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Publisher's Summary

Following in the footsteps of the New York Times best-selling graphic novels and the record-breaking new television show, this debut novel in a trilogy of original Walking Dead books chronicles the back story of the comic book series' greatest villain, The Governor.

In the Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain than The Governor. The despot who runs the walled-off town of Woodbury, he has his own sick sense of justice: whether it’s forcing prisoners to battle zombies in an arena for the townspeople’s amusement, or chopping off the appendages of those who cross him. The Governor was voted “Villain of the Year” by Wizard magazine the year he debuted, and his story arc was the most controversial arc in the history of The Walking Dead comic book series. Now, for the first time, fans of The Walking Dead will discover how The Governor became the man he is, and what drove him to such extremes.

©2011 Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“If the comic book writer Robert Kirkman were a superhero, his name might be the Midas Touch.” ( The New York Times)

What listeners say about The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

T.S. ELIOT

THE INTERSTATE IS ON FIRE
My favorite show is Game of Thrones, followed by The Walking Dead. I waited a long time for this to go on sale and snatched it up the first time it did. I was so disappointed. It is just guys running around killing zombies. Kirkman and Bonansinga do try to be the T.S. Eliot of the zombie genre with their elegant language and big words, but the story sucks or the lack of story, I should say. This is one of the few times when the written word is worse than the show or movie.

Pass on this one.

HE WAS A GOD DAMN GOOD MAN AND HE DIED LIKE A MAN.

53 people found this helpful

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Editor didn't do his job...

Is there anything you would change about this book?

There are several silly technical mistakes in this book that should have been caught and corrected before it was published. Just a few examples, Ford doesn't make the S10... Try Chevy... Glock Handguns don't have a manual safety. The safety is incorporated into the trigger. Oh, and a mistake made by so many writers... CORDITE... Bullets haven't contained Cordite as a propellant since 1945. It's production stopped at the end of WWII, yet writers continue to refer to the air hanging heavy with the smell of Cordite. Unless your shooters are using Vintage WWII bullets, it's not Cordite they are smelling :-)

53 people found this helpful

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Well....okay...I guess

I am a fan of the series and so picking up this book was a no-brainer. (Pun intended...)

But the book takes on a "they run...they kill zombies...then they run to a different place" feel that is tedious after a while. If you're looking for backstory on "the Governor" don't expect much. Because it only comes out in the last few minutes.

Author tries to create tension but in the end we're left with one-dimensional completely predictable (although sometimes gross) character actions and motivations.

The narrator is excellent -- trying to do his best with an essentially flatlined story.

Is it listen-able. Sure.

Are there better options? Absolutely.

53 people found this helpful

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Warning!!! Hardcore fan about to rant...

Ok bare with me here. I am one of those HUGE Walking Dead fans. You know the ones who have each single issue, variant, and limited edition omnibus. The fan who counts down the days until the monthly comes out, just so I can DOWNLOAD it right away to get my “fix,” and later buy the issues when time suffices. Well, needless to say, if you are like me (and you probably are if you’re reading this) or even just a casual fan of the comic of TV show, you probably are going to be looking to check out Rise of the Governor.
First off, if you’re just a TV fan, just stay away period. This is not worth your time, you won’t know how this pertains to TWD, and will get pretty bored with it. There is better stuff out there. Now, being the fan that I am, I have been trying to read my hardcover (signed by Kirkman/Bonasinga at NYCC….sigh) for quite some time, but being a high school teacher with zero free time, I turned to audio-book instead. This book is ULTRA-descriptive, to the point where it is a glaring flaw. Think of THIS review that your fine self is reading, and I just NOW began talking about the book! You’re probably saying “I don’t care about your fan-dom, your profession, or frankly you cyber man….just talk about the book!” Yes, all that stuff was purposefully included to make my point, but you need to know the gravity of the situation. “The zombie was gnashing like a BLANK which was BLANK. The gnashing was so BLANK that it reminded Brian of a BLANK. ……“ It’s difficult to express how much this book suffers from this in words.
Unfortunately, the ending was predictable after the first 25% of the book, which wasn’t all that jarring, yet still the biggest highlight of this book. Not that much happened looking back, just descriptions of EVERYTHING including the word “arterial” maybe 35 times. Yes TWD is a slow burn, but still there’s supposed to be that “OH S***” moment, which sadly, never came. The narrarator’s voices were okay at best, but during heated conversations, they all sounded too similar.
My biggest quam will be yours too if you’re a fan of the comics. Only the last 10% of the book is in Woodbury. So if you were expecting to see crazy “Governor stuff” it totally lacked. They could have added maybe 3 more chapters and made it 100% more satisfying.
Anyhow, what can I say, it was TWD….in book form…so it still gets 3 stars, but apparently a Michonne book is next in the trilogy, I just hope it is a bit more memorable.

46 people found this helpful

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Its ok...

Have listened to every book in this genre on audible. No joke. This book is hard to grade. The story is good. The narration is ok. But somethings missing. Its not as good as Day by day or Morningstar. Or the Joe Ledger novels. And I mean nowhere near as good. But its alot better than The Infection, Haters, or The Undead Situation. And I mean alot better.

20 people found this helpful

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the editor should be fired

A few minutes worth of fact checking would have made a HUGE difference. A Ford S-10 pickup? A 20 guage goose gun? A 12 guage blowing off two heads in one shot from a few feet away? Feeling light headed from Naproxin? And the mispronunciation.... The story was good but these distractions and many more made the book hard to not listen to without feeling like you should be getting paid for editing the book. I bought this cause I love the TV series, but I think Kirkman needs to stick to comics.

12 people found this helpful

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First off, I'm NOT a fan of the TV show...

For starters, I HATE the Walking Dead tv show. Of course, I have VERY high standards for my zombie entertainment, and I feel that the tv show is lacking in MANY ways... HOWEVER, this book is FANTASTIC! A truly original zombie tale, through and through. I couldn't appreciate the tie in to the comics or the tv show, BUT what I did appreciate is one darn good zombie story. Believe me, if you like this genre, get this book!!

8 people found this helpful

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One of the best of the genre

I am an avid fan of zombie fiction and this was a huge surprise for me. Fantastic story and one of the best performances from a narrator that I have ever heard - I was literally brought to tears at one point. As I said this is one of the best of the genre. Wow - well done.

7 people found this helpful

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Too many technical inaccuracies. .

What would have made The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor better?

Google search...lets see, Harley Glides are air cooled. ..no radiator to drink from, Glocks don't have manual safeties and Ford doesn't make an S10. Plus a Marlin 55 is a turnbolt shotgun...and a 12 is bigger than a 20...GOOGLE!

Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga ? Why or why not?

Normally I would not but I've already bought the other two...

Have you listened to any of Fred Berman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Good narrative.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointed!

Any additional comments?

Kirkman REALLY needs to research his world. Its fiction , but you can only suspend disbelief to a certain extent. ..

6 people found this helpful

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I expected so much better!

What did you like best about The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor? What did you like least?

I felt the writing to be pretentious. The story was okay…

What was most disappointing about Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga ’s story?

As an avid Walking Dead fan I felt a huge disconnect with this book. I felt that the writers there in a few $10.00 words to make them selves seem smarter and felt the story to be a bit unbelievable.

Could you see The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No I don't, However I do hope that after reading it I will get a better sense of “The Governor” when he is introduced in Season three of the series. If not then I fear this purchase would have been a total waste.

Any additional comments?

I felt that this book could have been a bit better. I found myself having to force myself to listen to the story just to finish the book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 08-19-13

Fantastic book, performed really well, recommended

Would you consider the audio edition of The Walking Dead: Rise of The Governor to be better than the print version?

I havent read the print version but the performance for me really added to the story so I would expect the audio edition to be better than the print version.

What did you like best about this story?

Some pretty dark areas are covered within the story which were really insightful and added a great deal to the background of the walking dead series.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When the group were in Atlanta, I wont go into more detail as to avoid spoilers .

2 people found this helpful

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  • Justinas Sinkunas
  • 01-18-19

Gripping start to finish!

For fans of the Walking dead series, then this is a must. Amazing to learn who the Governor was before he became the Governor. The story has a superb way of starting off very slowly and it feels it, but tends to rise up in tension up until each pinnacle moment which define the behaviour and unleash the true characteristics of the characters! Each characters has faults and moments where they shine and I found I could like a character at first but dislike them later. Very mixed emotions in this story!

Just a warning though, there are a number of "graphic" sexual moments.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-18

very enjoyable

Loved the book. The description of the governers journey to madness kept me gripped from start to finish. Can not wait to start listening to the next instalment.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 04-02-15

Top story

Loved this story. A little twist near the end really finished it off nicely for me.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Butterfly_wings
  • 09-05-12

A must read or listen!

Loved Fred Berman's narration and the book itself is great. I can not wait for the 2nd book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-30-21

Highly recommend

Loved it, loved the narration. Great book.
warning; rape scenes which are quite graphic

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David Freeman
  • 09-22-20

Wow

Great story expanding the walking dead universe and filling in story gaps great start the the series

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • zoe jones
  • 05-01-20

Gripping.

With being a big fan of both the Comics & the tv show I wasnt sure how to go about a Walking Dead book, bit the Narrator had me hooked from start to finish.
The transformation of the "main" character is brilliant & something fans of the show & comics will never see coming.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Porritt
  • 06-06-19

It was alright. certainly a bit of a slow start.

like the series as listened before but this one takes some getting going but I suppose you have to set the scene.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 03-12-18

Terrible

It’s terrible. Really, really terrible. I would recommend it but I’d only do that so I could immediately unrecommended to give it an “unrecommended” status.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • B.reynolds
  • 03-11-15

great narrator

The narrator is awesome great voice and voice acting. I just bought the next books in the series because of him.

2 people found this helpful

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  • P. F. Richards
  • 06-12-22

HARD AND UNRELENTING

A hard listen at times - unforgiving Well its been a long time since I had to turn a audio book off a few times due to the raw horror of the narrated story. A very hard take on the Zombie world of the walking dead. Full on and not for the average listener. Great performance by Fred Berman delivering this rock hard audio story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • liam sirmais
  • 06-02-22

Not too bad

This is focused on the comic books and NOT the tv show so keep that in mind. It's not the best writing and at times it's a little painful with a fairly slow story but the narrator helps make it a more enjoyable listen. Definitely recommend for TWD fans.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tristan
  • 02-14-22

Great backstory for the Governor

Rise of the Governor follows the Blake Bros with Philip’s daughter Penny, and school buddies Nick and Bobby as they fight for survival and search for sanctuary as the end of days begins.

For anyone that enjoys The Walking Dead comic or tv series. It has the same panic-inducing feel as the rest of the series with plenty of characters to never get attached to.
It’s not really a prequel to the tv series as there’s a few chapters the show used a bit differently later on. It’s still enjoyable to have it to compare and find the Easter eggs but you could definitely use it to go with the comics and lead up to the next book.

.