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"The Returned" (The Book Resurrection Is Based On)

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When I was recapping this show for TWoP, I thought it would be helpful if I read the book. I didn't make it all the way through before the site shut down, but here's what I can report.

The most interesting difference is that when the book starts, there are already lots and lots of Returned. Agent Bellamy works for the government agency that's been created to handle the constant influx of formerly dead people. The story still focuses on Jacob's return to his parents, who have grown old without him, but the book gets to skip past the problem of everyone wondering if he's really Jacob.

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I haven't read the book itself but I ended up reading about it on some message boards for the French show with a (strikingly) similar premise (there is a large sentiment that the book may have ripped off that show's source material but you know how that stuff goes... hard to say for certain and probably not). 


It's interesting: on twop the thread title was a joke about the similarity to the 4400 but the way you describe it Monty, it sounds like the book would make me think of that more than the show does at this point.

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I read the book and did not like it at all. I was disappointed as to why there was no resolution about "why" they were returning.


Or the even bigger question of why the Returned started disappearing at the end of the book.


I finally read the book and was extremely disappointed with it as well -- haven't been this disappointed since I read 'The Leftovers', but that's a whole different forum.


Here's a bunch of other things that stood out as big differences between the book and the tv show.

  • The state is different in the book -- North Carolina vs. Missouri -- but the town is still called Arcadia.
  • The amount of time since Jacob disappeared is nearly 50 years in the book vs. 26 years in the tv show
  • Colonel Willis in the book is a real piece of work -- killing members of the Returned if he didn't get the answers he wanted during interrogation.
  • The Returned are a worldwide phenomena, and everyone knows about from information on the Internet, TV and newspapers. And the randomness of the placement of the Returned seems the same -- Jacob still shows up in China, but then there are also German soldiers who returned to upstate New York.  International reaction varied -- some nations declared the Returned as non-persons and started putting them all to death.
  • Martin Bellamy's mom is an internee at the Returned camp in Arcadia, and bunking in the same room as Jacob and his father -- Harold (in the book, Henry in the TV show) stays in the internment camp with Jacob since he's just a child. Other people do this as well to protect/take care of younger Returned children.
  • The Returned in the TV show seem to be in relatively good health, but always hungry and rarely slept whereas in the book they return as is from before they died -- Bellamy's mother still had dementia when she died the first time and still had it when she returned.
  • The Pastor was not a playmate of Jacob's before he disappeared.
  • The Pastor's girlfriend is one of the Returned, but she does not show up in Arcadia but ends up in a Returned internment camp in Mississippi.  She was also 16 and definitely not pregnant.
  • The Sheriff in the tv show (Fred Langston) seemed to be based on the book character of Fred Green, an old curmudgeon who hates the Returned since he's a retiree with nothing else better to do, and whose wife was not one of the Returned.  Caleb Richards, Elaine Richards, Ray Richards, and Maggie Langston (or their equivalents) don't exist in the book.
  • In the book the Returned start outnumbering the Living in some towns, and that causes the military to be more strict by rounding them up and put them into increasingly overpopulated conditions with fewer and fewer resources.
  • There is no definitive answer in the book how far back in time the Returned came from -- if German soldiers from WW2 are showing up, that means Hitler or Stalin could have conceivably shown up somewhere.
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