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The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z | [Manel Loureiro]

The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z

A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news - it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men. A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. But he never expected that his anonymous blog and journal would ultimately record humanity’s last days. Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called Safe Havens are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.
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Publisher's Summary

The dead rise…

A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news - it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men.

Humanity falls…

A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. But he never expected that his anonymous blog and journal would ultimately record humanity’s last days.

The end of the world has begun…

Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called Safe Havens are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves. Armed only with makeshift weapons and the will to live, this survivor will give mankind one last chance against…Apocalypse Z.

©2012 Manel Loureiro (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  •  
    Keith Arlington, TN, United States 11-14-12
    Keith Arlington, TN, United States 11-14-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    127
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    "Just For Pleasure"

    I have to confess that I secretly love last person on Earth books. This book was no exception. It was told from the first person and that was one of the things that made it good. From beginning to end the book was just plain good.

    Nick Podehl complimented the book better than any one else I can think of. His voice brought the book alive and you felt what the main character felt. In one place the main character was talking about the loss of his family, and I swear you could hear his voice crack and see the tears rolling. Apocalypse Z was written well and the narration made it even better.

    32 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lesley Seattle, WA, United States 05-10-14
    Lesley Seattle, WA, United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2005

    From Austen to zombies!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meanwhile, in Spain..."

    Most zombie apocalypse stories I've read were set in the USA. Apocalypse Z takes place in Galicia, a rainy region in Northwestern Spain best known for the historic area of Santiago de Compostela. It's a refreshing change that makes for an exciting zombie yarn.

    A widowed lawyer and his cat, Lucullus, watch nervously as things go bad in Russia, then the EU, then everywhere. The lawyer blogs his struggles at first, and then is forced to change to paper when the Internet finally dies. He and Lucullus leave home and bravely traverse Galicia, taking out "those THINGS," as he calls them, searching desperately for any kind of safety.

    All the regular zombie tropes are present here, but the story is made exciting by the fact that our hero is just some guy--sometimes brave, other times terrified, but able to use the knowledge he has to get by and survive. If you're at all familiar with Spanish culture, another dimension is added: the lawyer is a definite Spanish "type," so the story becomes more of a question of what would this average guy, the guy you see every morning on the train going into the city, what would he do if there were an apocalypse?

    Some sections of the story didn't go fast enough for me--our hero was a little waffly at times, agonizing too much over decisions. But he is a lawyer, so maybe the overanalysis is a kind of professional hangover from normal times. Mostly, I was hooked--I had to find out what was going to happen next. And as an animal lover, not listening all the way through wasn't an option: would Lucullus make it? There was no way I could skip the answer to that question!

    I can't say enough about the narration, beautifully done by Nick Podehl who did such a fantastic job on The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Podehl makes the fear, disgust, and sadness really come through. His Spanish pronunciation is pretty good, too.

    If you're looking for a zombie story that's a little different, this one is a great choice: a little less John Wayne and a lot more guy-next-door, Apocalypse Z will keep you listening through to the end. I can't wait for the next volume in this saga!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 11-17-13
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 11-17-13 Member Since 2007

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Wonder cat saves the day... again..."

    I enjoyed the first half of the book quite a bit: a story about how a well-prepared man faces the development/existence of a zombie horde. Sure, the main character was a bit too prepared for a guy with his background and job, but still, it was believable. And the way information on the initial sickness was shared (or not) felt very realistic. (Oh, I am pretty sure the technical aspects of, say, diving, guns, or solar panels, etc, were creatively interpreted, but I didn't mind, since I don't really care what size bullet goes into what type of gun anyway.)

    About halfway through, the story took a little turn from a survivalist story to a "spy-thriller" wannabe. Which might have been okay - if this aspect had been more than a "let's have the main character get caught up in some spy-ops in order to show him facing zombies". This entire thread is sorta wrapped up, but the reader is never given any information as to the point behind these events. Perhaps it is a thread intended to be brought up in the next book in the series, but, as it is here, it is just a huge red herring put into the story for no purpose other than to have an excuse for the main character to meet a sidekick and venture into zombieland.

    There were some other weak points that became more noticeable as the story progressed: especially in regards to the main character's cat. Even if you assume that the main character would risk his own life to save that of his cat... why would he take it out of its cage and tie it to a string with the plan that it would walk beside him during a thunderstorm/zombie attack... hey, I can suspend disbelief and accept zombies, and even that silly spy-ops thread, but a) what cat would walk beside you as if it were on a leash and b) what cat would walk beside you in a thunderstorm, leash or not c) and why would anyone think a cat would come to them when they called it (regardless that it is during a thunderstorm/abandoned building/zombie attack)?

    The ending left even more to be desired. I think it is intended to set up the next installment of the series, but the way the main character "found" other survivors was just a smidge beyond believable (another installment of wonder-cat adventures here). And I really hope that the "love interest" hinted at in the next book is not the same one hinted at in this one because I am really tired of male authors assuming that 17 year old girls would be as interested in 30 year old men as these men are in teenage girls.

    It isn't overly gory, there is no sex, and I don't recall any excessive swearing. The narration is good and I think the translation to English was accurate enough. Overall it is a reasonable/average entry in the zombie genre. I won't, however, be reading the next in the series since the best part of this book was how the virus/information spread, and how the world initially dealt with this spread.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Mitchell Ohio 12-31-12
    R. Mitchell Ohio 12-31-12 Member Since 2008

    I love good books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Typical Z Book"

    Not as good as I hoped. I did finish to see how it ended, and I did like the main character and some of the other minor characters. The characters were developed fairly well in spite of the style of the audiobook. The "journaling" style of the book was grating after a while. It is better in written form.
    I would have returned the book but I did like the character and had interest in how it turned out. I think the author should have expanded the hospital stay in more detail. Although there was a bit of creep factor there..but it was the end of the world after all. This may have enhanced the book...if it were not in the journaling style.
    I bought the "whisper-sync" kindle book and audiobook, and I did like the kindle version better so you may try that if you love zombie books.
    I think the book would really appeal to the reader/listener who is familiar with the story area. I looked up the places on google earth to get a feel for the some of the geography.
    The audiobook was pretty good, but the style (journaling) was very distracting. The reader was very good and may have helped me like and care about the character. There were unanswered parts of the plot which may be answered in the next installment. Be aware there there is massive levels of profanity and gore as in any Z story.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rolando West Valley City, Utah, United States 03-05-13
    Rolando West Valley City, Utah, United States 03-05-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Overly dramatic"
    What would have made The Beginning of the End better?

    The narrator is reads every sentence as if it is the end of the world. Please pardon the cliche and pun. The problem is that the narrator doesn't give the listener a chance to rest. Everything is "gripping" or "shocking" or "unforgettable". I know that you can blame it on the author, however, I am reading the book along with the narration via Whispersync and reading the book is much more enjoyable and makes it easy to forgive some of the author's flaws. Halfway through the book I decided to stop listening to it and just read it. The narration made it unbearable.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Arkansas City, Kansas 04-10-14
    Richard Arkansas City, Kansas 04-10-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Manel Loureiro Makes You Believe"
    Any additional comments?

    The writing was compelling and the read by Nick Podehl was phenomenal. What terrified me most was the possibility that this was a stand-alone work. Just found out there are two books in the story. While I do not believe in the supernatural, I surely enjoyed believing for the duration of the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shea United States 12-24-12
    Shea United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2012

    Shea Books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    "Felt Like I was Right there With Them"
    If you could sum up The Beginning of the End in three words, what would they be?

    Great Book Love the voice of the narrator he kept the book exciting voice was easy to listen too also...Good action along with gore and suspense. Wanting more could not put it down. I only listen to audible books in my car but found myself holding my Iphone and listening to the book. Looking forward to the next book. HURRY PLEASE.....


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Lawyer


    Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First time listening to him


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rex Canton, GA, United States 12-12-12
    Rex Canton, GA, United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Some real annoyances, but a decent story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A little fact checking could have gone a long way....1) SCUBA tanks are filled with compressed air, not oxygen. I thought the narrator was going to assemble a cutting torch when he was just going diving. 2) Those things on a diver's feet are not flippers. They are fins. If we are to believe the narrator was a regular diver before SHTF, this should have been corrected. and 3) The narrator familiarized himself with the basic functions of the Glock, including the trigger and the safety. -- I'm paraphrasing a bit. Glocks do not have an external safety. If the narrator had never fired a gun before, he would certainly not be familiar with the Glock's three passive safety mechanisms.

    None of them require the shooter to do anything but pull the trigger for it to go bang. But by far, the biggest annoyance is this. The author has tried to avoid the Z word at all costs. He describes the dead walking slowly around, stumbling, mumbling and pursuing the living. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, call it a duck, dadgummit! He even at one point compares the creatures to those in second rate horror films. Oh, you mean the zombies?

    I'm about half way through this book and it's driving me bananas!


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I might get there....


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I did like his interactions with the hapless neighbor.


    Was The Beginning of the End worth the listening time?

    meh


    14 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dave LA JOLLA, CA, United States 01-21-13
    dave LA JOLLA, CA, United States 01-21-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    10
    4
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    "took care of my fix"
    Any additional comments?

    ok so this guy, the guy in this story is crazy annoying. like, sometime he's super heroic, other times he's totally fall down, curl into a ball. you can tell right off that this story is translated into english. if you can get over that its a pretty good listen. also, the main character is always crying over his cat, thorwing up out of fear, complaining about who knows what. its more annoying than anything.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Metung, Australia 12-16-13
    Steve Metung, Australia 12-16-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Frustration"

    Overall this kept me glued.
    But there were many times I shouted aloud in frustration…why? It seemed that every time they got in a vehicle it shot off at great speed, and guess what happened every time…they crashed/ran into or nearly ran into something/someone. They left doors open, they didn't look behind them, they just didn't seem to learn from one minute to the next.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 68 results PREVIOUS127NEXT
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  • Hoopers Oak
    PULBOROUGH, United Kingdom
    3/14/13
    Overall
    "One of the worst books ever read/listened to"

    I could not finish listening to this. If a teenager had the determination to write a sci-fi/horror novel, this is what they would come up with. This book takes suspension of disbelief to a whole new level. Not only is the main premise ridiculous, but the details: transformers blow up because the electricity supply has failed, his freezer defrosts almost instantly, he listens to the police on short-wave radio, his car engine fails catastrophically because he drives along a bumpy road....it's just ridiculous. To cap it all, the narrator has a whiny American voice and I lost count of the number of times he said: 'life is a bitch'. Sorry, puerile rubbish.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. A. J. H. Jackson
    London, UK.
    1/23/13
    Overall
    "Some lazy writing but very enjoyable story..."

    A very enjoyable story with lots of interesting elements and plenty of suspense though it has IMO an overly dramatic and at times odd narration. In terms of the writing there are lots of obvious things which could have been corrected with a decent Editor - silly stuff like "the corridor was pitch black" followed by a detailed description of the corridor, "I was paralyzed with fear" then immediately "strangely calm", "I had grown used to the hideous sights" though "bile rose in my throat and I wanted to throw up", he realizes that he needs to be quiet so as not to attract attention yet shouts with joy, fires automatic weapons and kicks steel doors multiple times with gay abandon - these things may have sounded OK with a different narrator. Because the main character apparently has the learning curve of a plank you kind of want him to die but that still didn't stop me enjoying this listen!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • martin
    MACCLESFIELD, United Kingdom
    10/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "LOST IN TRANSLATION"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    ZOMBIE FANATICS


    Would you ever listen to anything by Manel Loureiro again?

    I dont think so, maybe it was the translation but it didnt really grip me in any way.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Nick Podehl’s performances?

    Id give him a seond chance though his reading was a bit over dramatic at times.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was set in Spain and Russia, not the US...which made a refreshing change


    Any additional comments?

    ending was a big anti climax

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • chloe
    Pillac, France
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Zombie Tangle"

    The author tells the story of the Zombie Apocalypse through his journals which removes a lot of dramatic tension because you know when he announces the start of another entry, obviously he has survived the events to be able to tell the story. I got tired of being told how frightened he had been, how horrible the zombies were, how gruesome the scene was. After saying the same thing about 10 times, it started to get annoying. I think the editing is poor which is a shame because it's quite a good story - Apocalypse Z is solely told through one man's experience and is very much his tale of day to day survival. Like World War Z, this tries to put some logic into how you might actually survive. The voice is good, the American accent is a bit off-putting but he does put a lot of personal angst into the events. I think he should have eaten the cat, though!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Neil
    GAINSBOROUGH, United Kingdom
    1/14/13
    Overall
    "Need more"

    There are two more in this series, neither are available in English, audio or print. You may want to consider this fact before you read this one.



    It is indeed a cracking read, right from the start you love the main character and his faithful feline companion. I like the fact that his sidekick is a cat, cat's are unpredictable, they cannot be trained and in a tricky situation they can be relied upon to disappear in an instant. In an apocalypse situation, I would imagine a cat would be a constant source of annoyance and greatly add to the already considerable danger of everyday life and in this story, the narrator is determined to look after his cat [Lucullus] come what may. This adds a real human touch to the story and adds much interest and danger to the story. he has to keep him fed, carry him around, call him, without actually making any noise, comfort him and talk to him to keep himself sane. It could so easily be a dog, a dog could be a hindrance too but would have many plus points like warning when it senses danger and protecting his master, maybe even laying down his life for him, with a cat, this is never going to happen. If he want's to keep his cat, he has to work at it and he does.



    I have read in other reviews about this books predictability. Once you know the story is about the Zombie apocalypse, surely you expect certain things to happen. Most people die and return as the walking dead right? That's not a spoiler and certainly not unexpected is it? Stay in one place, you eventually run out of food & water and the Zombies will almost certainly find you, you will have to move on. You will have to do things out of character, you will learn new skills, you will do anything to survive and the Zombies WILL keep coming. Predictable or simply expected?



    If you like Z stories, there is nothing here that will disappoint you. I highly recommend this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sussman
    London CA
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Tackling Zombies using Scuba gear"

    As reviewers have already commented this tale unfolds in the form of one man's blog that is kept in a diary and, while the internet is live, via a web blog. The language is relatively simple, but never preambles. The narrative follows, at times a predictable formula. There is a terrorist attack on a secret military base slash research facility. What follows is a tumbling of the dominoes as secrecy and governmental ineptitude leads to a worldwide pandemic of the un-dead who behave very much like the flesh eating Zombies.



    Our protagonist is a lawyer by trade; he is widower who lives alone in Galicia Spain, except for his cat who figures heavily in his life. Through his blog/diary we see how society begins to unravel as the pandemic spreads from a remote zone in the Russian Federation until it reaches Spain and finally his front door. Not wishing to give spoilers, our lawyer and cat are forced to leave their fortress home and embark on journey to find some safe haven. On this `road trip' from hell our hero will meet both the best, worst, and profoundly stupid of humanity.



    This novel has been translated from Spanish, and appears to be the first of what sounds like a `series', containing his travels and experience's. I just want clarify I was listening to the unabridged version and have not read the book, but I am sure they are one in the same. I found the story entertaining, and it was refreshing to have a story based in mainland Europe as opposed to North America, where most of the novels and films I have seen, seem to be played out. This book is not going to win any literary prizes - but this is not one of those books. Some rather interesting Horror fiction has been coming out of Spain lately and this story is one of them. In summation then this is an interesting and entertaining book, which is cat friendly to boot and I recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • toni
    LIMERICK CITY, Ireland
    2/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bad story read well."
    What did you like best about The Beginning of the End? What did you like least?

    This book is really poorly written, Day By Day Armageddon isn't the best series of books ever but I have would really recomend it over this if you like the idea of a first person narrative Zombie story. This seems to hinge on descriptions that try really hard to be graphic.

    There are some really really great ideas in this book. The fact that the protagonist is an average dude. The fact that the question of sanity and PTSD is explored and setting a book like this europe was an interesting way to handle it. However the story doesn't carry them off well at all. I feel like this may be because it's translated into a second language but that doesn't help those of us who don't speak spanish sadly.

    The second half of the book is frankly agonising, if this is a conscious choice on the part of the author then considering the content ( I will avoid spoilers) then it's fair, but I found it incredibly hard to listen to.


    Has The Beginning of the End put you off other books in this genre?

    I wouldn't stop reading Z-fiction but I think I'm pretty happy to let this series go. Like I said, some good Ideas, and a sold narrator but overall it's a poor retelling of other Ideas from better stories.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to DBDA and the new Version of WWZ if you feel like some zombie stories. If you're looking for another DBDA then please keep looking, this isn't it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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