The first thing you should know is that this is a zombie story in the tradition of movies like Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland. That is to say, a zombie comedy (zombedy?).
I am going to make this review easy. I imagine you are not going to buy two zombie comedies this month which means you may be considering this or The Zombies of Lake Woebegotton (also available from Audible). The difference between the titles is easily articulated: Zombie Fallout generates its humor primarily from one-liners, bad smells, slapstick, and bodily functions. The Zombies of Lake Woebegotton's humor is primarily situational, satire, and irony. I think the The Zombies of Lake Woebegotton is the much better of the two books, but you should assess by your own sense of humor.
Taken on its own, Zombie Fallout isn't bad. It is amusing, and I love a good zombie story. I think I'll even buy the sequel. However, if I were looking to buy a zombie-comedy this month, this would be my second choice.
My main issue with this audiobook is the incessant bickering and sarcasm. Maybe some people like that, apparently a lot do, but I wouldn`t recommend this book. I just found myself getting annoyed and frustrated with the relationship between the main character and his wife, and how he`s always getting the evil eye`from her.
For instance, who bickers over which car to take when your kids life is on the line?
I tried the second book and just couldn't deal with it. Slow plot movement, and the character kept referencing back to the first book in an attempt to explain plot holes away.
I stopped listening after a few chapters of nothing much happening and returned it.
The performance was well done, he captured the character's essence very well. Should be a 5 star performance but I just can't stand the character enough to rate it that high.
The survivalism aspect of the book was neat...personally I think that's what a lot of people are drawn to with zombie stories. It definitely satisfied in that department.
Mostly I felt frustration.
As I said, I wouldn't recommend, but clearly most people really dig this story. Maybe it just wasn't for me.
Undecided. I tend to enjoy post apocalyptic/dystopian as well as zombie works. I thought the author instilled much good humor and clever observations throughout, but despite that I found myself working hard to pay attention. The writing in general I found to be above-average for the genre, however the constant relentless asides I found to be tiresome and distracting, and especially in the latter half of the novel had a major impact in impeding the pace and immediate drama of the proceedings. Furthermore, all too often I was confused about simple things like geography and stage direction. And by the end there were so many characters, more than seemed necessary as few got enough attention or development to justify their inclusion. The author seemed to constantly get in the way of himself as far as any attempt to tell an exciting and engaging story. That's quite a feat considering we're talking about a zombie survival novel. And let's not overlook the wife Tracy- at first I found some good humor in the typical husband/wife spats cast against the unlikely zombie apocalypse scenario, but Tracy quickly got tiresome and annoying with her constant nagging and disapproval. I think it was a rather grating depiction of a female character, and hell she was just annoying I kept hoping she would get bitten and put out of her misery.My favorite characters were Tommy and the loyal loving dogs, Henry and Bear.
I think several things disappointed me about Zombie Fallout, and I'll try to summarize the biggest weak points.
1. The homophobia - No so much in the beginning but towards the end there is a jarring reference where the crushing of a zombie's melon is described by the author as being as "repellent" as "seeing two men kiss" that is just out of place and context for the story. I can handle the primary character being a somewhat homophobic middle aged guy who doesn't have a problem making gay jokes with an older neighbor, but the later reference happens away from the main character.
2. The cliched characters - When the author tries to write in the wife's voice, the horrendous weakness of the character writing spills forth. Rather than a complex character, the wife isn't much more than an unintelligent naggy cliche. Women aren't much more than two dimensional props in the story who sit around and gossip, and call each other "bitch".
3. The plot: The story drifts too far away from the standard Romero & Walking Dead zombie genre with the introduction of other elements that I won't spoil.
There are a myriad of other issues that didn't bother me but may annoy others - plot holes, sarcastic humor, and an over description of foul odors. Actually, the last one got annoying towards the end due to the sheer quantity of repetitiveness.
A different zombie book.
The narration (voice acting) was fine. The writing was, at times, painfully disjointed. The main character is supposed to be narrating the story in a journal format. The descriptive vocabulary used is impressive but the character is supposed to be a college drop out, working stiff. It was disconnects like these that killed the suspension of disbelief.
It had some redeeming qualities. The main character feels genuine and authentic. The story remains intriguing and maintains some mystery.
As the book went along, it became more and more evident that the main character wasn't much more than a thinly veiled version of the author. It felt like fan fiction where the author decided to place himself as a character into a zombie apocalypse story in which the glaring flaws of the character are overlooked because the author is unaware of his own personal flaws. There is no arc or change with the main character because he's already the perfect hero on day one. While authentic, genuine, and honest, the main character lacks interesting complexity.
If the author didn't make 3/4 of the book content about metaphors of the situation and cheesy ones at that. This more about the main character analyzing situation describe through metaphor after metaphor which kept things from moving along. It wasn't believable that in the face of zombies one would stop and think all these humors thoughts. DO NOT BOTHER
Just interesting enough to pick up the next to see if got any better...wrong!
Not sure if the reader w as bad are just the content, reader didn't have much to work with.
When it was over
The story is too self aware. It tries too hard to be witty and it is not.
This just wasn't my cup of tea. It seems by other reviews, youeither love it or hate it...i didn't like it very much. I forced myself to continue in hope it would get better, but it did not.
I'm not a fan of the style.
I was disappointed as I read many reviews before purchase.
Love to exercise while listening
I liked that these were not your typical stupid zombies.
I like when zombie books explain how it happened. They describe how in the first chapter.
bored. slow. unexcitable.
If I read this book, I would have skimmed over the silly distractions during action parts. I did roll my eyes a lot. You have a semi yet you don't get all the food from the grocery store? You're going to put someone in handcuffs when thousands of zombies are at your front gate. Not sure if I'll contiue with this series.
The book was great for the first few chapters but then just went downhill. The main character can't stay focused and it is obnoxious. The first few times he does it you give him a pass and it offers some comic relief but as it continues, and actually gets worse, you want to kill the guy. The main character also paints himself as an old rusty x-marine who is a self described non-English major but then uses some way out there vocabulary. It just isn't consistent. I bought and went through the 2nd book but I'm done with the series now.
Characters seem unrealistic and 2 dimensional making decisions to drive story rather than in a realistic way. Drama is forced and not compelling. I didn't feel for anyone in this story and it's poorly written.
In a world with books like World War Z and shows like The Walking Dead I don't see the point of this story. It doesn't add anything. It doesn't make interesting commentary on humanity it doesn't do anything interesting with the genre. It actually feels like the kind of story that would have been trash binned by any good editor if it weren't for the current resurgence in zombie fiction.
This book is written in a pleasant, joshing tone; a self-deprecating ex-Marine survivalist trying to keep his family and friends alive, under siege in a gated suburban community during a standard zombie apocalypse. I enjoy zombie novels and horror in general, and I've read all the best. Tufo's writing is cutesy and his storytelling clear - he never reaches the literary genius of Jonathan Maberry or the originality of Scott Kenemore, but the character is solid and the narration above par. I *was* enjoying it.
Then I reached past the midpoint of the novel, and the few female characters began to be featured in more-detail. I had to check the publication date to be sure I was listening to a book written in 2010, and not 1940. Tufo's female characters come in two types - aggressive whores and mean, inept feebs. How has this Master Survivalist raised two teenaged sons who stand side-by-side in battle with him, can shoot like marksmen and reload with their eyes closed, yet his daughter - their *older* sister - doesn't know which end of the gun to put the ammunition into. His wife is equally useless, pouty and sullen, and isn't motivated to kill a zombie until she spots the dead slut who almost ruined their marriage years ago. The daughter has value ONLY because she brings a gun-toting boyfriend into the group.
ALL the women in this book are useless at best, and evil detriments at worst. The wife is a chain-smoking bitch who petulantly withholds sex and says things like "If you don't know what you did, I'm not going to tell you!" and cares more about damage to the carpet and the resale value of their house DURING THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. If this is meant for laughs, it's not even a little bit funny. The "other wives" -- and that phrase is used -- are a bunch of similar sniping harridans, more interested in stabbing each other in the back than doing anything remotely helpful.
Tough white guys are pretty standard in this variety of fiction and I'm accustomed to it. I read the Walking Dead series and have been very glad that the often-brutally sexist portrayal in the graphic novels has been largely corrected in the TV series. But even in the original format, women may have been victims, but they were also strong, smart and worth having around.
I understand that there are a half-dozen more books in the Zombie Fallout series, but I fear that Mark Tufo has too many personal issues he dumps into his novels. I won't be reading or recommending any more of them, and will warn half his audience to stay away or risk being greatly insulted.