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Publisher's Summary

On November 21st, 2014, a deadly storm transforms the landscape of New York City and the lives of its civilians. The island of Manhattan is under martial law. Neighboring boroughs are isolated without power and communication with the outside world. There is chaos all around. Charles Dudley, a survivor, writes this intimate and disturbing account about personal demons and deadly encounters with treacherous citizens, predatory humanoids, and extraordinary creatures in this end-of-days memoir.

©2013, 2016 Artie Cabrera (P)2016 Artie Cabrera

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To Hell and Back

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

I have recommended this book to several people. Cabrera did a fantastic job of taking you into the main characters, dismal, depressing reality of living in a post apocalyptic world. The first part of the book throws you into the abyss of the man's life, and the calloused despair that is now his life, such that you can't help but tangibly feel it yourself. <br/><br/>Then we are taken through the personal psyche of why he is who he is and we learn that he's just an average Joe like us, he's made bad decisions along the way, but under it all, he's a nice guy and tries to help out people when he can.

What about Erik Baker’s performance did you like?

I thought Baker did a fantastic job of conveying the true personality of the main characters and was critical in bringing a visceral experience of this world to the listener. Very few people could have pulled it off such that you could feel the anger, resentment, and finally the hope as well as Baker did in this book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Due to the length there is no way I could sit and listen to it all in one setting. However, I did listen to it during my daily commute for several days.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So much passion!

Passionate performance. Cool outlook on the zombie apocalypse. Too much vulgarity for my taste. Recommended if you don't care about crudeness.

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Wish you were

I know that's horrible to say, but from the beginning I started to hate this book. Ranting and raving the character didn't tell the story in any way that the reader could fully comprehend. Too crazy to enjoy.

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An average guy tries to survive the apocalypse!

Would you consider the audio edition of I'm Not Dead to be better than the print version?

Yes! The narrator does a terrific job with his performance of this novel. He not only differentiates between his each character really well by giving them distinctive voices, he portrays the wide range of emotions Charles experiences, from deep sadness and regret to violent rage and everything in between, that it elevates the performance to the next level. It enhances the story and brings an extra vivaciousness to it. So much so, when I had a choice to listen to the audiobook or read the book, I chose to listen to it because it was such a strong presentation. And because the novel is being told from Charles’ point of view, it feels even more up close and personal, with a surprising amount of emotional intimacy between the narrator and listener. He even lightly sings a few bars of a couple of popular songs, complete with melody, that’s hummed by Charles in the novel itself! Overall, this is a really fantastic performance!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Charles Dudley, of course!

Which scene was your favorite?

The part where he explains why he's writing the journals in the first place.

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

An average guy tries to live through the apocalypse, taking it one strange day at a time.

Any additional comments?

Charles Dudley is your everyday guy in his mid-forties, on disability for a bad back, taking life day by day. After the tornadoes hit, it spreads a virus that creates Deviants, deadly and disgusting zombie-like creatures. While the government tells everyone to leave Brooklyn and the surrounding area, Charles is distrustful and decides to stay and take his chances, as he’s suspicious about all of this. Also, he’s lazy.Now, you might think the zombies are the plot of the book but think again. This is merely the set dressing for what’s really going on here: an intense character-driven study of Charles, his motivations, his family background, his need for alcohol, his duplicitous alcoholic father, his brother Stewart, his childhood friend Jerry and his failed marriage. This is the journey of one man coping with the impact of all of this on his life combined with the daily struggles of survival in Brooklyn, as the government quarantined the area and won’t let anyone leave, trying to contain the virus. Oh, and he rescues a dog because he can be a softie like that.Charles is a blue-collar worker, not a survivalist like many protagonists in these kinds of stories. He has no skills to handle the apocalypse and no grand plan. There are no zombie herds, gigantic battles, and heroic sacrifices to be found here. But, he is a learned man in the school of hard knocks. He’s not perfect and he’s disappointed in himself when he cannot find the strength to be a hero when dealing with a predator or prey mentality that brings out the worst in humanity. He is ultimately a very flawed but also caring human being when he wants to be and when he isn’t looking out for number one. This makes him very relatable yet a little bit repulsive at the same time.However, you can’t help but be drawn into the details of his life and history, as this is what grips you throughout the novel. What Charles has endured we would not wish upon our worst enemy, yet, we come to root for him every single day he continues living in an apocalyptic hell, both in a literal and figurative sense. You feel sorry for him and yet, you can’t help but like him. It’s a complex and captivating juxtaposition that keeps you reading throughout the story.As he recounts his daily life and his history in a journal format for the length of this novel, we anecdotally examine who he is from his childhood, his tragic family history, and problem-filled marriage, right down to the true light of his life: his young daughter Kate. He’s a man who’s been dealt many bad hands, he laments what he has screwed up and regrets some of his actions that led to even more heartache. This inspired kind of self-reflection shows all his human frailties, warts and all, providing the novel with its heart.All of this is presented in a unique and commanding authorial voice. It’s quite surprising how the author pulls it off with his prose, mesmerizing storytelling and his distinctive grasp of Charles’ intricate and fascinating psychology. It encompasses you before you even know it. Along the way, you get a ton of profanity, rape, drugs, alcoholism, sexual acts, child abuse and more. You couldn’t tell this story without any of that, however, as it’s a part of Charles’ DNA and the story of his life to date. It’s all perfectly combined into the novel and shares an offbeat, bizarre but highly engaging tale.This novel isn’t about the apocalypse, though on the surface, you might think it is. What it’s about is Charles raging against the world and his circumstances, fighting back against all the injustices he’s experienced in his life. It explains his need for companionship, sex, booze and the other basic human needs that we all would miss if we were in his shoes. It’s all his way of just trying to feel alive when by all rights, he should be dead by now. Ultimately, this is a superb yet brutally raw character study that is unflinching and uncompromising in its depiction of one man making his way in a world gone sideways.

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Amazing.

I've read the eBook twice. This is just the cherry on top! Erik does a great job with Artie's work. You feel it in your bones. Phenomenal!

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  • Deborah
  • Bellevue, WA, USA
  • 09-23-16

Wow!

The narrator was the perfect choice for this book. Erik Baker's voice has the right tone and does a fantastic job of bringing Charles Dudley to life.

This writer is a talent unlike any I’ve encountered. His writing evoked a myriad of emotions from me: shock, amazement, fear, revulsion, humor, and admiration.

Author Artie Cabrera has written a highly original view of a dystopian future filled with terror, isolation, and what the writer refers to as Deviants. The Deviants are a type of zombie. I tend to avoid zombie stories, but this is so much more than the typical “I want your brains” plot line.

This book is formatted as the diary of a survivor, Charles Dudley. He is witness to countless horrors and writes about them in a raw unfiltered way, which includes loads of swearing. The language didn’t bother me because that is the way the main character talks and is an integral part of who he is. I look forward to reading more from this original and talented writer.

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  • Eamon
  • 09-14-17

Scary, funny, crazy.

Not your average zombie story, but a personal journal of a troubled man during the Apocalypse. Funny, scary, sometimes poignant, with edgy dialogue and a superb narration from Erik Baker. Highly recommended, but not for the squeamish.