Excerpt from The Walking Dead by Gerald Seymour, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Walking Dead

by Gerald Seymour

The Walking Dead
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    May 2008, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


He observed from a distance. The rest of the group was split into four parts. Three would go to Mosul in the north, two to Ar-Ramadi, one to Baquba, and five to Baghdad. Each one, wherever he was taken, would spend between one and three days in transit, then one more day in briefing for his target. The next day they would be in a car weighted down with explosives, or a lorry; or be on foot with a belt or waistcoat against their stomach or chest under a full flowing robe. Within a week, at most, all would be dead and the remains of their corpses would be scattered against the walls and roofs of houses and office blocks, on the pillars of flyovers and in the courtyards where policemen gathered to be recruited or to draw their pay. The names of some would be known later from videos broadcast on websites, and the names of others would be lost in eternity. The enemy called them ‘suicide-bombers’ and feared their dedication. For himself and his fellow fighters, they were useful tactical weaponry, valued for the exactness with which a chosen target could be destroyed.

He was listened to, as he should have been. It was said now by those who reported to the resistance clandestinely, while holding down positions of importance in the regime of the collaborators, that no photograph of him existed but that already a price lay on his head – dead or alive – of a million American dollars, that he was identified in files only by the name he had given himself. He was the Scorpion.

His attention roved between the future and the present. The future was the enormity of the mission on which he was now embarking, and it would take him to a continent that was beyond his previous experience; the message had come from the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, from old men who were fugitives. The present was the open expanse of sand grit, where the only mark of human habitation was the single-storey building of concrete blocks, which was thirty kilometers from the mid-point of the road that ran for nine hours of driving between the Saudi desert communities of Hafr Al-Batn, to the south-east, and Arar, which was north-west; where he sat, ate and talked he was not more than a kilometer from the border.

He saw the misery in the face of the young man, saw him blink away tears. He went to him. He squatted beside him. ‘What is your name?’

A choked response: ‘Ibrahim, Ibrahim Hussein.’

‘Where are you from?’

‘From Asir Province, the town of Jizan.’

‘Do you have work in Jizan?’

‘At Jeddah, in the university, I am a student of medicine.’

The sun had started to slip from its zenith. Soon, perhaps, small rats or rabbits would emerge to scurry on the sand having scented the crumbs of the bread they had eaten. Later, maybe, as the greyness of dusk approached, foxes would track them.

‘We do not move before darkness. There is danger here, but greater danger if we travel in the light… Are you strong?’

‘I hope to be. Please, am I rejected?’

‘Not rejected, but chosen.’

He saw again the fullness of the smile, and relief broke on the young man’s face.

He went to his own vehicle, and lay down full length in the sand, his head against the forward off-side tyre. Beneath the balaclava he closed his eyes and slept in the knowledge that the cool of dusk would wake him. More than the present, the images of the future sidled into his mind, and the part in it that a young man would play because he walked well.

Excerpted from The Walking Dead by Gerald Seymour Copyright © 2008 by Gerald Seymour. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Group (USA). All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.