Audie Award Nominee, Paranormal, 2013
Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive".
©2011 Diana Rowland (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"Allison McLemore's delicate voice and Southern accent give Angel's first-person narration a humorous kick. McLemore excels at bringing Angel's self-deprecating and sarcastic comments to life. Her brisk pacing suits Angel's personality and draws listeners in from the first chapter, keeping them glued to their earphones as she plays up the book's 'gross factor' with drawling descriptions of gooey brains and crunchy skull cavities. She's also good at giving unique voices and mannerisms to secondary characters." (AudioFile)
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
As much as I enjoy watching zombies on TV, they’ve never managed to work their way into my reading rotation until now. Previously, the very idea of a protagonist eating brains freaked me out but the way that Diana Rowland developed Angel’s character has me singing a different tune. I enjoyed the author’s snarky sense of humor and her unique spin on the standard murder mystery story line. Allison McLemore’s narration also helped make this audiobook an especially enjoyable listen thanks to her authentic southern drawl and the ease with which she donned the heroine’s shoes.
I liked the way the author gradually introduced both her readers and Angel to life as a zombie. Crawford has no idea that her world has been forever changed when she wakes-up in the ER after an apparent drug overdose until she receives the first of several notes from her anonymous savior. Slowly uncovering the mysteries surrounding her new condition made the reality much easier to swallow and I always enjoy reading about the growing pains that new supes experience regardless of whether they turn furry once a month or, in this case, eat brains.
Angel is far from being your typical go-getter Urban Fantasy protagonist; she’s a convicted, drug addicted, high school drop-out who lives with her alcoholic father, in short, she’s trailer trash. And, oddly enough, one of the best things that’s ever happened to her is her new walking dead status. Becoming a zombie forces her to grow up and take control of her life because now she has to make sure she eats right, keeps her job and avoids detection otherwise the consequences could be fatal.
The unconventional murder mystery angle was an unexpected surprise; rather than experiencing this book’s plot line from a cop or P.I.’s perspective, Angel has a unique view of the crime scenes because of her job and heightened senses. I enjoyed watching her interactions with the various law enforcement types and how they slowly welcome her into their club even with her checkered background. The twist at the end caught me off guard but I’m happy that it led to a little showdown which had Angel downing brains like Popeye eats spinach.
One of my favorite accents to listen to is the southern twang and Allison McLemore does a fab job of it thanks to her roots. I don’t mean this as an insult but she makes excellent trailer trash! MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE is a fun listen that’ll make you feel differently about eating brains.
Tell me a story, make it interesting, and always add zombies. Things are just better with zombies.
Simply Freaking AMAZING!
Angel, listen to it (or read the books) and you'll think so too. No spoilers!
The scene with the van, the tree, and the zombie. It'll make more sense after you listen to it.
How becoming a zombie saved my life? I dunno, the title is catchy so probably I wouldn't change it.
I'm just getting back into books. I used to read alot, but its hard finding ones I really like. This one mixes zombies, comedy, and a bit of drama together nicely. I found myself laughing quite a bit as Angel started developing, and found myself rooting for her. As a horror fan, who loves a bit of comedy in everything to keep things shaken up a bit, I'll have to highly recommend this book. I'm off to start listening to the second on!
QUESTION : DOES LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS MAKE YOU SMARTER? If so, I'm. Freakin Genius!
I enjoyed this book. The narration was good and the story was lite, while still keeping my interest throughout the entire audio performance.
My favorite character was Angel. She is a bit of an underdog. And I loved the way she pulled herself up and made the best of a bad situation.
I keep saying that I am done with ZOMBIE BOOKS, but this book had the coolest cover art, and what could one little zombie fix hurt?!!!!??
You know where I'm going with this...
YES. I have already purchased the next book in this series. And as soon as I am done writing this stupid review, I plan on listening to it. Darn it all.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
After listening to this totally fun book about eating brains, I have to eat my words: I don't hate Zombies after all! This is the third pretty great Zombie book (after The Junkie Quatrain and World War Z) I've listened to and I have finally realized that this proves something I've known for many years but kind of forgot - there are NO limits on great writers and creative minds. I haven't liked the Zombies of movie fame much, but the Zombies of literature are not limited by what works in film and Diana Rowland has found an interesting take on an old tradition that is both well written (great descriptive settings, complex and interesting characters, and a nice twisty plot) and very entertaining. This book even tackles some tough real world issues like alcoholism/drug abuse, parental abuse/neglect, and teen dropouts with empathy while still being very amusing.
Diana Rowland has the vernacular of a Southern rural young woman down pat and Allison McLemore's delivery is perfect. In addition to providing exactly the right accent for this first person narrative, Allison McLemore just plain has a lovely voice. I listened to the samples of a couple other books she has narrated and apparently her Southern accent isn't native (although you'd swear it was listening to her on White Trash Zombie), but her nicely modulated tones carry in whatever accent she is using. This narrator is really easy on the ears and I will be watching for her in the future.
Audible's surely got my number - picked up White Trash Zombie on sale, but of course, I will now be buying the rest of the series at full price! White Trash Zombie has a complete plot line by itself and a very satisfying ending, but be warned you will probably crave more books as much as Angel craves brains after this one.
The narrator, Allison McLemore, is a narrating genius. She perfected the lazy Southern trashy drawl and masterfully created a multitude of characters. I've noticed that I say fuck a lot slower since listening to it. It's more like fuuuuck, now. Love the lazy Southern trashy drawl.
Angel Crawford wakes up in the hospital after an apparent overdose. She remembers popping some pills but also vaguely remembers being in a car accident. Though she doesn't have a scratch on her. Upon discharge she is given a note and gift left by a mysterious stranger. The gift is some odd looking bottled drinks and the note states she has a job waiting for her at the Coroner's office. Don't accept the job and the mysterious stranger will fill Angel's parole officer in on her recent drug mishap.
What the fuuuuck?
Left with no other options, she reluctantly takes the job as "body snatcher", picking up dead bodies and bringing them into the morgue. She is surprised by her sudden iron stomach and her sudden craving of brains. Yes, brains. She smells them, and they smell like chocolate.
What the fuuuuck?
““The smell was like chocolate and cookies and biscuits and gravy and everything else that was delicious. It damn near drove me crazy every time I had to touch one. I’d been fighting the cravings the way I’d never fought the urge to take drugs or get drunk.”
As if her life taking a huge turn to the strange and macabre is not enough, it seems she is now a zombie and someone around town is hunting her kind. While learning to survive without her body literally rotting (she starts to smell like a decomposing corpse after just a few days of no brains...yuck), dealing with her drunkard dad, trying to piece together how she turned, now she has to try and keep hidden from a serial killer. Could life (or death) get any worse?
Angel is hilarious. She's not stupid though she's taken for a dummy, a lot. She's spunky and a fighter. I don't think I could love this character more. She's had a rough life and it's not any easier now, but she's been given a second chance at life and she's determined to figure it out. Her fumbling through it is equally endearing and entertaining. She's so far from your typical protagonist and I love her more for it.
This is a 'zombies are humans too' type story. If you are looking for a shambling mindless gorey zombie tale, you won't find it here. This is a story of second chances, survival and life...even for the dead.
My favorite genres are absurdist humor, Sci-fi & modern fantasy, but, as you can see, I'll read just about anything. Don't mind the typos.
I liked it. Not the dystopian yarn that populates the genre, this is an alternate take on the zombie theme, Rowland writes about drug use in a very open manner that you don't usually see in lite fiction and at the $6.95 sale price it's a worthy listen.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
Despite the title, this book was a fairly thoughtful and intelligent take on zombies. I liked that the author stuck pretty close to traditional zombie mythology and yet still was able to create a very believable and highly unique world in which zombies live among us. These zombies need to eat brains every other day or so, making a job at the morgue or funeral home a particularly good gig for the undead. Details about autopsies weren’t too gruesome, but gave the book the feel of a police procedural as the protagonist tries to figure out who made her into a zombie and who is the serial murderer in her small Louisiana town. This would make a particularly good read for a teenage girl, since the main character is a young woman who has made some bad choices in her life but who is given a second chance and uses it to get her life together. I listened to the book as an audio book narrated by Allison McLemore, who has just the right southern accent to bring life to this sassy and smart heroine.
Fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, mysteries, and poetry- just a few of my favorite genres.
I loved how the story was told from Angel's point of view as well as the narrator's excellent job of voicing each character. Despite the fantastic subject matter, the story felt believable and I found the forensic stuff very intriguing. I also immensely enjoyed the narration.
That Diana Rowland gave the zombie genre a new twist. It was a nice change of pace to see something new. It was interesting how that in order to stay 'normal', Angel would need to consume brains in order to not fall into decay, like Zeke. I liked the fact that the zombies would not become mindless unless they were overly active or out of brains. It was also nice to notice they could still eat normal food, as well.
The different voices and attitude of each character. She delivered the pain, anguish, joy and rage of each character excellently.
Yes- I couldn't wait to listen to it again. If I had to put my iPod down to do something important that required concentration, I would pick it back up instantly when I was finished.
Would love it to be made into a television show or movie- it'd be awesome to see something different in theaters than the usual 'run and fight for your life- there are brain-hungry zombies out to get you!' Seriously, though, if you like zombie books and shows like CSI, you will like this enjoyable mash-up of horror and mystery.
Love Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Romance books.
I have been holding off on listening to this book, I was afraid that I would not like it another zombie love story. Boy was I wrong. This was a great summer read, it was funny, feel good and the love story aspect did not really factor in to the book until the end. Highly recommend.
This is a book about a young woman down on her luck, with self esteem problems, and from the wrong side of the tracks. Normally, this would be depressing, but not the case with this book. Our heroine, Angel doesn't let being turned into a Zombie get her down. She is funny and snarky and she has brain power. Of course, it took some time for me to get use to the brain smoothies.(yuck)
The narrator did an excellent job with all of the characters. This narrator reads this series on par with Amanda Ronconi's reading of the Molly Harper books. However, this series is not as funny.
This book is more of a mystery, police procedual with an under current of romance. The romance is not a big part of the book. No sexually explict scenes. There are some F bombs and other curse words that some may find offensive. The book is defintely targeted at adult reader/listener's. If your in the mood for a light book, this is for you. But be warned, Zombies have some strange dietary requirements. (brains)
"Becoiming a zombie helps Angel get a life"
I don’t read zombie books.
Well, not unless they’re original, funny, well written, and make you fall in love with the main character, not because she’s zombie but because she’s doing her best to be a good person who just happens to need to eat brains, in which case, I’m reading “My Life As A White Trash Zombie.”
This book is pretty close to perfect (except for the cover art, which is cool but not remotely related to the character of Angel Crawford in the book) the story is fast-paced enough to keep you turning the pages (or listening in my case), the language is vivid, fun and unconventional and the “voice” of Angel Crawford is authentic and compelling. I strongly recommend the audiobook version of this novel because Allison McLemore’s narration makes good text even better. Her accent, timing and emotional range are a perfect fit for the story. She helped make Angel Crawford real for me.
This is a relatively short book but not a page is wasted. You’ll read it with a smile and perhaps the occasional tear and you’ll be glad you did and then go looking for more.
Fortunately there is more to be had. “Even White Trash Zombies Get The Blues” is in my reading queue, mentally tagged as “reward yourself with this one”.
I bought this on a whim - because there was a sale on and the title amused me.
When I first heard the narration, I thought I was going to hate it, but it turned out to be very appropriate for the story.
The premise - telling the story from the zombie's point of view - is well-executed and the author has come up with a new take and some new ideas on the old formula to make it work. Without spoilers, one or two things that I thought she had got "wrong" turned out to be perfectly in-line after all.
It's quite a short listen at only 8 hours, but I liked it enough to buy the sequel.
This was an incredible find, I absolutely love it!!! I was looking for a good zombie book (and by good I mean, end of the world, lots of zombies, scares etc) but I was intrigued by the idea behind this. I have read a little of DR other series and was not interested at all but I listened to the excerpt and it sounded different and, bias here, I love the accent. So I got it and its great, I think the characters are real and likeable, the situation is incredibly normal then the zombie layer carefully interwoven, the relationships are well written and the lead girl is very real, vulnerable, flawed but very likeable.
"Witty, gory and all round fab!"
Since I didn't have the print version, I'm not sure but I did love the audio version. The narrator's performance was brilliant, so I definitely think it added something I may not have gained from the print version.
Angel. Her character's growth was captivating to listen to; slow and believable (even while munching down brains). It pulled me in and made me really want to see her succeed - not just in surviving as a zombie but as a person.
Allison McLemore's narration was fantastic. Each character had a distinctive voice or accent and the pacing made this a joy to listen to. It reminded me of listening to Johanna Parker narrate the Sookie books - one of my all time favourite narrations.
I would have done if it had possible time wise.
"Great cover art, better story!"
A complete turn around on the standard zombie story, the protagonist is the the brain eating monster....which makes for an interesting and different perspective...
The main character, Angel, is a white trash resident of loserville, which sounds like it would make her pretty hard to like, but actually she comes out pretty compelling, and over this and the sequels the character development feels warm and believable...
I looked this book up because I follow the blog of the artist who did the cover. It was the first audiobook I downloaded, I went for it since I found out it was set in Louisiana and I know I would have read it in an English accent, so I though the reading might help add to the atmosphere. And it so did! Allison McLemore manages consistent, distinct voices for all the characters...and excellent swearing =) brings it all to life and makes it easy to follow who is talking.
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