In this first and only guide to AMC’s exceptional hit series The Walking Dead, the Wall Street Journal’s Walking Dead columnist celebrates the show, its storylines, characters, and development, and examines its popularity and cultural resonance.
From its first episode, The Walking Dead took fans in the United States and across the world by storm, becoming the highest-rated series in the history of cable television. After each episode airs, Paul Vigna writes a widely read column in which he breaks down the stories and considers what works and what doesn’t, and tries to discern the small details that will become larger plot points.
So how did a basic cable television show based on Robert Kirkman's graphic comic series, set in an apocalyptic dog-eat-dog world filled with flesh-eating zombies and even scarier human beings, become a ratings juggernaut and cultural phenomenon? Why is the show such a massive hit? In this playful yet comprehensive guide, Vigna dissect every aspect of The Walking Dead to assess its extraordinary success.
In the vein of Seinfeldia,Vigna digs into the show’s guts, exploring its roots, storyline, relevance for fans and the wider popular culture, and more. He explores how the changing nature of television and media have contributed to the show’s success, and goes deep into the zombie genre, delineating why it’s different from vampires, werewolves, and other monsters. He considers why people have found in zombies a mirror for their own fears, and explains how this connection is important to the show’s popularity. He interviews the cast and crew, who share behind-the-scenes tales, and introduces a cross-section of its diverse and rabid viewership, from fantasy nerds to NFL stars. Guts is a must have for every Walking Dead fan.
About the Author
Paul Vigna is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and also contributes to the popular MoneyBeat blog. He is the author (with Michael J. Casey) of the critically acclaimed The Age of Cryptocurrency and The Truth Machine. He lives in Verona, New Jersey, with his wife, Elizabeth, and their son.
“Vigna’s vivid descriptions of life on set, made richer by interviews with cast and crew, should satisfy even ardent walker stalkers...a smart and entertaining ode to the show.” — Washington Post
“Guts not only acts as a good way to read up on the show, but it’s also an examination of its fans and just why a depressing, nihilistic show has become so popular.”
— Andrew Liptak, The Verge
“A balanced look at what the show gets right, what it sometimes gets wrong, and what it is about the show that resonates so deeply with millions of people around the world...It’s a book TWD fans need to read.” — The Undead Walking