I have the distinct feeling this book was trying really hard to be Evil Dead. I think it tried to be a less campy, more rooted in reality Evil Dead, but it still had that kind of feel. I really disliked how I got more descriptions of the main character's OCD tendencies than I did the zombies themselves. There is little to no psychological thrill in this book. Mike, the main character, states many times how he, as a man, hates feelings; and thus, we just get a line or two about how Mike vomited again rather than digging any deeper into the terror and fear being surrounded by zombies could inflict.
I think my dislike of this book boils down to one thing. It tends to be very one-dimensional. Characters are one dimensional (and trope-filled), plot is one-dimensional, ect. I honestly don't think this book adds much to the zombie genre (at least at this point in the series, I know things get weird in the later books, I'm forcing my way through book 2 right now).
If you are any kind of feminist, this book isn't for you. I'm pretty sure half of my friends would hate it. If you are homosexual, you will also probably not enjoy the "stereotypical" lesbians, and misrepresentations of gay men. In my opinion, there was a bit of homophobia that leaked through (hey editors, you could have really nixed that part about how two men kissing is disgusting as dead rotting flesh, that was not cool).
Tufo also goes a little overboard on sexualizing his female characters, fat-character bashing, and the only competent members who fight against zombies are male. There are No. Strong. Female. Characters. None. The closest thing is Mike's daughter, but she is tiny and useless in a fight according to the story. Also, I really disliked Tufo's portrayal of minorities. This especially applies to Big Tiny, who is a huge black man written as being a little dim and a hulking threat in the first book, and he ends up allying himself with Mike. Alex, the book's Latino character, is a little better (I think we can thank Runnette for his portrayal of Alex for that). I'll talk about Tommy below.
If you don't overthink the literature you read, then you probably won't have an issue with the book. If you haven't watched the Evil Dead movies, you might also enjoy them, because I do love Ash (played by Bruce Campbell), and Mike seems like a weak Ash reboot. Sean Runnette does a pretty solid job with the narration. He brings Mike to life in a way I feel does the character justice. Runnette also doesn't overdo Tommy's character, which leads me to...
(SPOILERY) Tommy. The magical, fat disabled Latino boy who is guided by the voice of Ryan Seacrest. As hilarious as the Ryan Seacrest thing is, the trope of the happy go lucky disabled boy who is mentally inept, but actually the best, most lovable puppy in the world, kind of makes me want to puke. Yet another trope that makes me disappointed in the book. (END SPOILER)
Also, this book is highly unrealistic for the genre. I wanted to slap the characters many times for doing things that *should* have gotten them infected. I actually don't know why or how they weren't infected.
So why did I push through the end of this book? Why did I purchase and start the second book? Am I a little bit masochistic? Maybe. I was pretty harsh on Tufo's characterizations, but I have to say there is an underlying story which can be somewhat enjoyable. There were long stretches where I enjoyed the writing and didn't get pulled out of the story because of how improbable a plot point was. There is some solid writing in this novel, it just wouldn't be my first pick of zombie books, nor would I necessarily recommend it.
(However, I will say I am about to give up on the second book. So no, the series doesn't get better, it only gets more ridiculous).
I am a Landscape Architect living in Hanover, Pennsylvania who enjoys historical nonfiction, fantasy novels, and zombie horror.
I’ll give any zombie book a listen, and for the past few years it seems that this one makes every Audible ‘Five Dollar Bottom-of-the-Bucket Sale’ that comes around. It’s worth a listen for that low price, but I doubt I’d be satisfied with the purchase had I paid full member price – and I have serious hesitations about continuing this series. (Sidenote: The fact that seven books have been released in two-and-a-half years is pretty telling about the quality of the writing and the richness of the plot. Don’t expect anything too deep here, folks; this is some hastily-written fodder.)
The plot is straightforward and predictable. We follow a main character from the onset of a ‘zombie apocalypse’ for a few weeks. Within the plot are all the clichés that have come to represent contemporary zombie literature; we witness the transformation of a suburban subdivision into ‘Defense Bunker Alpha’ for a colorful cast of survivors; we follow expeditions to plunder the local Wal Mart and state armory; we observe struggles of power within family and community in the name of ‘survival.’
Along the way there is plenty of zombie gore and death.
Tufo lacks pacing and substance throughout much of the book. What he does achieve is the creation of a conventional and believable post apocalyptic world. It’s a bit funny, sort of tense, not so clever, moderately creative, and overall pretty enjoyable to escape into.
I have one nitpick with this book, and that is that I repeatedly cringed at many of Tufo’s hamfisted and stereotypical plot devices. I can generally ignore such things for the sake of the overall story arc, but Tufo manages to bog his narrative down with so many unrealistic distractions: the villains in the story are all ‘bad guys’ just for the sake of being ‘bad guys’ and they lack any real motivation; the humor is crude in a ‘lols we all smell like poop’ way, and probably worst of all, the supporting characters are all utter stereotypes without any development or reasoning—we have a Russian henchman whose sole purpose in life is to speak in a thick accent and inject icy intimidation as needed, a pair of weepily woeful lesbian feminazis, and the most facepalmy—a mentally-retarded teenage sidekick with an obsession for Yoohoos and Kit Kat bars.
Runnette just doesn’t convince as a narrator. His monotone ‘old timey’ voice and calm, plodding narration style is charming for more political and scientific fare (I loved him reading ‘The Roots of Obama’s Rage’ and ‘What Einstein Didn't Know’), but he isn’t able to communicate the appropriate levels of suspense, emotion, and sheer horror that a zombie book needs.
In short, this book stands on its own well enough if you have low expectations and don’t take it too seriously. The plot is predictable and straightforward, and because of the way that the author employed standard zombie conventions and emotions, it is easy to get into the minds of the characters and enjoy—at least surficially—the world that Tufo has created and the story that he tells. But for the sheer amount of ‘Zomb-Lit’ available nowadays on Audible, I would suggest looking elsewhere within the Horror Pantheon. Zombie Fallout isn’t a classic—it leans more toward ‘Zomb-trash.”
No, not really, I read some of the reviews decided to read anyway. Good read!
When bear protects the family.
Had a couple , but liked tommy quite a bit.
Yes, read some more of Mark Tufo books.
The reader does not do justice to the character. Not sure why, it just doesn't work for me personally. The book tries to be glib, but it doesn't come over well considering the topic.
Not make it so much about this guys personal feelings about people and family and more about the actual fact that there are zombie's with actual powers to make decisions.
Since it is a series and left off with really no ending I feel I should listen to the next one just to see what the smart zombies actually come up to infiltrate the non zombies
This book could have been a story told in any bar anywhere. The characters are not especially gifted. They are just your neighbors dealing with zombies.
I liked this book for that. I have never seen another zombie book handled like this.
It seems like half the book is about bad smells. Sadly every reference to the popular zombie movies is wrong, even the classic "Night of the Living Dead" black and white movie that started it all. The first book is probably the best. After having listed to 3 of them, he can't even keep up with his own story line. Later books jump over how they found out certain details that were given in the prolog. Ok, the reader knows, but how did the characters find out? It is written as a personal journal, but wouldn't something that important be memorable enough to be written down. If the character wrote the prolog, he would have known everything revealed, not just half of it, but I'm starting to rant myself now. Just save yourself the trouble and the money. Pick something else.
No and No
First off, it took me a while to get past the narrator's voice. Think "Raymond" from "Everybody loves Raymond". After finally getting past the narrator's voice (about halfway through the book) I figured out that there simply isn't much substance to this book. I love a great series and especially a great zombie series, but this is the first and last book I will listen to out of this one. The story is slow moving, there is a lot of main character fluff and side talk, and just not a whole lot happens.
There really isn't much to say that is positive about this book, except that it has zombies in it. Other than that, it pretty much annoyed me for 14 hours.
The narrator sounds like Ray Romano, he's just awful. I couldn't listen without wishing there would be a zombie outbreak during his narration and I could listen to him being eaten.
The writer intends to be funny, and isn't, so in that aspect the Ray Romano narrator is at least fitting. The humor fails to go beyond making jokes about dog farts and fat kids.
The plot is terrible, action terrible, technical quality of writing is terrible.
It amazes me someone published this book at all, period. Unfortunately I bought book 2 along with book one. It is even more horrible. I quit listening halfway through.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
I like humor. I like apocalypse fiction. I like zombie fiction. I can even like a book that combines all three in the right proportion. But somehow the recipe was off for me in this book. Maybe it was the timing of the wise cracks or the amount of jokiness. I tried but I couldn't get through this.
So many horrible characters with no depth, logical inconsistencies such as the lead's backstory timeline doesn't make any sense...and just bad writing. No editing just a rambling piece of junk...