret on the fringes of culture eventually found its way into the plot of a TV movie. But give him a uniform, and he will beat you every day, then complain about how tough it is on his rotator cuff. The threat has been successfully combatted, and the government relentlessly pursues any living dead that might have escaped their nets. It is about people who believe that separatism is the only way to bring peace, people who become so disillusioned by the world they live in that they seek to remake it, to reverse the inequality that stifles them.

Comparisons to the history of racism and oppression in the US were unavoidable. The directness of the allusion simultaneously gave the book tremendous power, yet also seemed to detract from it as a novel. I know, weird. The real history is so complicated, so emotional, so vivid, that the simplified version in the zombie world just feels lacking.

Gregory is thoughtful and careful, but the issue is so raw right now, so explosive, that it was difficult to read about in this simplified portrait. I think my other major issue was my sense of distance from the story. Part of this was due to the structure. From the prologue, we know the world is going to fall apart; after that, I was holding my breath, waiting with a cold sense of inevitability for the first fracture in the facade of order. It was too easy to guess what would happen and where, and it was too hard to become attached to anyone when I knew the world was going to fall apart.

He is humble, forgiving, patient, cautious, careful, close-mouthed. And his emotions are so carefully held in check that I had difficulty empathising with him. Part of this was due to the ever-changing cast of characters. The book spans over forty years, and characters drift in and out, and their exits are often violent.

The way they are forgotten soon after their loss contributed to my sense of distance from Stony. If I was still mourning a character, how could he have forgotten them? Consider his mother, who is trapped in prison.

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But another huge problem for me was the lack of answers. What allowed the zombies to move? Was Stony somehow special? What does it mean to make an informed choice if the full knowledge of the choice requires a change in self? Jul 18, Trudi rated it liked it Shelves: fantastical-speculative , rusa-reads , all-in-the-family , , science-fiction , love-the-premise , zombies. This book has an outstanding premise and infuses a lot of originality and freshness into the standard zombie canon.

I came so very close to giving it four stars, but alas, in the end it remains at a solid, hard won three. In a novel filled with a brilliant cast of characters, everyone unique and engaging in their own way, I felt there was an emotional element largely absent from most of the story. I'm left a little perplexed why this should be so, since it's a book about "zombies" and how they t This book has an outstanding premise and infuses a lot of originality and freshness into the standard zombie canon. I'm left a little perplexed why this should be so, since it's a book about "zombies" and how they think and feel and remember and even love.

The entire story is a curious, valiant attempt to "humanize" a monster that for so long has been dehumanized and even demonized. If you are going to give zombies personalities, worries, fears and dreams, if you are going to give them a family who loves them or people willing to risk their own lives and safety to hide them, then shouldn't there be an overwhelming sense of This book is filled with philosophy and action and world-building, but amidst all of that drama there is very little emotion.

I felt disconcertedly detached throughout. Now if that doesn't necessarily bother you, than by all means I cannot recommend this book enough. Daryl Gregory accomplishes something here that I didn't even think was possible -- he writes a coming-of-age zombie tale about zombies who now must fight for the right to live dead.

What are they anyway? Do they still have a soul? When is dead More than once I did have the refrain from The Elephant Man running through my head: "I am not an animal, I am a human being! These kind of zombies become the heroes of their own story but get in the way of putting live humans in impossible situations forcing them to make impossible choices to survive.

Overall, I think this is a brave novel that is gripping and interesting in the questions it raises. I wanted to think less however, and feel more and that's where I was let down. Aug 01, Kaora rated it it was ok. The blurb of this book is what first drew me in promising a new take on zombies. Not one where they are mindless feeding machines, but one where they are able to think and speak and control their impulses. The zombies in this book, after being turned, go through a hour fever where they are the mindless feeding machines, but after the fever breaks they turn into the "Living Dead" or LD.

Their bite is still deadly, and they are hard to kill but they can function almost normally. If you consid The blurb of this book is what first drew me in promising a new take on zombies. If you consider occasionally losing a body part normal. The book did not flow. It was broken up into parts, each one a different time in Stony's life - his growing up, on the run with other undead, in prison, and after prison. With each section comes a jump in time, that kept me from fully investing in the story.

It was like a skipping CD that when you started to get into it, you found yourself somewhere else entirely without a clue on what you may have missed. I didn't enjoy the writing that much, as I usually enjoy a descriptive writer and unfortunately the author seemed more intent on conveying deeper themes than setting the scene.

He also put in a lot of details that were just unnecessary, like this one: He started the car, put it in gear, looked over his shoulder and pressed on the gas. The car lurched forward, and he slammed on the brakes. I don't need an up to date play-by-play on every second of this guy's life. The entire book is written from a 3rd person perspective, but towards the end the writer suddenly attempts engage with the readers: Do you remember Officer Tines?

It's important that you all know this so you know that William Tines was not a bad man. The change is so abrupt, but I guess it fits with the general choppiness of this book. I did like how the book brought up questions about humanity, and what makes us human, but it could have been executed much better than it was.

Cross Posted at Kaora's Corner. Feb 18, Lightreads rated it really liked it Shelves: disability , fiction , horror , science-fiction. This is the zombie book I didn't know I wanted. It's a grim, slyly funny, philosophical story about a zombie baby found beside the road in alternate history Iowa, and the women who risk their lives to raise him raising, get it? No really, I swear, it's actually very cleverly funny.

This is a book that draws its political horror in broad dashes, but does its interpersonal work in tight, minute, precise gestures. It's thinking about zombie fiction, but not in that irritating way wher Bravo. It's thinking about zombie fiction, but not in that irritating way where it's all did you know none of this makes any scientific sense? But instead in that zombies are a way to think about embodiment, and the persistence and unholy power of consciousness.

You can read it as kind of about disability if you want to, but I think that's a little too narrow a lens. Really it's about the mystery of being alive in inexplicable flesh. And that's pretty universal. It made me laugh a lot, and facepalm, and then, eventually, want to hold someone's hand for a while.

There are so many perfect small touches, like how zombies are asexual but in our protagonist's case, not a-romantic , and how everyone knew the world was going to end, the only question was when. But the big picture emotional push of the book was so good, I really don't need to pick it apart. And now I really want to know what this Daryl Gregory fellow is going to come out with next. Highly recommended. View all 7 comments. May 09, Megan Baxter rated it really liked it.

Goddammit, people. I don't want to read zombie books. I'm not a huge fan of zombie cinema I've seen two Romero movies, and that's about it. I don't read horror. I like to sleep, and I'm far too sensitive to such things! Although it's easier to let go of when it's the written word instead of the screen. So how have I ended up reading two zombie books this year, both of which I really liked?

Dammit, Daryl Gregory! Dammit, Mira Grant! Stop that! Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn d Goddammit, people. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog! In Part I, the Mayhall family find a woman long dead on the side of the road with a baby wrapped up inside her coat.

Shortly after, Wanda Mayhall realizes what he really is, yet decides that they are going to keep him anyways and hide him from the world. We watch Stony change and literally grow from a baby into a young man just as any normal living human being does. We watch him become an integral part of the Mayhall family and develop into his own Interested in more of my reviews?

We watch him become an integral part of the Mayhall family and develop into his own unique person. This was my favorite part of the novel. I did enjoy the scientific aspects of the story and how the Living Dead were researching to find out what made them the way they are and what made it possible. The transformation had occurred between observations, like the state change in a quantum particle.

Like death itself. Once the toe was finally off his mind and he had failed to continue checking on it and thinking about it, only then did it finally start rotting and decomposing. I found this to be quite an interesting concept yet extremely hard to understand. That if they had stopped thinking about themselves as a living dead person would they simply cease to exist?

I had a hard time understanding where all the money came from… how one person could be the sole benefactor of so many. Also, the ending was inevitable but a bit too anticlimactic I thought. I loved Stony in the beginning but I was pretty disappointed at how the rest of the story unfolded.

View all 92 comments. Jul 11, Bandit rated it it was amazing. This is a great book. A really great book. I originally came across Daryl Gregory's books while browsing amazon. There is an epic quality to this book, which easily transcends the genre limitations and simply transforms it into a great work of literature with strong This is a great book. There is an epic quality to this book, which easily transcends the genre limitations and simply transforms it into a great work of literature with strong well developed interesting characters and exceptional writing.

Stony Mayhall is quite possibly one of the best characters zombie or otherwise that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Just like in Warm Bodies, where R's driving quality is his humanity, it's what makes the book so irresistable. I read it within 24 hours of starting it. In fact Stony Mayhall is sort of like zombie Superman I checked this book out from the library, but now I know I have to get my own copy as well as read other Gregory's books. Very highly recommended. Shelves: audiobook , zombies , alternate-history , contemporary , science-fiction , coming-of-age.

I'm not sure why zombie novels are all the rage right now, or why I'm reading so many, but Raising Stony Mayhall was unexpectedly good. From the description, I was expecting it to be kind of a one-note gimmick based on the thin premise of a "zombie baby," but some positive reviews convinced me to give it a try, and I'm glad I did. This is a book written by someone who knows the zombie genre and treats it with appropriate respect, while adding something of his own to the zombie mythology.

The back I'm not sure why zombie novels are all the rage right now, or why I'm reading so many, but Raising Stony Mayhall was unexpectedly good. The background is that in yes, that date should ring bells if you know your zombie movies , there was a brief zombie outbreak, which was quickly contained after a large number of deaths.

Unbeknownst to the public, however, the zombies weren't all destroyed, because it turns out that zombies are only mindless brain-eating monsters for a few hours after they "turn"; after that, the madness passes and they become their normal selves again The government has been imprisoning or destroying every zombie they find and keeping their existence secret. Stony Mayhall was a zombie baby found in the arms of the dead teenage girl who had recently given birth to him.

The baby is found by a single mother and her daughters in , just after the outbreak, and instead of turning it in, they keep it.


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Somehow, this "dead" baby grows up. Stony has to live his life in hiding with his adoptive family, though he does have one childhood friend who knows about him. Other than being undead, he matures mentally like a fairly normal kid, until one horrible night when he is a teenager, events force him to flee and go underground. He discovers that there is an entire secret society of living dead hiding from the authorities. They are divided into factions: some want peaceful coexistence with the living, others want to start a zombie apocalypse.

This book has many strengths. The writing is a cut above; Daryly Gregory does not write this like a pulp horror novel, but more like a literary bildungsroman. Stony is a compelling, sympathetic character, as he's smart and introspective and while a good person, he's also capable of learning to become a hard-bitten, cunning one. The book raises many issues concerning the morality of the living dead and what defines a human being; to its credit, it never goes for camp and while there are some funny parts, it's not satirical.

Gregory has thought out the rules for his zombies very carefully, and everything is internally consistent. He confronts certain physical impossibilities head-on, which become important in the final climax. My only complaint is that it skips around in time a bit, spending the first half of the book with Stony's upbringing from into the s, and then jumping around from the early 90s to the present day.

Raising Stony Mayhall

So the overall chronology of the book isn't always clear. Other than that, though, this was an excellent read. I've never read such human zombies, nor a zombie novel with so many touching moments. It's entirely self-contained and there's absolutely no need for a sequel, so I recommend it for anyone even mildly interested in the genre.

It wasn't quite blow-my-mind awesome, so I'm giving it 4. Nov 17, Marvin rated it it was amazing Shelves: horror. It's a clever quarter of a novel that introduces our hero Stony Mayhall as a zombie infant that does something no other zombie does The setting is interesting too. It begins in in an alternate reality that has witnessed a zombie epidemic shortly before that year.

The zombies have been pretty much killed off by the government yet small groups still exist The kind Mrs. Mayhall sees that there is something different about Stony and raises him as her own, keeping him hidden in her rural Iowa home. It's kind of sweet. However when the second quarter of this book begins, Stony starts to meet other living dead or LDs "We don't like to be called zombies" and they are nothing like he and the world envisioned them.

This is where the novel takes on some interesting socio-political overtones. I think it is purely intentional that this novel starts in and ends in The early parts has definite comparisons with the civil rights movement while anyone who misses the Al Qaeda implications in the later half must be living under a rock. To say this is a zombie novel is a gross misrepresentation. It has more to do with the socially minded science fiction of Asimov, Heinlein and the religious overtones of Philip K Dick than any horror writer.

Because of this, it is a engrossing read that speaks of the meaning of being human and our fears of different life styles and thoughts. Highly recommended.. Oct 18, Linda rated it really liked it Shelves: , audio. I love the way he writes about family, and his humor is right up my alley. I thought this book was pretty awesome for the first half, and slightly less so for the second half, but there were still a lot of funny and thoughtful scenes.

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A few favorite bits: Kwang and Stony in the barn with a bow and arrow Mr. View all 5 comments. Jan 24, The Captain rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi. Ahoy there me mateys! I was first introduced to this author with his book afterparty. That book was a sci-fi dealing with illicit drug use a topic I normally avoid which I found to be fun, thought-provoking, and twisty. Then me last novel of , spoonbenders, was a five star sci-fi read about psychics and much more. So when I saw that the library had this title which deals with zombies, well I had to read it.

This book begins in the time after the first zombie apocalypse. Humans got lucky a Ahoy there me mateys! Humans got lucky and for the most part the zombie uprising was quashed. However stragglers are out there and the government and populace is in fear of the next outbreak. Wanda Mayhall is living with her three daughters in Iowa when she discovers a dead for real teenager and a baby. The baby happens to clearly be one of the undead. Wanda makes a choice to keep the baby despite the consequences of discovery. This is the story of what happens to the baby, Stony.

Well Gregory does it again with an odd and compelling read. In this version of the zombie apocalypse, the dead can rise and bites can cause infection. However, ye only be a ravenous husk for about two days and then lucidity can come back. So there are rational zombies out there. This book treats ye to zombie politics, human and undead relationships, scientific study, religious rationale, and much more. The novel is told in several parts and follows Stony throughout many decades and chapters of his life.

While I loved Stony as a character and his several family groups, the highlight of the book was the ramifications of what happens to the zombies and the unpredictable ways zombism sp? I thought the author stretched those possibilities in some truly unique fun ways. So if ye like weird, quirky zombies then give this one a chance. Nov 01, Justine rated it really liked it Shelves: read , audiobook. This has been a banner year for me as far as zombie books are concerned. My favourite aspect of Gregory's novels are the incredibly unique yet absolutely everyday characters who populate his stories.

Raising Stony Mayhall is no exception. There are so many things I liked about this, all the little pieces that just came together and worked. I'm glad I finally got round to reading thi This has been a banner year for me as far as zombie books are concerned. I'm glad I finally got round to reading this one because it was very much worth it.

I listened to the audio of this, which was excellent. The narrator suited the familiar and conversational style of the book, and made it seem like such a personal story. Jan 02, Bill rated it really liked it. Stony was born into the world not knowing really who or what he was. It was like he was an Etch A Sketch that had been drawn upon and then shaken. A very interesting twist on the Zombie apocalypse that was refreshingly original in premise and execution.

The c Stony was born into the world not knowing really who or what he was. The characters were written flawlessly and the pacing flowed with barely a hitch. My second excellent read from Mr. I look forward to more. An emotional story about the Mayhall family, and their unusual, zombie son. There's chomping, since it's a zombie story, but it's really about the super strong relationships amongst the iron-willed Mayhall women, who totally upend their lives caring for Stony from when they find him with his dead mother by the road soonish after the first big zombie apocalypse in to his middle age when the constantly feared next zombie apocalypse occurs.

Because of his upbringing and childhood relationshi An emotional story about the Mayhall family, and their unusual, zombie son. And, Daryl Gregory has created an intriguing undeath for his zombies, with a believable clandestine set of factions within the zombie population; because, of course after the chomping, eventually comes the social and political concerns for the average undead individual. I was left with a sense of satisfaction at the end of the book, with a certain sadness that I wouldn't find out more about Stony and the Mayhalls.

Jan 23, Figgy rated it really liked it Shelves: oh-my-zombies , zombies , reviewed , favourites , favourites Featured on my favourites list! In , after the zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. This book was not what I expected, at all, and I found it an incredibly refreshing take on the zombie genre.

Stony is just a normal boy growing up in a house full of girls, Featured on my favourites list! When I could completely overlook the fact that he was zombie, when I saw him for the person he was, regardless of his grey skin. The rest of this review can be found here! Jul 06, Janene rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction-family-issues , suspense , thrillers , humor , twisted , horror-paranormal , horror , paranormal-fiction , favorites , zombies. Occasionally a novel comes along that totally changes the way you view things and your perceptions of what 'should be'.

This book was so touching and different. It was one of those books that the further I got, the slower I read. Not because I was bored or uninterested It was because I was afraid of what was coming.. There are several great reviews here Highly recommended reading for the Living Dead fan or person who's not so much of a fan.

PS: And if you read and enjoy the flavor of this book Sep 12, Leah rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , badass , horror , , fantasy , paranormal , zombies. I could simply say drop whatever you're doing and read this book. That wouldn't do it justice, though. This is the kind of story that needs to be discussed, demands to be gushed over, and ultimately stays with you long after you've finished those last words.

It is traditional to end with the Last Girl, the sole survivor, a young woman in a blood-spattered tank top. She drops her chain saw, her sawed-off shotgun, her crowbar - these details differ - and stumbles out of the ramshackle house and into the light. Perhaps the house is burning. Dawn glows on the horizon, and the ghouls have been defeated for now, for now - all happy endings being temporary. Perhaps she's found by her fellow survivors and taken to an enclave, a fortress teeming with heavily armed government troops, or at the very least gun-toting civilians, who will provide shelter until the sequel.

Perhaps this enclave is located in Easterly, Iowa, about sixty miles northwest of the ruins of Des Moines. Perhaps the girl's name is Ruby. So begins our story. To say this is a zombie story would feel like a lie. Yes, the main character is a zombie and, yes, there was a zombie outbreak. However, Raising Stony Mayhall is so much more than a horror novel. There is an unassuming elegance in Mr. Gregory's writing and it's clear he carefully deliberated over each word.

There were countless passages where I lost myself in the imagery and forgot I was reading what was being put forth as a run-of-the-mill zombie tale. There are few gorey scenes. There really is nothing in-your-face about Raising Stony Mayhall. Are you sleeping, Are you sleeping, Brother John? The story opens in Easterly, Iowa in the winter of The prologue was set in the present day, On both coasts there has been a zombie outbreak and what's left of civilization is trying to pick up the pieces and attempt to return to some sense of normalcy.

Wanda Mayhall is a widowed mother of three girls: Alice, Chelsea, and Junie. One night while heading back to their farm, they come across the body of a young woman barely out of her teens. There's no hope of saving the woman, but Wanda is unable to leave behind of body of the newborn discovered in the woman's arms. The boy looked up at them. Then he blinked.


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He hadn't blinked before. At first it's just a twitch of an arm. Then his eyes open. His chest heaves. They just rescued an undead. An undead baby , at that. The Mayhalls live on a fairly secluded piece of land with only one other house in viewing range. The Chos are a Korean family who had moved out west with dreams of farming, only to fall back on a mechanic business. The Chos have a 5-year old son, Kwang, and shortly after meeting John, the two become inseparable. Stony - the name given to him by Kwang - grows as Kwang grows.

He ages he Kwang ages. Despite being taken into a loving family, a series of extremely strict rules have been set in place for Stony. He's never allowed outside, he is never to walk past the windows, any friends and as they grow, boyfriends of his sisters are never allowed over, and school is completely out of the question. Instead, Mrs. Cho homeschools Stony and later he educates himself with the aid of his sisters' textbooks. For the first time in his life, Stony felt it. It ran like a hot wire, up from his spine, to the base of his skull. His mouth opened on its own.

He wanted to bite.