Charlie Campbell was your average, balding, thirty-year-old alcoholic with a dead-end job and a penchant for shambling through life one mistake after another. However, none of that mattered following the sudden arrival of a mysterious sickness that brought with it infected mobs of zombie-like creatures thirsting for the flesh of the living. Trapped in a Chicago apartment the morning after a raucous bachelor party, Charlie and his old fraternity buddies must battle for survival against the cannibalistic horde, a military invasion and their own rampant stupidity.
With supplies, common sense and brain cells dwindling by the hour, the motley crew - including a racist cop, a Sri Lankan used car salesman, a stoner landlord and a pet raccoon - must pull out all the stops to avoid joining the ranks of the dead. If you like zombies, action and humor, crack a beer, pull up a barstool, and prepare for one wild ride.
©2013 Richard Johnson (P)2013 Richard Johnson
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!)
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
WARNING: this story is full of sophomoric humor. it is over the top in a good way. it is not for the faint of heart or easily offended! if you are politically correct, you will not like this book!
with that out of the way, i must admit i laughed my @$$ off many times while listening to this story.
i guess i'll start my review with some of the crazy and memorable characters. the main character is charlie. charlie is a balding, overweight 30-something loser who's best days are behind him. his roommate, trent, is a racist and homophobic cop who shakes down homeless people for extra coke money. big rob is a loveable but dumb as rocks meat head. gay mike, who says he's not gay but is always making gay references. left nut is a shameless horndog. vidu is a heavily accented sri-lankan who always strikes out with the ladies. blake is an uppity investment broker. russ is blake's redneck uncle who unabashedly sports a serious mullet. and jim who is charlie's best friend and the only seemingly normal person in the group.
as the story opens, this group of friends is getting ready for blake's bachelor party. after a wild night of partying, charlie, jim, left nut, and vidu head stumble their way to the finish line of the Chicago marathon to cheer on vidu's girlfriend. shortly after they arrive, their hangovers only get worse as crazy people start tackling and eating the marathoners. so starts their battle to survive as chicago and the rest of the world goes to hell.
all joking aside, there is a good zombie survival story along side all the slapstick! believe it or not, there are a couple of heartwarming and heart wrenching moments amidst the craziness.the narration is great. the narrator captures the humor on the pages of the book and delivers it with perfect tone and timing!
if you're not easily offended and are looking for a laugh, download this book and press play! if you've got kids, put on the headphones or wait until they go to sleep.
the other reviewers are right! this one's a winner all around!
An amusing story that seems like the more plausible outcome for what would happen to a bunch of dudes on the eve of a zombie outbreak. I enjoyed the original story and the tempo moved along nicely.
let us be thankful for the fools but for them we would not suceeed. M Twain. I am a fan of Zombie books. Im a family man with two great kids
This is a very cool book about some major losers. Is that possible and the answer is absolutely. You find yourself disliking one or all of the central characters at least one or often multiple times.through the book. But its a unusual tale it grows on you like a foot fungus and before you know it its become an object of facination as you want to see how it develops as you pick away the layers while not totally at ease with its exhistance. Get it its the best bit of mindless entertainment you will come across that is totally worth the cash..
Funny, scary, sometimes touching. Okay that was four words but you get the point.
It is a toss up between Rob and Russ but there were plenty of memorable characters. Rob was the big softy and Russ was the idiot Uncle everyone would (kind of) want to have. Loved Charlie too and Vidu was funny as hell.
There a are a few that I can't write because of spoilers but Rob's MMA bout was great.
Geeze I don't know if I'd want to take any out to dinner. They would all pretty much get drunk, strike out on the waitress and then stiff me with the bill. Maybe the raccoon.
This is a great one. Worth the credit or even paying for it if you like humor with your zombies. Plenty of cussing though so if you are easily offended take note of that. It also takes a while to get to the zombies but it is worth the wait because you get to know the characters pretty well. The narrator is amazing and did a ton of voices and I could almost always keep the characters separate. I'd put this right up there with Tufo's books.
Zombie lover, mom, cook
I would recommend this book to anyone that has a healthy sense of humor, anyone that likes zombies, and anyone that is looking to kill some time on a plane etc...
I don't like spoilers but I will say the scene where Trent gets knocked out for being a jerk was great. He had it coming for a while so it was very rewarding, and I liked how they put him in a chair like "Weekend at Bernies" and ignored him afterwards.
Uncle Russ was priceless. The narrator captured the hillbilly creep in him as well as the gentle soul underneath. But all the voices were great and there were a ton. Marquell Washington was awesome too.
You would not expect to be moved by a book with this title, cover, and subject matter, but you will be surprised. I actually shed a few tears both reading and listening to it, but the weird thing is I was kind of laughing at the same time. The scene where Russ goes all Rambo stands out, and the scene where Charlie finally came out of his drunken stupor was another.
I loved the book and had to get the audio when I saw it was out, and the audio version captured the voices in my head perfectly. The characters really came to life. I am dieing for a sequel and this would make a great movie.
I laughed through the majority of this book. Good to see a zombie novel that isn't so serious. But if your easily butt-hurt this books not for you.
Amazon is my favourite way to shop!
My husband and I both LOVED this book.
I’ve recommended it to several friends and will continue to do so. It had me giggling like a crazy person so many times, but at the same time, created characters I really cared about and a storyline that was easy to follow, but meaningful.
The compassion for animals in the book was also a good touch that I appreciated as a dog and horse person. That just added even more depth to the story and insight into the characters. I even liked the political "snipes" (not sure of the right word), including the ones that swing the way I lean!
Just such a really enjoyable book, and I think there will be a sequel. I will not miss that book, or any other books from the author!
I work in IT, I love reading, I love Writing and for those daily travels too and fro I love to listen to Audible books too
I am actually considering to listen to this again. My first listen had me thinking YUK but bit by bit I got into it.
Well read, good work by Mr. Hellehegers
Cry No, Laugh yes occasionally but an extreme reaction....Oh yes, most certainly yes, yes... I thought YUK, Gross, felt like if I had friends like these I would throw them to the Zombies - especially left nut.
I would put this up there with the movies a group of guys would watch drunk and high on something, like a good (bad) Zombie movie. (which really does describe this audiobook very well even if I do say so myself) This is not a book for the moral majority to enjoy. It is in that 'was it really worth the buy?' I say yes but slowly, it is unique, disturbing, strange, imaginative and just downright entertaining. I think maybe being drunk when listening to this may just work.Well Done Richard Johnson and narrator Neil Hellegers
This is the first audio book I will most definitely listen to again...probably closer to the sequel release :)
If you're a Zombie Fallout / Mark Tufo fan, I think you'll love this!
Russ losing his mullet. For some reason that image of his mullet flying in the air pops up in my head. We listened to this on a road trip...so many hours of laughter.
Vidu and Russ. Because they're gross, hilarious and charming all at the same time in their own special way.
So much fun. At first I wasn't really sure of all the back story and character development but once the action started up, it made perfect sense and the pacing was great. I love Neil. Such a great performance. Can't wait for the next book!
Imagine the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a bunch of drug fuelled alcoholics with a lifetime of drinking stories.
"Really enjoyable, just ends a bit quickly"
Absolutely, a brilliant book and I hope there is a second.
oooo good question, it's probably a bit like Mountain Man by Keith C Blackmore
There are to many
Man this is making me think......
The title is most apt
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