First off kudos to Richard McGonagle for perfectly nailing the tone and demeanor of this book. This is perhaps the best reading of any of the hundreds of books that I have listened to from either audible or other places.
Secondly this book is a fun and lighthearted view of the historical people who ran the United States. If you cannot tell by the title it is a little bit vulgar but fun and silly through. It is still somewhat historically accurate (from the parts that I have independently studied).
Perhaps the largest downside to this book is that the author spends more or less equal time on all of the presidents, and while this leads to some very humorous chapters due to the need to fill it out prevents some presidents from getting the needed tome to accurately describe their badassery.
Also note that this only covers the dead presidents and not any living ones.
The book is a stitch, and could well be subtitled "The American Shaun of the Dead". It is exactly what you think it is from reading the pitch: "The Hangover" with zombies. And that angle could easily lead a lesser writer to a complete train wreck. But Mr. Johnson pulls it off with élan. His characters are the everyman friends we've all had on and off throughout our lives, and their responses to the various scenarios that arise are - blessedly - the reactions I would expect from me and my friends, and not the stuff of heroes. At the same time, Mr. Johnson cuts his characters no slack, and "kills his darlings" with ghoulish delight.
The humor is sometimes a little sophomore-ish, but that is quite in keeping with the characters, so it works. The "physical comedy", so to speak, is brilliantly detailed by the author; I rarely laugh out loud when reading, but I found myself sustaining lengthy belly-laughing fits more than twice. The scene with the zombie and the mullet is worthy of the Marx Brothers. The ability to convey effective slapstick comedy in prose is the mark of a solid writer.
The first big fight with the zombies when one grabs Russ by the mullet. That whole fight scene is hysterical. The "comic high jinx" are pretty evenly distributed throughout the book.
No, but he's now on my list, along with Phil Gigante and Wayne June. Mr. Helleger's performance is flawless. He nails the voices for the various character stereotypes without sounding stereotypical. His reading is spirited and engaging, and his sound FX are priceless.
I don't usually write reviews, because someone else has usually said what I wanted to say, only better. But there were no reviews yet on this a/b when I checked earlier today, and I very much want to encourage Mr. Johnson to Write! Write! Write! In my humble judgment, this book stands right up there with WWZ, Zombie Fallout, etc. It's definitely not "Adam Sandler vs the Zombies" - there's a real zombie story in there, and a very interesting twist on the origins of the plague.
A solid, thoroughly entertaining first adventure into Zombiedom.
(PS: When it comes time to make the movie, please remember me as one of the book's first fans on audible - I would love to be a zombie extra!)