We were prepared for an earthquake. We had a flood plan in place. We could even have dealt with zombies. Probably. But no one expected the end to be quite so…sticky…or strawberry scented.
Yahtzee Croshaw (Mogworld, Zero Punctuation Reviews) returns to audiobooks with a follow-up to his smash-hit debut: Jam, a dark comedy about the one apocalypse no one predicted.
©2012 Yahtzee Croshaw (P)2013 Yahtzee Croshaw
I listen to books when I'm at work or doing chores. I prefer history and fantasy. My favorite audio book is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.
After reading Mogworld, I was hopeful that Yahtzee Croshaw would develop into a decent writer. He has made some steps towards refining his technical skills. I noticed less word repetition and fewer abuses of adverbs in dialogue attribution (though they're still there). Unfortunately, this is a book with only one joke and it wears out very fast.
I had the opposite experience with this book as I had with Mogworld. Croshaw's first book starts out slow and stilted and builds into something humorous and meaningful. This book elicits chuckles right away but they quickly subside into a long, awkward silence. Each of the secondary characters has only one trait, a problem that is continuously highlighted by Croshaw's reading as he gives each of them a voice and never, ever varies his delivery to fit the situation. The main character doesn't even get one defining trait. His behavior and abilities are erratic and function as the plot demands. I got the impression that the problem was the character never developed a strong enough voice of his own and so Croshaw kept slipping back into his own voice while trying to write him; hence why he is at times the keen sardonic observer, the moral compass, the clueless idiot, and the selfish bastard with no moral sensibilities at all. All these characteristics could be worked into an arc of some sort but that's not the case here. This is showcased by an early scene in which the main is instructed to save a spider, he lists all the reasons he's not going to do so, then spontaneously changes his mind and becomes powerfully and instantly attached to the stupid thing for no discernible reason. Sometimes the main knows just what to do to save the situation, sometimes he's a helpless bunny, and sometimes he magically knows things he would have no possible way of knowing. It's just bad writing. Also, I finished this book only a few days ago and I can't remember anyone's name except Mary the spider.
This book needed to be half the length. There is no reason for it to go on the way it does repeating the same jokes over and over. There is a sense that this book was only written to cash in on the apocalypse craze and not because Croshaw felt any particular interest in the subject. I can only hope he takes his growing skills and applies them to a subject he cares about. Here's hoping he tries his hand at horror next.
I like a book that mixes horror and comedy - it's an awkward blend of suspense and release.
FUN story! Good laughs! Awkward writing?
Having the author narrate the story was an incredible plus. He brought it to life!
But -- and this is a very odd but -- as a student of writing, (trying to become a writer) he breaks so many rules of writing. And I am in awe of how well the story works despite these things, that I have to wonder, did he do this intentionally? A large theme of the story is irony, so, is it possible he (obsessively) overused adverbs (ironically)? Or he overused dialog hinting? -- (he inquired, questioningly.)
I'm going to research that. Because, if so, then wow I'd want to change my overall rating of the story. As it stands, the abuse of adverbs is only a minor distraction, and probably only because I've been reading so many how-to-write books that consider adverbs the illegitimate bastard of literature. I'd imagine most readers of apocalyptic comedies couldn't care about stuff like that.
Hopefully/probably those things are an ironic tip of the hat to English Lit students? Maybe this whole thing is like a parody in the way that "Spinal Tap" is a parody of heavy metal rockumentaries, and only other musicians get most of the jokes.
If so, I'm thrilled that I was in on that part. If that wasn't the goal, if I were the author, I would absolutely adjust the marketing to add that part in there.
Either way, it was a fun enough book, and my kids even enjoyed listening to it with me on occasion.
No. The author's delivery is too slow-paced and monotonous for me, it was like listening to a lecturer read from a textbook. Would definitely read the book again, however.
When the garbage bag hipsters find out about the Goliath Bird-Eater.
Given Yahtzee's energetic, breathless game reviews, he turns in a surprisingly slow-paced and monotonous performance for this ebook. It may be that I'm just too used to his review pacing, but I had to turn off the audiobook halfway through and read my physical copy.
No, it's far too long for that. I would prefer to listen to it in 30 minute to hour-long segments.
An original idea, well-written (if not very likeable) characters, and enough twists to keep you entertained.
Say something about yourself!
Yes i will recommend this to others. Even do i liked his First book "Mogworld" better, I still enjoyd this one.
I think the start was the best part of the book.
The ending of the book could have gone in many directions, which made me want to hear the ending.
Yes i have listen to "Mogworld", which in my oppinion is better.
I like his voice, and i think he narrated it good.
I did laugh sometimes, while listning to this book.
Vargas the Mad
The story was unique and imaginative. I was kept on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next. The story is well written, and even with the clues and foreshadowing I was not able to guess the truth.
I have not read any books that compare to Jam. It is very unique.
Yahtzee's performance was excellent. His voice acting made the story come alive in my imagination. The voices added another dimension to the personalities that I would not have gotten from reading the book. You could tell every character by their voice and pick up on other subtleties such as emotion.
This book was fairly comical despite the tragedies and I had some laughs.
I was very engaged in the story. I couldn't stop listening to it and finished it in little over a day.
Yes, I would recommend this book to a friend. Why? Jam. This story is the apocalypse no one saw coming, and from that idea it sparks the imagination of what really could end civilization. Normally when we think of the end of the world, we go with zombies, or nukes, or flesh eating disease, or aliens, not our breakfast spreads. I remember telling a friend about one scene, but I did not mention the type of apocalypse and asked her what kind she thought it was. She didn't know how to respond so I gave these options, A) zombies B) nukes, C) flesh eating disease or D) Jam. Of course she thought jam was a joke, and was surprised to find that jam was the answer. That is the magic of the story, it doesn't have to be one of the normal apocalypse type books, and in the sea of cliched zombie and nuclear holocaust stories (sorry Fallout but nuclear winter is used to often) is this shining example of originality.
There are no books that compare to jam. I have never heard of any legitimate apocalypse book about anything as ridiculous as man eating strawberry jam, and I believe it takes the originality of Yahtzee to write this apocalypse.
It is Yahtzee, need I say more? Yes? Really? I have to? Fine. Listening to this book is like listening to Zero Punctuation for 14+ hours. It was amazing, as Yahtzee's voice has always been one of those You Tubers that has really gotten my attention and made me love to watch his content. Naturally any fan of Zero Punctuation would enjoy Yahtzee's performance and any outsider would gladly accept the voice of Yahtzee into the story. Also I find it perfectly fitting that the author took the extra time to narrorate the audio book, it wouldn't have felt the same if he didn't.
Yes, the whole thing. I know that is more of a cop-out answer but it is true. I found the whole book compelling, from *spoiler* Frank dying (the spoiler alert I don't care about because it happens in the first five minutes of the book), to the gradual realization that only idiots and weirdos survived the jam, because they either A) Did not get up before rush hour and lived about six feet, or B) went to work before rush hour (but only weirdos go to work before rush hour). Also the idea of two major post-apocalypse settlements was nice, seeing as one was for the high class weirdo business people, and the other for all the twenty year old morons who didn't have jobs.
My only warning is that Jam is full of a lot of idiotic characters (which may bother people judging from another review), especially the main characters (minus Dawn, who is there constantly calling the other main characters dip$h*ts, and other derogatory names), though I feel as if the book is populated full of idiots because of Yahtzee's line of work. In his reviews, he constantly points out the idiocy in story characters, which gives him a deeper understanding of idiots.
The way that the characters react and interact with each other and their situation, is both genius and funny
Travis (The main character), is my favorite. while everyone has a some kind of personality, he is more straight. while it would sound like a negative thing, it helps setting the tension, because we can compare him to everyone else, and see how crazy they are
The opening scene. It captures really good how a person would react to this kind of situation.
Sometimes the narreorator just sticks to one voice for a character, even if they are screaming or something. this can get a little grating after a while, otherwise, really good
What others have said is quite true, Jam isn't quite as good as Mogworld, but it isn't because Jam is inherently less funny, or the writing is less good. I think that Croshaw is simply used to writing from the POV of sarcastic characters, because his humor is quite that - sarcastic. This suited Jim in Mogworld perfectly, as he is a character that is done with nonsense. But it doesn't quite suit Travis and his optimistic dunceness as well.
Second wonderful book from the author, I loved every minute. Looking forward to whatever comes next!
Well the book has substance :)
Don or Travis as they play vital roles and Don's sarcasm always at Travis is always humorous
Don or Travis as they play vital roles and Don's sarcasm always at Travis is always humorous
Funnest book ive read yet
Worth the token. RECOMMENDED
"Daft but fine."
Yahtze has a pleasant reading style in this narration and characters are recognisable without being hammy.
I liked the story (preferred Mogworld) even though it was a bit dumb. It's an easy listen with plenty of smirk moments and an uncomplicated but original plot.
The characters are stereotypes: the soldier, the stoner, the "girl", the nerd, the hipster etc, but it is still a little jarring when they die horrifically.
Destruction of civilisation and widespread death in this book is handled in a very surrealistic way which only the protagonist and yourself notice. I is not a book to read if you are looking for a realistic depiction of an apocalypse. This is a cartoon in the form of a novel.
If you approach this with the right relaxed open mindset it can be an enjoyable story.
Excellent second novel by Yahtzee Crowshaw, very engrossing with relatable characters. Funny, witty and marvellous
"yahtzee great voice acting"
definitely worth listening to because it's funny and has a great cast and mix of characters
Fantastically random , touchingly silly story that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone bored of the mundane apocalypse themes.
"Really good story, hate everyone in it."
Really liked the story. Very funny and compelling with characters who you will hate equally for their stupidity
Absolutely loved it. Already a massive fan of zero punctuation, this has just reassured that fact
"An funny premise but (unfortunately) is lacklustre"
I'll list some of the biggest gripes here:
It almost seems like we're seeing the story unfold through the eyes of the comic relief character - he seems to have no actual personality traits other than being really stupid.
Hell, Yahtzee even plays on that fact, where other characters insult the protagonist for never making their own decisions. It all feels like it's building towards Travis snapping and taking charge, becoming the hero, but it never happens, albeit there being plenty of situations where I genuinely thought it would.
A lot of the characters are introduced as mysterious, or vague, and are then killed off, losing any chance to really get to know them (case in point: Y), and yet others sometimes act strangely and unpredictable.
If the tedium and sadness of Travis being was my biggest gripe, then the ending is the second most: It's just... odd. There is no reason Travis had fallen for Princess Ravenhair, and so the only reason I knew he was in love with her is because he stated it bluntly. He appears to really care for her, but then sometimes doesn't.
The end was just a whole bunch of characters dying off for no reason (with Tim's entire demeanour leading up to the death being very out of character), and the only reason Travis didn't die is because he didn't bother taking risks. It seems like the entire novel should have been from Tim's or Don's perspective.
Finally, the story ends with a surreal yet seemingly contrived and almost Kafkaesque 'Of Mice and Men' style ending with a fake insanity, which was actually quite depressing (as silly as it was, I found the one nice trait in Travis to be his attachment and projection of emotion onto Mary)
The narration was a bit monotonous at times, I suppose Yahtzee is used to speaking incredibly fast.
Tim's voice is really grating at first, as it seems he has the only Australian accent, and so is X and Y's whose American accents are kinda laughable, but it's amusing enough to be passable, and other than that it's good enough. I do like the sound of Yahtzee's voice.
If the protagonist wasn't Travis, and the ending was totally reworked, sure.
I wonder if the ZP video where he mentioned flesh eating jam inspired the novel, or vice versa?
"Literally my favourite book."
funny, intriguing and with great characters that develop, I love this book. JAM is just god Damn good. Damn Damn Good good Damn good Damn Damn. Good.
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