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I have read a lot of zombie books, but the spread of this plague was the fastest ever. In the morning it was in Eastern Europe, by noon it was in Europe and by that evening it had crossed the channel into England. Howard is 27 and a night manager at a chain grocery store. He does not work out, is not a genius and has no super powers. He is AN AVERAGE ENGLISH BLOKE. He is a very likeable character that most people can relate to. If you have read more than one Zombie book, there will not be much new in this story. In my opinion this is not as gross or gory or dark as many of the others. The book has a slight YA feel to it. Yes, there is some head chopping and some gory stuff happens, but the way it is written it is not going to give you nightmares. For me, Howie and Dave together gave this Zombie book a lot of charm. At first it was only Howie and Howie is very likeable, but the story did start to drag until he got together with Dave. The middle also has a lot of just running around and killing Zombies, which bored me, hence the four stars, not five. The more I listened the more I liked the characters and the more I liked this sort of story. There really is not a plot. It is the usual, plague hits, and he needs to find his family, who is miles away. This is about his travels to find his family.
I have read some English books, that had so much slang it turned me off. This has just enough to make it interesting to the average American. For instance, doesn't wing mirrors sound better then side mirrors. I also did not realize that the English still called their women, birds. I thought that was a 1960's thing. I would normally not continue a series that did not get five stars from me, but this was going so well toward the end, that I have decided I will continue it.
27 of 29 people found this review helpful
Last year Audible readers were treated to Spanish zombies in Manel Loureiro's "Apocalypse Z." This year, a zombie plague hits the shores of Dear Old Blighty in R. R. Haywood's "The Undead."
Howie is a night manager in a supermarket in southern England, and he has to attend a daytime meeting. Afterward, he goes home, gets some takeout, and turns on the TV to enjoy a rare night off--only to find that zombies have suddenly taken over Europe.
What comes next will be familiar to anyone who's seen much of the genre: hazardous travel, harrowing escapes, and humans more dangerous, or at least more irritating, than any zombie. But then Howie goes back to where he used to work and finds Dave, his former colleague.
From there on the series takes a fresh turn as Dave and Howie begin a search for Howie's sister, Sarah, stuck in her flat somewhere in London. As it is with all the best zombie novels, Haywood tells us more about friendship and human nature than the relentless advance of the undead. A stressful situation can bring out the best in some people, and Howie, fortunately, is one of the lucky ones. The spin on the plague itself is pretty interesting, too.
While I wouldn't call this a comedy, it's quite light-hearted in places, with plenty of British-style sarcasm. Narrator Dan Morgan does a great job bringing it all to life.
I've really been enjoying this series and I certainly hope there are more on the way soon. Recommended for anyone looking for a new take on a favorite genre!
19 of 22 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Yes, overall I think this was a fair book and not a waste of time. I liked both of the two main characters as they make for a good blend - and I liked them as individuals too. I didn't like the zombies if I'm honest though and I'll explain why below.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
I don't think the author thought out the zombies that well. I'm not a huge fan of people that write a book were they aren't the inventor of a genre or sub-genre but write it as if they are. IE if you aren't the first person to write about zombies - and given they are a well know pop-culture brand - it doesn't play well for me when no-one in the book knows what a zombie is. More so when you use the word zombie. I counted the use ten times that I noticed.
Also, what he does use is, "the un-dead", and pretty much only that to describe zombies. Which can be a little repetitive
The zombies in this book start off being killed by the main character with head blows, but later when the secondary lead comes into the story he is killing them by cutting their throats. I didn't understand this at all. Firstly it isn't that easy to cut a throat - certainly more so than in the book. Secondly, some people die with limbs ripped off, arteries torn out or other injuries that result in them bleeding out, and they rise to be un-dead. So if this is the case I couldn't get on board with them suddenly being able to die from having their throats slashed and bleeding out as a zombie. How can a bloodless zombie bleed out?
Also, some scenes don't work if you actually think about them for five seconds. In one scene a zombie manages to cover two hundred meters faster than the MC can get into his car. The world record for that is 19 seconds. And considering the MC was outrunning zombies with a fair amount of ease even at night I found this ill thought out. And it wasn't the only scene that had this type of issue.
Far too much shouting in the book. In reality the world would be like living surrounded by enemies that all want to kill you. Are you ever going to shout in that type of world? Not and live that long, and so I never like seeing characters do it, as I'm not sure many would past the first few hours or so.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I found quite a few scenes good. The strip club was quite funny at the beginning of it. The gun battle in Portsmout was quite good too.
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Sure, I love a good zombie blood bath. But as films often tend to be worse than books I'm sure I'd hate it afterwards.
Any additional comments?
Not the best author in this genre, but if it is his first book - I think it is - then it is certainly an acceptable start, and I found the book good enough that I'll read the second one to see if some of the issues in this one have been addressed.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Undead the most enjoyable?
I wanted an audiobook to listen too for a 9hr drive from Austria to the UK after a weeks Snowbaoarding. I did already have RR Haywood's 'Undead' on Kindle, but unfortunately just don't get time to read it due to busy work schedule. So as soon as I heard 'The Undead' was available as an audiobook i knew I had to download it. It made the 9hr drive fly bye!
As soon as I got home I knew i had to download Part 2!
What did you like best about this story?
Great intro & character building. I just want to listen to more.
What does Dan Morgan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Great voice & very subtle voice changes for the characters. Perfect
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Not so much 'moved me', but can i relate to the characters & their decisions as if I was in their situation.
Any additional comments?
Cant wait for the next available Audiobook!!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful