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Editorial Reviews

Christian Rummel gives a thrilling performance of Timothy W. Long’s end-of-the-world novel Beyond the Barriers. His resonant voice is the perfect fit for protagonist Erik Tragger, and he is able to inhabit other characters with a delightful ease. Tragger’s world is filled with danger: zombies, ghouls, and looters all pose a threat. After months in the mountains, he joins other survivors who want to journey to Portland, where humans are attempting to regroup amidst the chaos. Will they make it? Will humanity survive the onslaught of the undead?

Publisher's Summary

The day the world ended, Erik Tragger escaped to the mountains. Cut off from civilization for five months, he returned to find a ruined city now ruled by the living dead. Tragger joins a group of survivors with a plan: make it to Portland where humanity is carving out a stronghold. But along the way, they face opposition at every turn - the dead, rogue military forces, looters - and a new enemy more dangerous than any they have yet encountered.

Among the stumbling, mindless zombies are ghouls. The ghouls are living dead creatures that not only strategize and plan, but control their shambling brothers. Using their powers, the ghouls are building a living dead army to eliminate the last of the living.

©2011 Timothy W. Long (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Ups the ante on the traditional zombie novel." (Patrick D'Orazio, author of Comes the Dark)
"Clever, engaging and above all terrifying." (David Dunwoody, author of Empire and Empire's End)
"You'll walk away satisfied and craving more." (Jonathan Moon, author of Heinous)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    107
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    7

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    87
  • 4 Stars
    87
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    93
  • 3 Stars
    62
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

much better than expected

Any additional comments?

one of the better zombie books i've listened to. the writing places you in the middle of the action, and there’s a lot of action. the action is intense, and the battle scenes are terrifically described and realistic. the action had me on the edge of my seat. this is one zombie book, where you can feel the onslaught of the hoard!

the book opens as the infection starts. after hitting up a walmart, eric heads for the hills! how long could you survive alone before the loneliness drives you back into the city? on his way back to walmart, eric meets a group of survivors that fill him on what's been happening during the 4 months he was alone. there's a new twist, ghouls. they seem to be able to influence the zombies. who are they? where did they come from? it's a new zombie slant, and a gross one at that.

there are groups of survivors holed up across the area. whose strategy is best? will any of them stand? not only does eric have to fight with zombies, but he has to contend with another human he's made enemies with. lee is a well-drawn out antagonist, and he's more than a bastard, but he's human. he's killing zombies. is that enough to keep eric from killing him?

eric meets and joins up with a good cast of characters. how long is he able to stay with them before his actions cost him?

the book is fast-paced, but you never feel like the author is rushing the story. i really enjoyed this story and hope the author continues the series. the story ended at a good point but cries for a sequel.

i'd rate this book fourth in my favorite zombie/infection books:

patient zero
zombie fallout series
the infection & killing floor
BEYOND THE BARRIERS
day by day armageddon & beyond exile
the junkie quatrains
world war z
morningstar strain series
ex-heroes
as the world dies

YES, IT'S THAT GOOD!

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Alright, recommended zombie fix

First the narrator is one of those acting ones. I wish they realized that when they pronounce the first consonant so hard and exaggerate all the words its painful to listen to. Stop acting and just read nicely!

But either he calmed down or I got used to it so it was manageable, unlike Patient Zero which I had to stop listening to.

The hero is an ex-special forces dude whose just trying to survive by himself but gets antsy after a few months and goes out to find out whats going on.

An interesting angle in this story are the ghouls, which are infected but living humans controlling the zombies.

I didn't like how he seemed to go and bungle one thing after the next up, seemingly saved by pure luck and keep managing to find rations also by pure luck. He also keeps letting the evil guy go all the time, despite him (and me) just wanting to kill him at first sight. I may have to re listen the end again because I didn't understand how everyone got away except the dumb zombies.

It does have all the elements I'm looking for though, survival horror, action, lulls, women, raiders and survivalist societies.

Over all I'm glad i found this story, because there aren't a lot of zombie tales out there, but it could have been better.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 03-05-12

A fresh twist on an increasingly over-done premise

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The writing is good, the storyline is intense. It managed to creep me out a bit-which is hard to do.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The lead character. He was likable, brave, and didn't make really stupid decisions.

What does Christian Rummel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He conveys the emotions of the characters, and manages to bring them to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It was all good!

Any additional comments?

Well written, with a smart, diabolical twist on the Zombie Apocalypse genre. A must-listen for any fan of the genre!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ronald
  • West Covina, US, Canada
  • 06-15-12

Little Thought Invested In Writing This Story

What would have made Beyond the Barriers better?

A few more years of writing experience for the author? And a little research by the author? Maybe?

What was most disappointing about Timothy W. Long’s story?

The main character. Although intro'ed as a ' vet with Special Forces' training, his weapon of choice was tada... a 20 gauge pump shotgun? I gave up when Tragger the main character observed someone as she 'sighted down the automatic barrel.' Later Tragger 'slid back the top of the automatic...' Thank God no one 'checked the magazine on their revolver'. another favorite of mine. Give me a break. Do some research! Would love to have my money back.

Would you be willing to try another one of Christian Rummel’s performances?

No. Too over the top.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Bordom.

Any additional comments?

Don't bother if you are over 15 years of age.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Kept me listening.

What did you love best about Beyond the Barriers?

Most of the content was written in a manner that would allow readers to see themselves as part of the story. I thought Christian Rummel's narration was consistent and very easy listening. It's always hard to have a male reading female parts, but I thought he did very well.

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

It left me wanting more. Hope a sequel is arriving soon!

What does Christian Rummel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His vocalization was excellent and was easier to listen to it as a journal or diary.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Envy isn't the only green eyed monster.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the book. Zombie books, like all genres, fall into similar storylines. there were enough variations to keep me interested.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • Ferndale, WA, United States
  • 08-10-12

Narrator's voice irritating, Main Char. unlikeable

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book might appeal to someone--just not sure who. It seems to be written more for the male zombie fan then a general audience.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I am so disappointed with this audio book; I believe it will be a while before I choose a new author. I have over fifty audio books on my computer--this is the first one I will not finish. The combination of lack of apeal in the main character and the fingernails on chalkboard voice of the narrator stopped me in under an hour.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Christian Rummel?

Wow, this guy was so irritating to listen to. He draws out his words constently and adds a whine to nearly every sentence. I found myself hoping a zombie would get him after 15 minutes. I am not sure who I would prefer, maybe Scott Brick or Jay Snyder. Both have an understanding that the voice must be flexible to create all of the characters within the story, yet be overall pleasant enough to listen to for the length of the book.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Beyond the Barriers?

I am afraid I would start at the first paragraph and cut to the end. Actually I was able to sort of listen until he reached the "I am cutting in line--cuz I can--cuz we all should" scene. I am basically a very cheap person. The audiobook I get each month is a huge treat for me. For me to not finish this story or actually write a review is a first. Which lets you know how bad I think this story is.

Any additional comments?

Can I get my credit back, Please?

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 02-04-12

A DBDA-style undead thriller!

What did you love best about Beyond the Barriers?

The intriguing chronicle of one survivor's struggle to make it through each day without starving (or becoming supper!). The

What other book might you compare Beyond the Barriers to and why?

This novel is very similar to Bourne's DBDA. Not identical, but definitely reminiscent.

What about Christian Rummel’s performance did you like?

Solid narration; I enjoyed his work.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The

Any additional comments?

Thumbs up! Looking forward to the sequel.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Zombie-Human Hybrid? Yes please!

A great zombie book. It reads like a journal by a man who ran to the woods at the start and later makes his way down to reconnect with society. Along the way he has to fight zombies, zombie human hybrids and other humans. The main character is someone who is easy to connect with as he feels bad for killing the zombies and humans alike. The story is action packed and written to make you feel a part of the action. I can't wait for the second book!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • lucas
  • Monroe, WA, United States
  • 04-16-12

A good zombie book with a different twist

What made the experience of listening to Beyond the Barriers the most enjoyable?

I like me a good zombie book and this was exactly that main character is a little whiney but still likeable and gets the job done and the gouls give it a different vibe

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • frisco, TX, United States
  • 04-21-12

Not a Top 10 Zombie Book

What would have made Beyond the Barriers better?

Better character development. The lead character is the exact same on day one as the last day. Very shallow and at times he came across as an idiot. He is super fit, super smart, and ex special forces...Nice resume but some of the choices he makes are insane.

Has Beyond the Barriers turned you off from other books in this genre?

No...I have read so many that have been great this will no turn me off.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Christian Rummel?

Tom Weiner or Frank Muller

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

The narration was not what I was looking for. The over the top "Bad Ass" was not the right fit for this story.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • steve
  • 01-22-18

enough to keep me engaged but lacking

I found the performance to be very good with a story that lacked a bit of polish and i felt strugglex to flow at certain times. although there was enough there to get me wanting more