The End of the World as We Knew It

  • by Nick Cole
  • Narrated by Mare Trevathan, Guy Williams, Doug Tisdale Jr.
  • 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the future, an artist specializing in historical records creates a piece of art based on three separate accounts of the pandemic. What follows is a patchwork tale of survival and horror as two lovers struggle to survive the undying dead and the collapse of an America turned charnel house. Told as memos from Ground Zero, and later in the journal of a dark tower-like quest by train and foot across a nightmare landscape of ruined cities and raving corpses, the three accounts reveal more than just the grim realities of society's collapse. The Notebook meets The Walking Dead in this stained-glass depiction of the end of the world as we knew it.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

a different take on the "zombie apocalypse"

Three people, three different stories of the apocalypse.  This is their stories told by them through messages and journals. Follow along as they attempt to survive this new and scary world.

The narration for this was done by three different narrators, Doug Tisdale Jr., Guy Williams, Mare Trevathan, one for each character.  They all did a wonderful job, and it really helped moved the story along that each one was done by someone new.  I didn't have any issues or problems with the production or sound quality.

So, three different stories of the same event told by three different people.  The thing that made this different is that they weren't back and forth like a lot of stories like this can be.  There were three stories told separately.  Three stories that all related in one way or another, but different and unique in their own ways.

The first story I really had a hard time getting into her characters mind.  Don't get me wrong, the writing was well done, but the way that the author wrote her personality really rubbed me the wrong way.  But, perhaps that was done on purpose.  I can never tell if someone is meant to be abrasive, or if that specific character just rubs me personally the wrong way.

The second story within was really well done.  The back and forth between what he saw and had to do to survive was a really nice touch and added a lot to his character building.  The relations between the other characters was something different too.  I didn't catch it right away, but after I did I was like "woah!'"

The third (an incredibly short) story included had a crazy ending.  A wonderful way to end the entire novel.

Overall, the book was a different take on the "zombie apocalypse" compared to some of the other books I've read.  It takes a new spin and makes it much more personal.  The "recordings" or journals made this feel like you were actually following along with the logs of people who really live through this.
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- AudioBook Reviewer

Searching for his fiancé in the zombie apocalypse!

Where does The End of the World as We Knew It rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The three individual performances add nuance and realism to each character. It's one of the best audiobooks I've listened to.

What did you like best about this story?

How the characters were first and foremost to the story, secondary to the action set pieces. The action, while scary and well-written, was only the stage on which the characters could shine.

Which scene was your favorite?

The final third of the book when all is revealed and we discover whether Jason finds his fiancé or not. It comes after the most intense action scene in the book and it's also fascinating to see the aftermath of this discovery.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I wish I had the time to listen to this in one sitting because it was so riveting!

Any additional comments?

This zombie apocalypse is told from the point of view of three characters, each one sharing their story in a unique journal format. Whether it is through audio recordings, written journals or newspaper articles, it proves to be a solid method in which to tell this unique love story in a world gone mad.

Chronicling the story from the tight point of view of these three individuals, it becomes intensely personal telling it this way, really inserting the listener into the head of each storyteller so you experience this horrific world through their eyes.

The first account of the apocalypse is that of Alex, who narrates her story into her smartphone in the form of audio recordings. She’s in California on a business trip with her advertising firm working with the federal government. How she inadvertently becomes involved in ground zero of this outbreak and what happens after is a surprise. The narrator perfectly captures the panicky, spiraling out-of-control feeling of the apocalypse as it’s happening and emerging out into the world. Her story is an urgent one as she becomes embroiled in events beyond her control in more ways than one, putting her life at risk. The narrator also really captures the thought process behind Alex’s questionable decisions as she faces the fight of her life, coming off as quite shrill and shaky at times and by doing so. Tthe narrator illustrates this thinking well by making it a crucial part of the narrator’s performance of the character in the process.

Jason is Alex’s fiancé and he’s stuck in New York City during the zombie outbreak in his office building. How he escapes, what he escapes to and the cross-country journey he undertakes to find her takes up the bulk of the novel. He writes in a journal about his adventures traveling with the military, his strong but gut-wrenching feelings about watching a mass cleanup of bodies, power struggles, perilous undertakings and life-threatening near-misses as he travels from East to West. But will he be able to even find Alexandra? The second narrator captures the melancholy, depression, despair and sense of hopelessness during the apocalypse. These feelings are especially acute when he’s describing four incidents where he felt shameful about his actions as he tried to survive and comprehend his feelings about it all.

The third account of the apocalypse takes the form of an unpublished newspaper article of a California reporter named Jonah. His story ties the entire novel and its themes together by sharing what he discovered in his lifetime by writing about his personal account of the zombie apocalypse. The narrator’s matter-of-fact approach, just like a news article, come through loud and clear, especially by the end of his tale.

Overall, there’s a genuine earnestness to each vocal performance that brings the text alive, enhances it and makes each intense emotion for all the characters hit home for the listener. This enveloping novel was a fantastic story to listen to because of the life-changing events for each character, as each of their journeys is only for those with a strong fortitude. As a result, the listener becomes deeply invested in their fates and appreciates what happened to them, how it tested them and how they responded.

This story makes me happy that this is a piece of fiction and not real life, as this is not a world I would want to live in. But a novel that takes me on such a captivating ride like this one is always welcome.

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- Chris F.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-01-2015
  • Publisher: Nick Cole