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 will never read another Mark Tufo book. I'm not a masochist.
Peter Griffin did his best to narrate this rubbish.
The main character is a chauvinistic homophobe. All the women in the book (apart from the lesbians) were absolutely ridiculous! When they're out on a rescue mission, they decide to go shopping instead of completing it. This is just one example of many. It saddens me to think that in this day in age Mark Tufo's misogyny is applauded by so many. Don't even get me started on the writing. This book was written by an angry ten year old boy who had just been sent to his room by his mother.
I would most certainty recommend this entire series. The characters are richly drawn. The stories are engaging.
Yes, I need to remember all the jokes.
I need to get the next book. I have some unanswered questions.
The Cat fight between Mike and Tim.
This book was so funny in so many ways. Too much internal dialogue though, but that's where a lot of the funny jokes came from. So I can live with it. I wasn't sure if I would buy the next book, but I want to find out what happens next.
I have the distinct feeling this book was trying really hard to be Evil Dead. I think it tried to be a less campy, more rooted in reality Evil Dead, but it still had that kind of feel. I really disliked how I got more descriptions of the main character's OCD tendencies than I did the zombies themselves. There is little to no psychological thrill in this book. Mike, the main character, states many times how he, as a man, hates feelings; and thus, we just get a line or two about how Mike vomited again rather than digging any deeper into the terror and fear being surrounded by zombies could inflict.
I think my dislike of this book boils down to one thing. It tends to be very one-dimensional. Characters are one dimensional (and trope-filled), plot is one-dimensional, ect. I honestly don't think this book adds much to the zombie genre (at least at this point in the series, I know things get weird in the later books, I'm forcing my way through book 2 right now).
If you are any kind of feminist, this book isn't for you. I'm pretty sure half of my friends would hate it. If you are homosexual, you will also probably not enjoy the "stereotypical" lesbians, and misrepresentations of gay men. In my opinion, there was a bit of homophobia that leaked through (hey editors, you could have really nixed that part about how two men kissing is disgusting as dead rotting flesh, that was not cool).
Tufo also goes a little overboard on sexualizing his female characters, fat-character bashing, and the only competent members who fight against zombies are male. There are No. Strong. Female. Characters. None. The closest thing is Mike's daughter, but she is tiny and useless in a fight according to the story. Also, I really disliked Tufo's portrayal of minorities. This especially applies to Big Tiny, who is a huge black man written as being a little dim and a hulking threat in the first book, and he ends up allying himself with Mike. Alex, the book's Latino character, is a little better (I think we can thank Runnette for his portrayal of Alex for that). I'll talk about Tommy below.
If you don't overthink the literature you read, then you probably won't have an issue with the book. If you haven't watched the Evil Dead movies, you might also enjoy them, because I do love Ash (played by Bruce Campbell), and Mike seems like a weak Ash reboot. Sean Runnette does a pretty solid job with the narration. He brings Mike to life in a way I feel does the character justice. Runnette also doesn't overdo Tommy's character, which leads me to...
(SPOILERY) Tommy. The magical, fat disabled Latino boy who is guided by the voice of Ryan Seacrest. As hilarious as the Ryan Seacrest thing is, the trope of the happy go lucky disabled boy who is mentally inept, but actually the best, most lovable puppy in the world, kind of makes me want to puke. Yet another trope that makes me disappointed in the book. (END SPOILER)
Also, this book is highly unrealistic for the genre. I wanted to slap the characters many times for doing things that *should* have gotten them infected. I actually don't know why or how they weren't infected.
So why did I push through the end of this book? Why did I purchase and start the second book? Am I a little bit masochistic? Maybe. I was pretty harsh on Tufo's characterizations, but I have to say there is an underlying story which can be somewhat enjoyable. There were long stretches where I enjoyed the writing and didn't get pulled out of the story because of how improbable a plot point was. There is some solid writing in this novel, it just wouldn't be my first pick of zombie books, nor would I necessarily recommend it.
(However, I will say I am about to give up on the second book. So no, the series doesn't get better, it only gets more ridiculous).
I am a Landscape Architect living in Hanover, Pennsylvania who enjoys historical nonfiction, fantasy novels, and zombie horror.
I’ll give any zombie book a listen, and for the past few years it seems that this one makes every Audible ‘Five Dollar Bottom-of-the-Bucket Sale’ that comes around. It’s worth a listen for that low price, but I doubt I’d be satisfied with the purchase had I paid full member price – and I have serious hesitations about continuing this series. (Sidenote: The fact that seven books have been released in two-and-a-half years is pretty telling about the quality of the writing and the richness of the plot. Don’t expect anything too deep here, folks; this is some hastily-written fodder.)
The plot is straightforward and predictable. We follow a main character from the onset of a ‘zombie apocalypse’ for a few weeks. Within the plot are all the clichés that have come to represent contemporary zombie literature; we witness the transformation of a suburban subdivision into ‘Defense Bunker Alpha’ for a colorful cast of survivors; we follow expeditions to plunder the local Wal Mart and state armory; we observe struggles of power within family and community in the name of ‘survival.’
Along the way there is plenty of zombie gore and death.
Tufo lacks pacing and substance throughout much of the book. What he does achieve is the creation of a conventional and believable post apocalyptic world. It’s a bit funny, sort of tense, not so clever, moderately creative, and overall pretty enjoyable to escape into.
I have one nitpick with this book, and that is that I repeatedly cringed at many of Tufo’s hamfisted and stereotypical plot devices. I can generally ignore such things for the sake of the overall story arc, but Tufo manages to bog his narrative down with so many unrealistic distractions: the villains in the story are all ‘bad guys’ just for the sake of being ‘bad guys’ and they lack any real motivation; the humor is crude in a ‘lols we all smell like poop’ way, and probably worst of all, the supporting characters are all utter stereotypes without any development or reasoning—we have a Russian henchman whose sole purpose in life is to speak in a thick accent and inject icy intimidation as needed, a pair of weepily woeful lesbian feminazis, and the most facepalmy—a mentally-retarded teenage sidekick with an obsession for Yoohoos and Kit Kat bars.
Runnette just doesn’t convince as a narrator. His monotone ‘old timey’ voice and calm, plodding narration style is charming for more political and scientific fare (I loved him reading ‘The Roots of Obama’s Rage’ and ‘What Einstein Didn't Know’), but he isn’t able to communicate the appropriate levels of suspense, emotion, and sheer horror that a zombie book needs.
In short, this book stands on its own well enough if you have low expectations and don’t take it too seriously. The plot is predictable and straightforward, and because of the way that the author employed standard zombie conventions and emotions, it is easy to get into the minds of the characters and enjoy—at least surficially—the world that Tufo has created and the story that he tells. But for the sheer amount of ‘Zomb-Lit’ available nowadays on Audible, I would suggest looking elsewhere within the Horror Pantheon. Zombie Fallout isn’t a classic—it leans more toward ‘Zomb-trash.”
The story was pretty boring as far as Zombie books go and the toilet humor was non stop. Didn't smile once. The attempt at being a zombie comedy was relentless and just not well done. Won't be reading the rest of the series.
Thought the narrator didn't have a voice that matched an ex-marine.
I did enjoy the story and look forward to listening to the others. However, a little self deprecating sarcasm goes a long way and I believe the author over peppered here.
This book made me smirk. The main character had a fun, quirky voice which was helped along by the most awesome narration. I enjoyed the new twist on zombies, as well.
However, I think you'd have to be a tee shirt and jeans wearing, domestic beer drinking, football worshiping, man cave owning guy to fully appreciate it. Women, especially beautiful women, were dangerous, mysterious, volatile, helpless, demonic and/or banshees, the source of all evil, or just plain zombies. Flatulence was elevated to levels I'd not seen in literature before.Guys liked to sneak a hug, and then call each other fruity. The attractive lesbian in the tale was a potential convert until she was found to prefer zombies over men.
I found I couldn't help but roll my eyes from time to time, which made it quite difficult to listen and drive at the same time. Nevertheless, it was a fun story, and the main character was likeable. He wasn't all that different from some of my exceedingly hetero guy friends, and he liked dogs. No one who likes dogs can be all bad.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
I like humor. I like apocalypse fiction. I like zombie fiction. I can even like a book that combines all three in the right proportion. But somehow the recipe was off for me in this book. Maybe it was the timing of the wise cracks or the amount of jokiness. I tried but I couldn't get through this.
Killed myself laughing at some of the hilarious descriptions in this "horror" story. Excellent mindless escape from reality!
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