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.
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.
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.
Decent book. Not as good as Mogworld. Silly premise but the author mostly pulls it off. I enjoyed it but it wasn't spectacular.
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.
I would listen to Jam again. Yahtzee's sultry British accent kept me listening, but the overall story--while ironically hokey--is quite gripping and portrays how an everyday man would handle the Jampocolypse.
It reminds me of Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One" in terms of wonderful cynical characters and a lax, yet urgent, tone of a dire situation. "RPO" and "Jam" both have their absurd moments, yet somehow are completely believable.
Initially the Plastic Peoples' introduction was hysterical. However, it as well as the Haibatsu Peoples' moments were somewhat long and drawn out, and the jokes sort of just dropped off. The best moment of the book is during the opening, where the reader does not understand the characters and we get to meet them and their peculiarly average ways.
No, I did laugh, but it is a dark comedy, and so it isn't non-stop laughter. I had many "Lolwut?" moments throughout that triggered a laugh, and it comes off as fresh, so for humor this is a good bit.
Yahtzee's sultry British voice excites and entices all listeners to ecstasy. That is all.
I am an avid reader and love audio books. I do not watch TV. I also love to do puzzles. Combine the two and I am in Heaven!!! Peace out!
Loved the way the author used humor in an apocalypse story.
Trying to figure out how strawberry jam filled the streets! I also liked the dry humor of the characters.
It made me laugh and also was scary and violent in certain parts . It was interesting to see the way different parts of society handled the situation. Definitely showed the mind set of the upper and lower classes of society in response to an extreme emergency.
I like fictional apocalypse books and this one was by far the most entertaining of all that I have read. Totally unbelievable but very entertaining. I will definitely try some other Yahtzee Crawshaw's (love this name and wonder if it is a given name) other books.
This book was SO out there and weird - in a great, way. It's fresh, imaginative, surprising, playful... I'm loving your talent, Mr Croshaw!
Jam is not a typical example of the genre, but it's post-apocalyptic, and I love post-apocalyptic novels. But what I liked BEST... hm... probably the wild creativity. The idea of the Jam, itself, and the odd characters.
Maybe. There were really great hilarious moments when I had to laugh out loud (making me look insane I'm sure), but I thought a lot of the book did not move the plot forward much. The story dragged and I found myself getting bored.
I already have recommended it to a friend because I think that she'll get a kick out of the premise and appreciate the dry/wacky sense of humor.
The narration emphasizes that the whole book is poking fun at Queenslanders. I spent some time in Australia a while back and noticed that other Australians make fun of Queenslanders for their broad, slow way of speaking (kind of like Americans make fun of southern accents). Knowing this, combined with the narration, clued me in that this is what was going on, and it really heightened my enjoyment of the book.
This book is a great example of dry British humor gone Australian. It has its flaws, but I don't regret buying it or the time I spent listening to it.
"Write more Croshaw!"
Yes and have. Epic story. Just love the writing style and characters believable and at the same time hilarious.
Fantastic as always
The second of Croshaw's books he really writes well and his characters and situations will have you in hysterics.
"Great when you listen at 1.5x"
Clever imaginative Funny
The narration was just a bit too slow. I found the best way to listen is with the speed at 1.5. Yahtzee's naration at normal is just too slow and if feels like he's reading it the way one would read a story to children, carefully so that every word is heard by itself. My enjoyment of the story and engagement went way up with the speed increase.
Yes. But I wound up spacing it out to about 5 days with great effort.
Definitely worth the time to have a listen. Yahtzee is incredibly creative and builds up the whole scenario in such a way that the twists and turns seem natural. The characters are well developed and the story is pretty solid.
"Its not Jam Its Marmite"
Yes i would its just one of those books that draws you into the characters and the plot and when time has passed you look back in fondness and want to listen again.
I cant really say it would spoil the book a bit but let me tell you it was memorable.
All of it
Personally no i like to listen to it in stages but im sure other people would and could listen to it all in one go.
The story line is very good but i did find when they stay in one settlement a bit too long and it did start to drag a bit but soon picked up again and the story tellers voice i love it really makes the book unique and memorable just like Mogworld.
I looked forward to reading this book with glee, only to be disappointed. The performance was good, but the story not so good considering the hype.
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