When the end finally occurred, everything about it was cinematic. The dead came back and ate people, civilization collapsed, and no one could do a thing. But Cyrus V. Sinclair couldn’t care less; he’s a sociopath.
Amidst the chaos, Cyrus sits back and contemplates the gore stained streets and screams of his fellow man with little more emotion than one of the walking corpses. With his cache of guns and MREs, he rather likes the idea of hunkering down in his Seattle apartment while the world ends outside.
All is well and good for Cyrus… until he meets up with Gabe, a belligerent annoyance, and the other inconvenient survivors who cramp his style and force him to re-evaluate his outlook on life. It’s Armageddon, and things will definitely get messy.
BONUS SHORT STORY: The Undead Situation includes "Strictly Professional", one of four interlocking stories from The Junkie Quatrain by Peter Clines.
©2010 Eloise J. Knapp (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
I am an audiobook enthusiast who reviews audiobooks for his blog, The Guilded Earlobe. You can find me on Twitter @guildedearlobe talking about zombies, robots, monkeys and audiobooks.
Since the dead began to rise, not much has changed in Cyrus V. Sinclair’s life beyond the fact that he doesn’t have to go to work anymore. Cyrus was expecting some sort of apocalypse to come in his lifetime and was prepared for it. Now he sits in his fortified apartment, watching the undead take over his city as if it was some sort of movie. Yet, when forced to save the life of a young girl, Cyrus must reevaluate his decision to ride out the apocalypse in his apartment, and heads out into a changed and brutal world. The Undead Situation really doesn’t add much new to the zombie apocalypse genre. Knapp’s zombies are basically Romero style, and the assortment of Survivors that pepper the land fall into your typical apocalyptic types. Yet, where Knapp excels is her ability to filter stereotypical apocalyptic scenarios through the eyes of a couple of incredibly unique characters. Her characters are not especially likable, and only heroic if it serves their purpose, but they are immensely compelling. Cyrus reminded me a lot of the Heather’s character JD in the early stages of the novel, but just when you feel you are truly beginning to understand him, something changes. As a narrator, Cyrus is highly unreliable, his inner dialogues capable of suddenly revealing a side of himself that even he hadn’t realized was there. Yet, The Undead Situation isn’t just a character study, it’s full of a lot of fun action that any zombie fiction fan will enjoy. The Undead Situation will please fans of classic zombie tales with familiar apocalyptic situations, but will also offer something for those looking for a twist to their zombie lore by allowing the reader to view those situations through the skewed eyes of her main character.
I think a big reason I associated Cyrus with JD from Heathers was based on the narration of Kevin T. Collins. It almost seemed as if his was channeling the voice and cadence of Christian Slater, giving it a bit of a twist, and presenting it as the voice of Cyrus and for me this tactic, if intentional, was brilliantly done. Collins does what first person narrators should do by creating a voice appropriate for his character and maintaining it throughout the reading. Collins also handled the many peripheral characters well, both male and female. The Undead Situation works very well as an audiobook, and was one of the bigger surprises for me in Audible’s zombie celebration. Luckily, Knapp has set up the novel for an obvious sequel, and I will be looking for it with great anticipation.
QUESTION : DOES LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS MAKE YOU SMARTER? If so, I'm. Freakin Genius!
I don't know how this happen, but I LOVE Zombie/End of the World as We Know it/Gross Me Out/ Gag Me with a Spoon Books.
I am a white, over 40,, mother of four. Go figure. That being said:
This was a good one. A Zombie lover's dream. The book was funny, sick and the main charater was great. He thinks he is such a bad***, but the more we get to know him, and the more he gets to know himself, we discover he really does care.... some of the time.
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
story is told in the first person. cyrus is a sociopath. he's killed a few people before the zombie apocylapse most notably those who've bullied him. cyrus is not a full blown sociopath although he thinks he is. as the story unfolds he's not as bada$$ as he thinks he is. he does care- about his candy, his pet ferret, and frank. frank is the only person he cares for b/c frank is the only one who's ever given a crap about him.
frank is a survivalist. cyrus is waiting for him to come get him so they can head out to his cabin inn the mountains. as cyrus hangs out in his apartment, he comes into contact with a young girl, named gabe, who's running for her life. cyrus doesn't care about people and has watched people die without intervening.
how does he interact with people when he only cares about himself? as the story progresses, cyrus starts to have feelings for some of the people he comes into contact with. but are these real feelings? does he know how to feel? or are these feelings related to what cyrus can get out of them?
this is not really a man vs. zombie book. it's more of a look at the inside of cyrus' head. how does he cope with other feeling people. can he grow feelings or is he destined to be alone?
cyrus likes being alone, he even strives on being by himself. cyrus is thrust into situations where he's challenged to figure out how much of a sociopath he really is. however if you, the listener were in his situation, would you do the same? would you be a hero or save your a$$. if you chose the latter, would that qualify you as smart or a budding sociopath?
as for the zombies, there's nothing new. survivors? yup, there are your typical bastards. but where this book is different and shines is in the lead character, cyrus. that's what makes this book different. for once, i actually cared about the characters. the characters drive the story not the plot.
I picked this audiobook up on a whim. In fact I very nearly passed it by. I've seen zombie stories in many forms and it feels as though it has been done to death, with little to no innovation.
That is not the case with The Undead Situation.
Cyrus, while being a general a**hole and all around apathetic guy, still manages to become a window for the audience. The idea of a character who didn't actually care about the welfare of those weaker to him just tickled my fancy, and Cyrus definitely does not disappoint.
I'll not give away the story with descriptions of the other characters, but rest assured that each has his or her own personality developed in such a way that makes you think the author had spent a great deal of time thinking of them, applying strengths and weaknesses to their personalities. The main characters seem to possess a depth that is not fully explored in the narration, but in this case it is a good thing. How boring would it be to know every facet of a character? A little mystery goes a long way in this kind of tale.
Ms. Knapp is a debut author and her efforts come across as someone who has labored with love and devotion. Mr. Collins possesses the perfect sneer to his voice that really makes Cyrus's character shine. His narration is flawless in reflecting the dirty, gritty reality of a world at its end.
There are a few flaws to this book. Most lie with some of the details regarding the military, but likely would only be caught by someone who has experience in the service. The events toward the end seemed to happen fast, though the epilogue was well done and is definitely my favorite part. As with any zombie book, it has events that mirror each other closely, but stays just shy of being repetitious.
Lastly, the author herself is very open to feedback. I tend to email authors whose work I enjoy and it was a genuine pleasure to correspond with Ms. Knapp.
I will be keeping an eye out for future works.
There's plenty of blood in this one as well as a nice dose of human intrigue. You want cannibalism, guns, and slaughter? Well, you're reading reviews on a zombie audio book, aren't you?
In terms of the voice acting, one of the principal ways I judge this is how well the actor can do voices of the opposite sex from themselves and Mr. Collins does a fine job here. Nothing is more jarring than listening intently to a dialog when suddenly a whinny, grade-b transvestite chimes in.
Bravo to the author and actor of this little ditty!
Without any spoilers, I will say that this is one of my favorite zombie novels to date. I just finished listening, and already want to listen again. The narrator was perfect, and I found the end very satisfying. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys straight-up zombie apocalypse survival novels; it has everything in it you could want. Definitely give it a go!
One note of warning: The characters are no fluffy bunnies. If you're looking for a heart-warming tale, this probably isn't your cup of tea. There is, however, FANTASTIC character growth over the course of the novel, which I feel more than makes up for the more cold-hearted parts.
This was well worth the price, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I haven't listened to many zombie books before, but this one was cool. The main character was different from the heroes I see in movies, other books, etc. Plot was pretty straightforward, but I didn't mind.
Great voice actor, loved the Southern accent for Frank.
If you like Zombie stories with a little dark humor you'll like this one. Less guts and gore would have been better. I thought that the narration was good. I'm sure it is meant to be the first book of a series. If so then I'll get the next one. A series I really liked were ALL the Joe Ledger books by Jonathan Mayberry read by a very talented reader, Ray Porter (four books that should be listened to in order).
Audible is my key to fitting my science fiction and fantasy pleasure reading into my schedule, so that's what you'll see me review here!
Ever wonder how a sociopath like Dexter would fare in the Zombie Apocalypse? Knapp's The Undead Situation explores the ever-more familiar genre of Zombie Survival Horror, but it eschews the typical, hope-filled protagonist trying to keep everyone alive and keep their spirits up in favor of a different type of "hero." Cyrus V. Sinclair is a total misanthrope who was happy to watch the world burn in solitude from his apartment window. Knapp uses Cyrus as a kind of foil to poke fun at the conventions of most of these stories, since as a gun-nut misanthrope who has a history of quietly murdering people who annoyed him in his youth, Cyrus is not one to sympathize with the plight of the average survivor, and trying to appeal to his sense of humanity is like shooting at a brick wall hoping it'll topple over. While it's not stellar in terms of plot and has some contrivances that kept me from saying it was amazing, it was a pretty satisfying listen. The book has a consciousness about the zombie genre, and while it doesn't add anything too new, it does wear the conventions well even as it pokes fun at them. When it was done I found myself pleased by the narrative arc and it gave me some things to think about.
I suppose that it was the generally positive reviews that drew me to this story and I have to say I was not disappointed. Unlike many recent post-apocalyptic efforts, this one offers both a new-twist in the form of hero as sociopath, one without compassion or emotion, in a non-stop action thriller. As a fan of the "undead" genre, this one delivers in-your-face snarling, entrails-dragging dead people, some slow, some fast and the violence is up close and personal. But then there's the living to contend with: the twisted redneck evil survivors with guns. And there's lots and lots of violence. My only critique, and this is clearly the intention of the author, is that even though we come to know the primary characters quite well, there's nothing particularly likeable about any of them. If you like bad-ass women with guns, a dysfunctional hero and a world without hope or redemption, this is an outstanding zombie book. Go for it!
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