It was a flu season like no other. With the H1N1 virus running rampant throughout the country, people lined up in droves to try and attain one of the coveted vaccines. What was not known was the effect this largely untested, rushed to market, inoculation was to have on the unsuspecting throngs. Within days, feverish folk throughout the country convulsed, collapsed, and died, only to be reborn. With a taste for brains, blood, and bodies, these modern-day zombies scoured the lands for their next meal. Overnight the country became a killing ground for the hordes of zombies that ravaged the land.
This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.
Can he keep his family safe? Can he discover the secret behind Tommy's powers? Can he save anyone from the zombie queen? Encircled in a seemingly safe haven called Little Turtle, Mike and his family, together with the remnants of a tattered community, must fight against a relentless, ruthless, unstoppable force. This last bastion of civilization has made its final stand. God help them all.
©2010 Mark Tufo (P)2012 Tantor
"Once you read the first few pages of Zombie Fallout, you're in for the series." (John Ramsey Miller, author of The Last Family)
“The word lighthearted doesn’t usually come to mind when we think of the zombie apocalypse, but Sean Runnette does a skillful job balancing humor with horror in this audio edition, which makes for an entertaining stroll with the walking dead…Runnette gives Talbot a dry, I-knew-this-was-going-to-happen-to-me-someday attitude that captures the wry spirit of Tufo’s prose. This provides a welcome departure from the doom and gloom of most zombie tales, and Runnette wrings plenty of chuckles from the material. Still, the narrator doesn’t forget that this is an apocalyptic horror story, making sure there are plenty of chills and thrills along the way.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
I grew up with books....not television.
What made this piece of Zombie Fiction good was the suble element of the supernatural. This is a series so the explanation of what we are actually experiencing is not fully explained. The supernatural aspect is not obvious - therefore not ridiculous or unbelievable. I'm starting to sense that there may be an element of Good vs Evil here which would be really interesting in a Zombie novel. The survival aspect is what you would expect - hole up in a stronghold, scavenge for supplies and fight the zombies. I liked the fact that they are doing this as a family as opposed to one person on their own or a couple duking it out with the undead. I absolutely will be reading the next book in the series!
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)
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it actually had a different tone than many in this genre. It is not light-hearted, nor is it a political conspiracy, both of which make it a bit different than the other zombie books I've read recently. Oh, and it's not a "man sets out to reach point B" story either.
It's advertised as a "journal style" book but, other than a couple chapters inserted by other characters, and outright references within the story to it being a journal, it does not have the feeling of a journal based book (such as in Day by Day Armageddon, which, btw, you should read if you like zombie books)
There is some humor in the book, though it's really bathroom-based, i.e. men farting in public type humor - which gets a bit old after awhile - but wasn't annoying enough to ruin the story.
So, the story... it's about a man and his family facing a zombie apocalypse, and while the source of the zombies is touched on, there is not a lot of explanation as to how/why. There is a thread of supernatural stuff in the book, but this is not fully explained... I suspect that the next book in the series will cover more of this theme. The story doesn't really leave you hanging, but there's no actual "conclusion"...
I was not particularly smitten with the narrator. He sounds sorta like his dentures weren't properly fitted... so he's not really a bad narrator, just not particularly good. He doesn't add any excitement or anticipation to the story, but he didn't ruin it either.
I got the next in the series because I'm interested in where the supernatural thread is going. There is a moderate amount of swearing but no sexual content.
This book is written in a pleasant, joshing tone; a self-deprecating ex-Marine survivalist trying to keep his family and friends alive, under siege in a gated suburban community during a standard zombie apocalypse. I enjoy zombie novels and horror in general, and I've read all the best. Tufo's writing is cutesy and his storytelling clear - he never reaches the literary genius of Jonathan Maberry or the originality of Scott Kenemore, but the character is solid and the narration above par. I *was* enjoying it.
Then I reached past the midpoint of the novel, and the few female characters began to be featured in more-detail. I had to check the publication date to be sure I was listening to a book written in 2010, and not 1940. Tufo's female characters come in two types - aggressive whores and mean, inept feebs. How has this Master Survivalist raised two teenaged sons who stand side-by-side in battle with him, can shoot like marksmen and reload with their eyes closed, yet his daughter - their *older* sister - doesn't know which end of the gun to put the ammunition into. His wife is equally useless, pouty and sullen, and isn't motivated to kill a zombie until she spots the dead slut who almost ruined their marriage years ago. The daughter has value ONLY because she brings a gun-toting boyfriend into the group.
ALL the women in this book are useless at best, and evil detriments at worst. The wife is a chain-smoking bitch who petulantly withholds sex and says things like "If you don't know what you did, I'm not going to tell you!" and cares more about damage to the carpet and the resale value of their house DURING THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. If this is meant for laughs, it's not even a little bit funny. The "other wives" -- and that phrase is used -- are a bunch of similar sniping harridans, more interested in stabbing each other in the back than doing anything remotely helpful.
Tough white guys are pretty standard in this variety of fiction and I'm accustomed to it. I read the Walking Dead series and have been very glad that the often-brutally sexist portrayal in the graphic novels has been largely corrected in the TV series. But even in the original format, women may have been victims, but they were also strong, smart and worth having around.
I understand that there are a half-dozen more books in the Zombie Fallout series, but I fear that Mark Tufo has too many personal issues he dumps into his novels. I won't be reading or recommending any more of them, and will warn half his audience to stay away or risk being greatly insulted.
I'd be the last to praise this book as I often found myself cringing at the writing, but I was entertained to some degree.
It is interesting to hear a zombie story for the point of view of someone who might be suited to deal with it (mike's guns and weapons training) rather than the usually random dude. The characters were mostly unbearable.
Different narrator, was not a fan of the narration.
It was pretty entertaining if you overlook the obvious problems.
Mike was not funny, not in the slightest. No one was legitimately entertaining. Sarcasm seems to be the only attempt at humor which was kind of awful. The wife is irritating, irrational and endlessly nagging.
I don’t usually write reviews on books purchased on Audible, but I have to about this one. I enjoy a good Zombie book like the next person but this was neither a good book or a good Zombie story. The author’s poor writing skills become apparent after a few paragraphs that include phrases like “she retorted” “I barked”… It’s not “slap stick” as some reviewer stated, its one bad joke after another, after another, after another! The narrator sounds like Billy Chrystal delivering a boring monologue filled with old tired jokes. Do yourself a favor and listen to the sample. If you can stand that, then maybe you can get through the entire book. To me, it was a waste of a credit and time. I really did try and give it a chance, but the plot and jokes are so predictable I stopped listening.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
I’ve been reading (actually, listening to) a lot of zombie fiction lately and find most of it hugely entertaining. So I was looking forward to Zombie Fallout, but after just one-half hour of listening I had to hit “escape” and go on to my next audiobook.
The very first thing that happens in the novel is that the protagonist is about to take a shower when he is interrupted by zombies at the front door. So he has to abort the shower and run around naked saving his family. Many subsequent sentences are devoted to this guy’s interior ruminations on how he hates the feel of dry soap on his skin. SRSLY? Then he steps in a pile of dog poop. I guess this is supposed to humanize him, or be funny, possibly both, but the author’s habit of making every other sentence an aside about something completely inane from within the protagonist’s mind grated on me from the start.
So I took an instant dislike to the main character. He’s an ex-military man (not unusual for the genre) but on top of that, he is a survivalist. This seems like such a cop-out; the author has set up his protagonist in the best possible position to survive the zombie apocalypse. He has stockpiles of everything, especially weapons. He has taught his sons (three of them, I think, so obviously this book is going to be chock-full of testosterone) to be expert shooters. When the author started listing, with loving fascination, the exact names and calibers of eight or ten semi-automatic weapons in one sentence, I groaned inside. But I went on.
The family gets in the car to search for one son who is not home at the time of the zombie attack. I eagerly awaited my first real glimpse of the zombies in the book. Up until this point, I had been trying to ignore the man-child protagonist and weapon envy hoping that a plot would appear and get the book going. Then came a sentence that just could not be ignored. It went something like this: “These zombies were not the zombies that the visionary George Romero had envisioned” (paraphrased by necessity since I was listening, not reading}. I had overlooked a few other poorly written sentences and awful word choices earlier, but this proved to be the last straw. I knew I could not spend another minute on this drivel.
And I have now spent more time writing this review than I did reading this book. Don’t waste any more of your time. Check out my reviews of other excellent zombie books that really are either funny (My Life as a White Trash Zombie) or action-packed (Plague of the Dead), or both (The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten).
My main issue with this audiobook is the incessant bickering and sarcasm. Maybe some people like that, apparently a lot do, but I wouldn`t recommend this book. I just found myself getting annoyed and frustrated with the relationship between the main character and his wife, and how he`s always getting the evil eye`from her.
For instance, who bickers over which car to take when your kids life is on the line?
I tried the second book and just couldn't deal with it. Slow plot movement, and the character kept referencing back to the first book in an attempt to explain plot holes away.
I stopped listening after a few chapters of nothing much happening and returned it.
The performance was well done, he captured the character's essence very well. Should be a 5 star performance but I just can't stand the character enough to rate it that high.
The survivalism aspect of the book was neat...personally I think that's what a lot of people are drawn to with zombie stories. It definitely satisfied in that department.
Mostly I felt frustration.
As I said, I wouldn't recommend, but clearly most people really dig this story. Maybe it just wasn't for me.
The story was excellent. It was the comic relief in the book that I had a hard time adjusting to. Some of it was so out of place that it really took away from the story. It took me awhile to get into it, but I'm glad I did- I enjoyed it.
I've only just listened to this first in the series, but so far it's the best zombie book I've head on Audible. It has a perfect blend of character development, humor, suspense, and horror. I lost a few hours of sleep listening to this at night. My wife, who knows English but not well enough to concentrate on following the story, couldn't understand why I was cracking up while lying in my bed trying to fall asleep to this novel. In the end, I had to turn it off, because I couldn't stop listening.
My mind often wanders while listening to a story, and I'll sometimes I'll "wake up" and realize I didn't actually hear the last 20 minutes or so. In most cases, I just focus my attention again and keep going. Not with this book. I had to go back and listen to every word.
Get this book. Here's how good it is: I didn't have the credits to buy this and the next book, but the first was so worth the price, I paid for the second rather than wait for my next credit to kick in. I can't wait to hear what happens next.
The narrator is excellent in delivery, but his voice isn't crisp and clear, so if your hearing isn't perfect, it can sometimes take effort to follow every word. Most people shouldn't even notice, though.
Although this story has a zombie on the cover of the book it focuses a lot more on the living than the dead. That is a wonderful thing. The wit of the author and neurosis of the main character were very entertaining. I will certainly read the rest of the series and check out Mark Tufo's other books as well.
"okay zombie novel, unsympathetic main character"
the narrator wasn't great, the main character was homophobic and misogynistic and I never felt anyone was in any real peril.
I love Mark Tufos writting, he has to be one of my favourite authors and I love Sean Runette. His voice just makes the stories come alive!!! A cracking start to a wonderful series!!
"Drama and comedy in abundance"
Narrated brilliantly ... This has definitely hooked me for the next instalment!!! The characters linked really well ... It's like Jack Reacher meets zombies.
5 stars all the way.
"Amazing witty addictive"
Loved this audio book.
Very detailed and good writing, fun themes keep it light hearted with all the doom and gloom. Descriptive and humoured. I am hooked.
The entire season of this adventure is fantastic. this is by far the best written and read zombie story.
n.b. All the Michael talbot stories are fantastic
"yeah it was alright"
worth a listen but i dont feel it was worth the £20+ i paid for it
this has been my first audio book and I loved it!
the narrators voice was a little too soft and soothing as I fell asleep more than once. lol
ready for the next one.
"A great Zombie book with a sarcastic sense a humer"
I love zombie books & films and this zombie book is 1 of my favourites. It is a little bit like Shawn of the Dead, or maybe like Family Guy with zombies.
It's a sarcastic American man trying to look after his family from zombies.
It's funny & has zombies!!!!!
What's not to like.
He reads it well & really draws you in.
Yes if it was short I would have.
Very good book & I download the 2nd book straight after.
If you have a sense of humour (sarcastic & a bit dark) & you like zombies then get this book.
900 miles is also a good zombie book.
"Stumbled on to a real gem of a book!"
The most horrific ending of the world but a group you can invest your time into and laugh and laugh with through good and bad
This is a real new style of zombie book writing and it WORKS
Mike Talbot of course!
Seriously never listened to zombie fallout then get this book now it is brilliant!
"Cartoonish, gratuitous and unrealistic"
Any concern for scientific accuracy. The idea behind how the zombie outbreak starts is laughably bad. The main protagonist is impossible to sympathize with, in particularly found his description of an encountered obese character to be particularly unpleasant. The lack of well written characters doesn't stop there however. His two sons are trigger happy and moronic respectively, and the rest of the cast doesn't get any better. With the militaristic way it's written, it feels like it's trying to be a Chris Ryan book, and fails miserably.
Discarded the cast, re-written the storyline, spent more than a few minutes coming up with the scientific basis of the story and dropped all of the needless references to modern era brands. I personally got bored of comments like "With their Xbox 360's" scattered amongst the narrative
Steady, mature, disconnected
Massive disappointment, and occasionally guffaws of disbelief
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