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Publisher's Summary

A deadly infection spreads across Europe. The Undead series: a terrifying account of one man desperately struggling to survive this harrowing event day by day. Part one - days one to three.

Howie is at home on a rare Friday night off work when an infection which has rapidly spread across Europe hits his hometown on the South Coast of England. Luck sees him through the first night when many others are taken down and infected, only to rise again as the undead. In surviving, Howie quickly learns and evolves, developing a new set of skills that will save him from disaster.

With a former work colleague, Dave, at his side, he braves the urban squalor of a ruined Portsmouth and begins to understand his desire to remain good in a world rapidly descending into chaos, where only the strongest survive.

©2012 R. R. Haywood (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    508
  • 4 Stars
    415
  • 3 Stars
    138
  • 2 Stars
    46
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    23

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    630
  • 4 Stars
    318
  • 3 Stars
    85
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    12

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    373
  • 3 Stars
    154
  • 2 Stars
    48
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    22
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Dave

Is a precious cinnamon roll. That is all.


Ok no also this is just a damn good book with a damn good take on zombies. There are some minor technicalities that leave me with questions but nothing worth knocking a star off for. Some people found the pre-Dave section tedious but I feel that's up to taste. Personally, I really enjoy reading about the initial outbreak from the view of a solitary person. The normality, the mild concern, the dawning realization and panic, and the first 48 hours of frantic fumbling to escape and understand in the chaos. It's realistic. It's how a real person would respond and not an instant Rambo survivalist. It's growth. Bravo!

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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

Fresh brains for zombie fans!

Last year Audible readers were treated to Spanish zombies in Manel Loureiro's "Apocalypse Z." This year, a zombie plague hits the shores of Dear Old Blighty in R. R. Haywood's "The Undead."

Howie is a night manager in a supermarket in southern England, and he has to attend a daytime meeting. Afterward, he goes home, gets some takeout, and turns on the TV to enjoy a rare night off--only to find that zombies have suddenly taken over Europe.

What comes next will be familiar to anyone who's seen much of the genre: hazardous travel, harrowing escapes, and humans more dangerous, or at least more irritating, than any zombie. But then Howie goes back to where he used to work and finds Dave, his former colleague.

From there on the series takes a fresh turn as Dave and Howie begin a search for Howie's sister, Sarah, stuck in her flat somewhere in London. As it is with all the best zombie novels, Haywood tells us more about friendship and human nature than the relentless advance of the undead. A stressful situation can bring out the best in some people, and Howie, fortunately, is one of the lucky ones. The spin on the plague itself is pretty interesting, too.

While I wouldn't call this a comedy, it's quite light-hearted in places, with plenty of British-style sarcasm. Narrator Dan Morgan does a great job bringing it all to life.

I've really been enjoying this series and I certainly hope there are more on the way soon. Recommended for anyone looking for a new take on a favorite genre!

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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

HANG IN THERE with this story

Narration is fantastic!
The story took too long to get going and I almost gave up. I tired of the early experience quickly but once Dave comes in ( over half way), the second personality really moved the story along WONDERFULLY! The relationship between the main character and Dave is just fantastic. I immediately downloaded the second book! Hang in there because it gets GOOD!

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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

HOWIE AND DAVE

DESIGNER STUBBLE
I have read a lot of zombie books, but the spread of this plague was the fastest ever. In the morning it was in Eastern Europe, by noon it was in Europe and by that evening it had crossed the channel into England. Howard is 27 and a night manager at a chain grocery store. He does not work out, is not a genius and has no super powers. He is AN AVERAGE ENGLISH BLOKE. He is a very likeable character that most people can relate to. If you have read more than one Zombie book, there will not be much new in this story. In my opinion this is not as gross or gory or dark as many of the others. The book has a slight YA feel to it. Yes, there is some head chopping and some gory stuff happens, but the way it is written it is not going to give you nightmares. For me, Howie and Dave together gave this Zombie book a lot of charm. At first it was only Howie and Howie is very likeable, but the story did start to drag until he got together with Dave. The middle also has a lot of just running around and killing Zombies, which bored me, hence the four stars, not five. The more I listened the more I liked the characters and the more I liked this sort of story. There really is not a plot. It is the usual, plague hits, and he needs to find his family, who is miles away. This is about his travels to find his family.

WING MIRRORS
I have read some English books, that had so much slang it turned me off. This has just enough to make it interesting to the average American. For instance, doesn't wing mirrors sound better then side mirrors. I also did not realize that the English still called their women, birds. I thought that was a 1960's thing. I would normally not continue a series that did not get five stars from me, but this was going so well toward the end, that I have decided I will continue it.

28 of 35 people found this review helpful

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

OMG! This is the Sh*%! Awesomeness

Where does The Undead rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

1-10, 10 being bloody fantastic its a 9.5

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mr. Howie & Dave of course, their an odd combo but they smash really well together, dont really want to spoil it you just have to get it

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

I've never listened to any of Dan Morgan's performances but he makes it, he puts so much character into them, he brings them to life, he' keeps a stead pace, I can see them, laugh with them experience the whole transformations with them, makes me feel like there cheerleader

Any additional comments?

You gotta listen to this book!, I got hooked on the free preview Audible was handing out, zombies isn't really my thing but just wow, I wont ever look back at this one and say why, why did i waste my time on this

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Great Story, On the Gory Side

I downloaded this after listening to a free short story from Audible.com. If you like zombie fare, this is great, though somewhat gorier than many others I've read. Haywood goes on and on when he's describing gory things, and while it's a little excessive (and really, really gross) the overall story makes it tolerable.

Dan Morgan's narration is fantastic.

I'm well into book 2.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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

Addictive, with a nice twist.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Undead: Part 1?

I laugh every time he is called Mr. Howie.

Any additional comments?

A very refreshing take on the zombie story. I loved the twist in England and the performer was excellent. Without giving spoilers, this is not the average zombie story. The author uses humor and great self deprecating story telling.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

it gave me chills

Any additional comments?

I have read sooooo many zombie novels. It has quickly become one of my favorite genres. By far, Michael Talbot is my favorite zombie killer. Now a very close second is Howie. Don't over think it, Just listen and you won't regret it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A fresh feeling UK zombie series 10/10!!

Really enjoying the series. Characters are relatable, funny and the setting is believable. Love this series and its British take on a zombie apocalypse where every house hasn't got a cupboard full of machine guns. Ive listened to almost every other zombie series available on audible and this is definitely one of my favorites. I can normally wait for my monthly free credit before buying the next instalment but i liked this so much i couldnt and shelled out real money!! Not sure if non uk listeners will find it as action packed as the rest but its definitely worth a listen! Thankyou

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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

A fresh perspective on the zombie genre

My library is full of zombie genre novels and I'm always on the lookout for new novels. This one was a great story from a different prospective. There was great balance between character development and zombie action.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 01-09-16

Didn't Bite Me Quite as Much as I Had Hoped.

I was very hopeful about this series, zombies in the UK! That and so many of the reviews being so positive it's clear that plenty of people have enjoyed it greatly. This is a semi-humorous approach to the zombie apocalypse and there were a couple of genuinely funny moments. The author is in touch with his human side but to me it grated slightly as the book slipped between horror and humour never quite feeling as if it found its true course.

The narration is genuinely good, lively and bright but it never quite brought the story up to the best that Audible has to offer. I would also say that the author is at a disadvantage in having me read his books in that I live near Portsmouth . . . I don't mind that he is so down on the place at all, it's poetic license I guess. However, the island nature of the city and the placement of the Victorian forts he is so keen to mention to the North of it mean there's no way anyone but an idiot would be heading into Portsmouth. For most this won't matter of course, it just might help explain why I found it tougher going.

This is still entertaining enough, the scenes in the club were particularly well done. Markus was very well voiced and it was one of several highlights scattered throughout the book. I may well give the series a further go and I wouldn't want to try and turn too many people off a UK zombie series but it never quite hit the heights for me.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Danny
  • 03-25-15

Brilliantly addictive!!

What made the experience of listening to The Undead the most enjoyable?

I wanted an audiobook to listen too for a 9hr drive from Austria to the UK after a weeks Snowbaoarding. I did already have RR Haywood's 'Undead' on Kindle, but unfortunately just don't get time to read it due to busy work schedule. So as soon as I heard 'The Undead' was available as an audiobook i knew I had to download it. It made the 9hr drive fly bye!
As soon as I got home I knew i had to download Part 2!

What did you like best about this story?

Great intro & character building. I just want to listen to more.

What does Dan Morgan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Great voice & very subtle voice changes for the characters. Perfect

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

Not so much 'moved me', but can i relate to the characters & their decisions as if I was in their situation.

Any additional comments?

Cant wait for the next available Audiobook!!

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • M. Paddon
  • 03-11-15

Some good aspects, but average overall.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, overall I think this was a fair book and not a waste of time. I liked both of the two main characters as they make for a good blend - and I liked them as individuals too. I didn't like the zombies if I'm honest though and I'll explain why below.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I don't think the author thought out the zombies that well. I'm not a huge fan of people that write a book were they aren't the inventor of a genre or sub-genre but write it as if they are. IE if you aren't the first person to write about zombies - and given they are a well know pop-culture brand - it doesn't play well for me when no-one in the book knows what a zombie is. More so when you use the word zombie. I counted the use ten times that I noticed.

Also, what he does use is, "the un-dead", and pretty much only that to describe zombies. Which can be a little repetitive

The zombies in this book start off being killed by the main character with head blows, but later when the secondary lead comes into the story he is killing them by cutting their throats. I didn't understand this at all. Firstly it isn't that easy to cut a throat - certainly more so than in the book. Secondly, some people die with limbs ripped off, arteries torn out or other injuries that result in them bleeding out, and they rise to be un-dead. So if this is the case I couldn't get on board with them suddenly being able to die from having their throats slashed and bleeding out as a zombie. How can a bloodless zombie bleed out?

Also, some scenes don't work if you actually think about them for five seconds. In one scene a zombie manages to cover two hundred meters faster than the MC can get into his car. The world record for that is 19 seconds. And considering the MC was outrunning zombies with a fair amount of ease even at night I found this ill thought out. And it wasn't the only scene that had this type of issue.

Far too much shouting in the book. In reality the world would be like living surrounded by enemies that all want to kill you. Are you ever going to shout in that type of world? Not and live that long, and so I never like seeing characters do it, as I'm not sure many would past the first few hours or so.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I found quite a few scenes good. The strip club was quite funny at the beginning of it. The gun battle in Portsmout was quite good too.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Sure, I love a good zombie blood bath. But as films often tend to be worse than books I'm sure I'd hate it afterwards.

Any additional comments?

Not the best author in this genre, but if it is his first book - I think it is - then it is certainly an acceptable start, and I found the book good enough that I'll read the second one to see if some of the issues in this one have been addressed.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ammo
  • 03-14-15

Good Start.

Good start to what I hope will continue to be a fast paced series. Some impressive bits of action and a UK spi on some typical zombie apocalypse dilemmas make this a must read/listen.

Narrator does an amazing job, a lot of credit to him in bringing life to the story.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jodie
  • 03-24-15

love love love

I loved the books and I love the audio. Mr Howie is a great lead character and Dan Morgan brings him to life well, Howie is going through a massive ordeal which means he questions his own morales as well as human nature and this is narrated very well.

In terms of the series, if you are a closed minded zombie purist who doesn't allow an author to express their own creativity and ideas and wants every zombie novel to be the same (i.e zombie apocalypse with zombies that are slow, can only be killed by head injury and are one dimensional, where survivors manage to fight them off to a relatively safe haven only to to turn on each other) this series isn't for you.

If you are opened minded and welcoming to an alternative take on the zombie genre and like characters that spring off the pages, you'll love these books

Can't wait to get listening to part 2 :-)

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pyramid
  • 05-19-15

What would Ray Mears do?!

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

I would definitely recommend this. It's brilliant entertainment and Dan Morgan's narration is superb. For quite a long time we are in Howie's head, although there are some great interactions, like with the hapless downstairs neighbour and his huffy girlfriend, but as the story develops and more characters come into play and Dan Morgan gets to expand his repertoire of voices, it just gets better and better. Loved it!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Undead?

The scene in the nightclub with Marcus had me howling with laughter! We've all met a Marcus. Spot on. Dave is a brilliant character too.

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

The book is strangely moving when I wasn't expecting it to be. It's zombies! But there are so many astute observations that go way deeper than just zombies and you really get on side with Howie - all too human amongst the undead. There's loads of humour, but also pathos and some incredibly tense, creepy moments.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait to listen to the next part.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • baharnn
  • 05-13-15

Not a bad start. Quite enjoyable at times.

What made the experience of listening to The Undead the most enjoyable?

I think what drew me into the series at first was, 1) the protagonist being an Everyman and a normal guy, and 2) the fact that it is set in England - something I don't see a lot in zombie audiobooks quite often. When the book starts, we're introduced to our main protagonist, Howie, who quickly gets thrown into a chaotic world and is forced to come to terms with it.

One of my favourite bits was watching Howie trying to cope with and accept what is happening around him. I felt that this was important as it made him human and very likeable as a character. It gets better though once Howie meets his co-worker, Dave, who then joins him in his quest to find his sister in London. Howie and Dave's interactions may seem infrequent - and that's mostly due to Dave's impassive demeanour - but their interactions are the ones I look forward to whenever they do happen. Howie and Dave make a good team and I was hopeful that their bond will grow throughout the series.

If you’ve listened to books by R. R. Haywood before, how does this one compare?

This is the first one I've read/listened from this author.

Have you listened to any of Dan Morgan’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the only series I've listened to with this narrator. He performs surprisingly well, giving distinct voices for each character - particularly for Howie and Dave - and I do love his attempt of an Indian accent for one of the characters.

Any additional comments?

Although this was an overall enjoyable first installment, it does have its flaws. I find some of the action scenes a bit too long and repetitive. At the same time, some of the decisions that the protagonist, Howie, makes seem a little illogical and unnecessary - like the scene where he hacks down a horde of zombies using a variety of different tools, including a chainsaw - seriously, Howie uses an axe first, I think, stops for a while to duck back into a hardware store to take out another weapon, goes back outside and kills some zombies, pauses to go back inside to pick a different weapon, and so on, and this felt completely unnecessary! Howie kept emphasizing on how important it was that he gets to London to rescue his sister, making his mission an urgent one. But if Howie keeps stopping every now and then just to let Dave and himself kill some zombies for fun, then where's the urgency in that?

I know this isn't supposed to be a zombie story that makes all the sense in the world but I found myself face-palming and groaning every time Howie makes these illogical decisions or when the action scenes get too long - Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy well-written, fast-paced action scenes as I find myself pausing and straining to listen to them - but once it gets long, repetitive and unrealistic at times, they begin to ruin my listening experience.

Apart from these flaws, I think this is a pretty decent listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Taylor
  • 04-01-15

Surprised by the quality

What made the experience of listening to The Undead the most enjoyable?

The story and reading voice all fitted perfectly. If you liked "Rivers of London" then this is of a similar vein. Likable characters. Fast paced and believable. Will be collecting the series :)

What did you like best about this story?

The humour is kept going throughout

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ash Rolfe
  • 03-25-15

Best of the genre!

I've gone through plenty of post apocalyptic / dystopian / zombie audio books (hey, I drive a lot!), but this has been the best by far in my humble opinion. Believable British characters and crystal clear, narration that's left me white knuckled on the steering wheel. Think 28 days later with humour!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jenny barthorpe
  • 03-18-15

highly recommended

Have read everyone of these books and the audiable version did not disappoint!! will be downloaded part 2

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-27-18

Internalised misandry, yawn

Started out as an OK read/listen, not an amazingly written story at all, but ok enough for when I’m bored. But I couldn’t even get through part one. Just the way the protagonist is ok with inflicting death and pain upon the undead or living - so long as they are male, never female of course, as he has this sickening morality about never hurting a female and trying to save them.. As I’m strongly for treating people equally regardless of gender I can’t stand wasting my time listening to an annoying lead character who seems to really not like or have any respect for his own gender, and instead has such gynocentrism.
Yes ok I know that unfortunately the general populace is like this, will always treat females better, sexist against males thinking it’s fine to headbutt a male, and females deserve to have lives risked to save them.
Doesn’t mean I have to waste my time listening to that drivel though.
Going to write about head butting a living female just for being arrogant?
Didn’t think so.
I’ll move onto the next book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ann
  • 06-03-16

Wow. What a treat it was to discover this series.

A captivating story from the start, excitement with adventure to the end. My journey begins.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful