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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead
Mark Twain & Don Borchert
Tor, 303 pages

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead
Don Borchert
Don Borchert has been writing since he was about six years old. He wrote for the school newspaper in junior high school and in high school, and wrote a few articles for the Ohio State Lantern in college. He still works in the same branch library where he started some thirteen years ago.

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A review by Sandra Scholes

Recently there have been a series of novels that for many readers have stood the test of time; classics such as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice have stuck in the minds of readers around the world. This time to add amusement writers have used the original author's initial idea to change a well-known novel, and attach their name to it as well as the original author's in order to create a horror style injected with humour, and shocking themes.

From Jane Austen's Mr Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith to Bram Stoker's classic Dracula, the new version penned by Bram's descendant, Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt to create Dracula The Un-Dead, have all had a rewrite, though this one starts where the last one left off. In this story, the main horror feature is zombies, affectionately known by the characters as Zum.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead also has a few black and white ink illustrations inside the novel that add humour and special effects to the story, and at least the readers will have an idea of what the Zum resemble and some of Tom Sawyers friends.

Dan Borchert goes straight into the action of the story with his Aunt Polly ready for the arrival of the dreaded Zum. Around the action though, Tom has to do the ordinary things in life like painting his aunt's fence, and learning new stuff in lessons at school despite his urge to play hooky with his friends. Unlike the original story, Tom has to partly put aside his boyish pursuits to concentrate his efforts on preventing the Zum from taking over their neighbourhood no matter what the cost, so instead of just painting her fence, Tom must sharpen the fence planks into stakes tough enough to take out any Zum opponents who come their way.

The whole place is on high alert as the Zum threat mounts and the people there make preparations to counter their attack, but they know anything can happen as long as they are in their world. The novel is an interesting twist on the popular Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and by making it a comedy horror it has been given a new lease of life for a much newer generation to enjoy.

Copyright © 2011 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes recently dug her way out of the snow just to be able to get the Christmas cards sent off and to resume daily activities -- other than that she is enjoying the new fantasy titles available at the moment for review and does reviews for Active Anime, and articles for Quail Bell Magazine.

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