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Publisher's Summary

There's more than one kind of monster.

When Chase Daniels first sees the little girl in umbrella socks tearing open the Rottweiler, he's not too concerned. As a longtime meth addict, he's no stranger to horrifying, drug-fueled hallucinations.

But as he and his fellow junkies soon discover, the little girl is no illusion. The end of the world really has arrived.

The funny thing is, Chase's life was over long before the apocalypse got here, his existence already reduced to a stinking basement apartment and a filthy mattress and an endless grind of buying and selling and using. He's lied and cheated and stolen and broken his parents' hearts a thousand times. And he threw away his only shot at sobriety a long time ago, when he chose the embrace of the drug over the woman he still loves.

And if your life's already shattered beyond any normal hopes of redemption… well, maybe the end of the world is an opportunity. Maybe it's a last chance for Chase to hit restart and become the man he once dreamed of being. Soon he's fighting to reconnect with his lost love and dreaming of becoming her hero among civilization's ruins.

But is salvation just another pipe dream?

Propelled by a blistering first-person voice and featuring a powerfully compelling antihero, Fiend is at once a riveting portrait of addiction, a pitch-black love story, and a meditation on hope, redemption, and delusion - not to mention one hell of a zombie novel.

©2013 Peter Stenson (P)2013 Random House Audio

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

trainspotting meets zombies...not for everybody

Any additional comments?


as the story opens, chase and his best friend, typewriter (yes, that's his name), are coming out of their latest meth induced haze. through the window, chase sees a little girl trying to pet a rottweiler. he thinks about warning the little girl to stay away from the big dog, but then he notices something. the rottweiler has its tail between its legs and is terrified of the little girl. chase watches as the little girl pounces on the rottweiler and starts to eat it. chase's addled brain can't tell whether he's hallucinating or seeing something real. so, he tries to get typewriter to look out the window to see if what he's seeing is real. by the time chase rouses typewriter, they make enough noise to attract the little girl. when they see her ravaged body and blood-soaked visage they freak out. chase's first thought is to smoke another crystal of meth to deal with the situation.

fiend is about surviving addiction during a zombie apocylapse. yes, it is a weird combination, but it works for the most part. as a zombie apocylapse story, fiend is ok. it had potential. the zombies were actually pretty creepy as they eerily giggled when seeing and pursuing the living.

but fiend shines in its story about addiction. if you've never had a problem with an addiction or had someone you know suffer from an addiction, you may not believe the depths an addict will go to in order to score their next hit. therefore, some listeners may find the plot implausible.

ok...confession time. while i never suffered from addiction on the level in this book, i did have addiction problems. as a teenager, i was bored at school. no subject interested me. i was a year younger than all of my classmates, but my most of my friends were a grade ahead of me. so, i was introduced to partying, at then was a young age. lol when i was 14, most of my friends were 16 going on 17. so, i was exposed to drugs and alcohol. long story short, i graduated second to the bottom at my private school. at 17, i was a freshman in college. i succeeded at earning a 0.0 my first semester. i was put on academic warning, but i didn't care. i rushed a fraternity my second semester and became a brother. once again, i succeeded at getting a 0.0, and i was academically suspended. i went to one of those liberal universities in the northeast, who wouldn't send grades to parents even though they paid the exorbitant tuition. so, i stayed at school, enrolled part-time. it wasn't until i had my own near death experience that i changed my partying ways. i say that b/c even my best friends overdose didn't change my habits. yes, we were together when he od'd. yes, i saved his life. yes, your life flashes before your eyes. really, it does! it's crazy as you see images and moments from childhood flash through your eyes. anyway after my own near death experience, i finally changed my ways. 6 years later, i graduated magna cum laude with a b.s. in it and minors in math and English lit. so, it is possible to turn your life around. sometimes, it just takes the right mixture of inspiration and motivation. well, that's what did it for me.

anyway...back to the review...

i suffered from addiction. well maybe suffer is the wrong word b/c i consciously made my own choices. yes, i knew they were wrong, but i selfishly chose them. b/c of my run in with addiction i was able to understand what the characters were going through. believe it or not, there are some very SAD moments in the book as chase reminisces about his life, his choices, and the effects of his choices on his loved ones.

i would say the range of emotions in the story are authentic. from feeling god-like from the high to betraying yourself and your friends looking for the next high.

that's not to say i liked the whole story. i kind of got bored with the continuing search for drugs. i kept listening b/c of the interspersed bits about addiction and its effects on chase's life. The ending is extremely abrupt with no resolution. It’s kind of like the author wanted you to determine what happens next.

so...who's this story for? well, it's not for everybody. if you're a casual zombie story listener, you might want to pass. this is not your typical zombie survival story. there's no explanation for the zombies, and there's no search for the meaning of life after a zombie apocylapse. there's only a search for meth.

i would recommend this book to people who have had an experience with addiction, but then again, it might be too much. it might hit too close to home. there's no redeeming storyline. omg! my addled brain...lol... is thinking of the movie, wargames. the only lesson is not to play!

the narration is excellent. the gritty voice of the narrator reminded me of macleod andrews from the sandman slim series. the narration makes the story. The narrator superbly portrays the emotions of the characters. you can feel the highs and lows of the characters.

overall, i liked the story. one b/c i could relate with the central theme of addiction. and two b/c the back setting is a zombie apocylapse. i would say that this is a mix of the movies trainspotting and dawn of the living dead.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

What an amazing tale. Such an amazing metaphor for drug use. This is a must read! And a must listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

An interesting twist on the zombie apocolypse...

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

It felt a bit non climactic, but it fell in line enough with the overall mood of the book so it made sense.

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

When he described body odor and such.....it really left me feeling dirty so lol I guess he did a very good job. He played the part of a junkie really well lol. I mean he did a good job. I bought the emotion in his voice and there was plenty of it.

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

When he described himself being a failure and his parents being crushed by his drug addiction. It was pretty hard to listen to. Then there was the baby scene, not soul crushing but definitely disturbing.

Any additional comments?

This story is definitely not for everyone, but I liked the idea of a different sort of zombie and the crazy way to stave off becoming one. I felt like the author was really genuine about describing drug abuse and addiction. There was absolutely no glamorization of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

phenomenal story line

I really loved the book and it was great to listen to, the ending wasn't really an end to the story though so I felt off guard. But I would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn't get squeamish about zombies and meth!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Candise
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 04-18-14

Deff a nasty ,gritty drug filled zombie book.

Would you listen to Fiend again? Why?

Maybe, after it has been awhile. It had some really good suspense and action.

What other book might you compare Fiend to and why?

White trash zombie, has the same vulgarity to it.

Have you listened to any of Todd Haberkorn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

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

Just say yes to drugs.

Any additional comments?

Really funny , crazy and mature rated book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Zombies versus Tweekers-how can you go wrong?

If you have ever spent any time around tweekers, then you will get a chuckle out of this book. Its a pretty accurate portrayal of meth addicts and their particular brand of hell. The guy doing the reading nails the subtle "accents" of the drug addict, and sounds a bit like Mitch Hedburg (but faster). Don't approach this as a serious story, although it does cover some serious facets of drug abuse fairly well, for the most part it is humor. Think of it as "Spun" with zombies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Unusual

This is the most unusual zombie novel I have ever read or listened to (and I have read a lot). When the only survivors of the zombie plague of addicted to meth, and they have to keep using to survive, what kind of hope does the world have? This novel is interesting, sad, funny, and frightening. You get an interesting glimpse into the brutality of man.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Started so good god redundant then just dumb

The writing and speed of the story and the descriptive narration are very good but midway thru the story it really just got repetitive and stupid. The anchoring of the story to the use of meth, the need to use to survive a plague, and the concept that the use and production of meth was the only way to save the world made me want to start using to survive the horrible boredom this book caused me. This is the first book that ever totally captivated me then suddenly had me skipping to the end for any improvement or change in story line

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    2 out of 5 stars
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It's the Naked Lunch meets The Walking Dead.

It's not to my taste, pun intended. I couldn't finish the Naked Lunch, either, and I really like William S. Burroughs.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Addicts and Zombies?!!

Please find this complete review and all my others at audiobookreviewer dot com

I am so glad that I gave this story a chance. I was completely engrossed by everything, from the opening scene of Chase looking out the window after a meth binge and seeing the girl eating a Rottweiler and thinking little of it. From my understanding drug addicts are already desensitized a lot already and how in the world could they survive without the dealers. I think the summary says it best, “Fiend is at once a riveting portrait of addiction, a pitch-black love story, and a meditation on hope, redemption, and delusion – not to mention one hell of a zombie novel.”

2 of 6 people found this review helpful