A conscience is a terrible thing to waste.
Steppenwolf Company and Chicago Shakespeare Theater veteran Scott Aiello performs the initial work in the Clayfield series, featuring a reasonable man - the director of a nonprofit museum in a small Kentucky town - trying to survive insanely unreasonable times. The virus that was once a small blip of foreign news exploded into a global pandemic invading even his small corner of the world. To survive, he must transform from a soft, sensitive man who cares about killing even those forms that threaten his life into a hardened murderer ready to take what he needs, wherever he finds it, and suppress any shreds of decency left that might work against keeping him alive.
On a cold February day in the small town of Clayfield, Kentucky, an unsuspecting and unprepared museum director finds himself in the middle of hell on earth. A pandemic is spreading around the globe, and it’s turning most of the residents of Clayfield into murderous zombies. Having no safe haven to which he can flee, the director decides to stick it out near his hometown and wait for the government to send help.
But the disease and those infected are not his only concerns. He must also contend with armed gangs, strife within his group, his own lack of skills… and his conscience.
There are tough decisions to be made if he is to survive. But if he is smart - and a little lucky - he can do more than survive; he can live like a king.
©2011, 2013 Shane Gregory (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"One of the best survivalist horror stories I've read in quite a while.... This is a tale that is well worth reading." (Jeff Jellets, Territorial Disaster Coordinator for The Salvation Army)
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
the narration is very good. the narrator has a smooth voice, and he's easy to listen to. i found it easy to distinguish the different male characters he portrays, and he even does female voices well!
DON'T be put off by the title and cover art! chessiness aside, this is a solid zombie tale! definitely in the top 10 i've listened to so far. i actually liked it that much!
the story is told in the first person by our nameless protagonist. he's not a survivalist nor has he any military background, which i found refreshing. instead, the main character is an out of shape, 30 something museum director. he's unprepared and has no ready supplies,
except a submarine sandwich and a few packets of ketchup. he's kind of a loner and is preparing for a senior citizen's tour when the canton b virus hits his small town.
the author does a good job developing the characters as the story progresses. the main character's gradual transformation is believable. he makes mistakes, which is refreshing. a few times, i found myself talking aloud- you idiot...why didn't you...i was totally engrossed in the story.
the supporting characters are also given the time to develop, and they aren't the typical cardboard cut out supporting cast. they definitely add to the story.
this story has a mix of zombies- the slow, shambling kind and the quick kind. there are lulls in the zombie action, and the author wisely uses this time to develop his characters. this is more than just a zombie story. it's also a story about how to survive when civilization collapses.
this is the first in a series, and the ending really surprised me. i didn't think the author would go that way, but he did.
overall, a surprisingly excellent addition to your zombie library.
Zombies Books in order: 1. We're Alive 2. Day By Day Armageddon 3. Roads Less Traveled Series 4. Alaskan Undead Apocalypse 5. World War Z 6. The Walking Dead 7. Rise Again 8. As the World Dies 9. Zombie Fallout
This book started hovering around the 3 stars mark for a while, but shifted to 4 stars as the both the story and protagonist developed and then at the end it went suddenly BING! and hit the 5 stars bell. The narrator must be the best male narrator I've listened to.
If you are like me and demand that authors take the zombie apocalypse seriously and try to make such a tale as realistic as possible, waste no time and spend your credit here. There is no over the top nonsense here.
The author makes the tale believable by coming up with creative solutions to some of the discrepancies in a zombie apocalypse. With so much splatter in other books, why don't the characters get infected? Often they happen to be immune, but at least here they use handkerchiefs to cover their faces. They have a fix for fighting off the infection if things get bad. The zombies aren't mindless but are like animals. They form packs, therefore some areas are very empty allowing them to get supplies. Head shots don't always work. They do get back up, but not right away. Most things have explanations for but some questions tantalizingly remain to be discovered. The word zombie doesn't even come up until the end, they are just called people. Yeah, pretty slow on the uptake but it all makes sense.
The protagonist is so unassuming he doesn't even have a name. I didn't even realize this and had to Google the answer to write this review because I thought I had just missed it. A museum director of a sleepy town, he is such a wuss and would be zombie brunch if it weren't for Jen who is such an awesome character. All characters have depth and feel real and the protagonist goes through a transformation as the story develops. Something suddenly at the end had me screaming in my head and made it hit the 5 star bell but I'm not going to give it away.
Hurry up and download this story. And the next.
it. Apocalyptic novels offer the author a terrific opportunity to develop characters, imagine how things might happen, how people react to change (radical change) in society (in the case of the zombie novel the obliteration of such). However virtually every zombie novel I have read (or tried to read such as Molle"s "The Remaining") I end up giving up and putting away or reading only one or two of the series.
Most of these zombie books are pure trite- endless descriptions of weapons, over the top scenes, cliff hangers that are anything but cliff hangers, stereotypical characters (he man sniper saving helpless but beautiful babe). The set ups are usually ridiculous as well (okay the entire concept is ridiculous I admit but why add insult to injury). The protagonists is a trained killer and is an ex Marine, Navy Seal, Delta Force member or who happens to have a billionaire friend who is and also happens to have a survival shelter. The plot simply a trail of bodies like one of those first person shooter videos. There - I got it out of my system as to why all the zombie books suck for the most part & that gets me to a review of book "The King of Clayfield" by Shane Gregory
I only purchased it because Audible offered it to me for $ 4.99 (probably because I quit buying zombie novels). I begin listening,fully prepared to cut it off and demand my money back. Instead I found a novel that deals with a normal "work a day guy" in the middle of no where Kentucky faced with a major disaster. The first person narration has a dry sardonic humor (not over the top) but also flashes of humanity and the book offers real questions about what happens when industrial society goes kaput. The women are women- not Barbies, my favorite is red neck Jen (Jennifer) who no one pushes around but is still a female and the protagonist, of all things, is a museum curator the very opposite of the normal Zombie Protagonist. He is a really nice normal guy who knows a little about how to survive but not much about killing and shooting.
Clayfield goes to hell in a zombie hand basket and the story revolves around the story of how the characters adapt to their new social environment and how they respond and learn to adapt to the new physical environment (good bye refrigerated orange juice hello planting sweet potatoes!). The pace is well done, the characters real- meaning not only do I like them they are not some cardboard imagination to serve a plot.
Well done- Well done- it deserves more attention than it seems to have gotten. If you enjoy reading a "what if the world ended as we know it" instead of "Lets kill 100 zombies per chapter and describe every gun ever made" novel then buy this book and listen to it!
Thanks Audible for putting it on sale- smart marketing move because I now plan on purchasing the rest of the series!
I grew up with books....not television.
This may not have an original take on the zombie apocalypse but it was a fun and interesting read. It was never boring and had a great balance of action and character development. Not much background on how the virus happened or spread which kinda leaves a little hole in the story. The alcohol aspect of it was never explained...I hope it will be in the next installment. I like a little bit of a science mixed in with my post apocalyptic fiction and there isn't any here. Just straight into the mayham and zombies...which is okay too sometimes. I've already started the second book so I feel good about recommending this as an addition to your collection.
End of the world and Sci Fi are my favorites with a lot of historical fiction added in
No, it was not the writing style. It was the lack of characters acting in a way consistent with the situations they are in.
No, the end of the world can be interesting but spending it with really dumb survivors is even worst than the end of the world.
I am really glad I decided to give this book a try. it was part of a flash sale and I saw that it was about zombies so I thought what the heck.
Ok so if you are a fan of the show Walking Dead, you will enjoy this book. Its a great view of the post apocalyptic world when it all hits the fan.
I thought narrator did pretty good. Story in its self was good. i wanted to continue going so ill have to wait a little while for a credit to get the next book.
I really think you should give this one a try.
No really new ground covered here, as the vanilla protagonist is drawn into an apocalyptic scenario that gives the author a convenient backdrop to talk about things like guns, generators, food storage, etc -- your basic prepper porn.
That said, I didn't hate it. The characters weren't totally obnoxious, and displayed only limited amounts of the standard clinically-detached worldview that you'll see in all books of this ilk, i.e., "I know that everyone i love was just murdered or died of a virus, but right now I'm really concerned with telling you the make and model of all the guns I have and what their ballistic characteristics are..."
Anyway, if you're looking at this one, I doubt that it's your first zombie book. You know what you're in for. This book sticks to the formula, for better or worse.
I came across this book after reading a review from a source I have found many hidden gems from in the past. So I was expecting a good zombie story. King of Clayfield didn't quite live up to my expectations.
I wont go into the plot here. Nothing is new. The characters reacted to events and with each other in predictable fashion. I felt the author Shane Gregory is either unimaginative or lazy. Sappy romance, cheesy zombies, and Walking Dead style politics.
I really enjoyed this book! If you have ever wondered what would happen in a small rural southern town to a regular Joe when the zombie apocalypse comes - this book is a darn good start. Not an action barn burner but a decent amount of suspense and a lot of "realism" in the writer's approach.
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