I’ll be honest and say I don’t know much about zombies but thought I’d try this and see what they’re all about. I’m assuming that some other books of this genre are considerably more gory and scary but this one is a different sort of read. There is a bit of zombie like behaviour in it – blood and gore and what have you, but overall it came across as more a humorous telling of a terribly British reaction to the whole situation.
Gerald Stockwell-Poulter is earthing up leeks one minute and being attacked by a fellow allotment holder the next. Hamilton comes to his rescue and after a bit of toing and froing, and taking pity on the rather smug Finnbar they manage to find sanctuary at Gerald’s house.
It did start off a little silly but once I’d settled in I found much of the humour amusing and enjoyed the writing. There wasn’t a lot of emotion shown at all and it didn’t come across as if these characters feared the zombies but instead just found them a bit of a nuisance. There were reminders of Shaun of the Dead in there with the humour and also of Carry on up the Khyber. No zombies in that of course but it was the same stoicism as shown in the dinner towards the end of the film when bombs are falling all around but proper dinner etiquette must be followed. Nothing is more important to Gerald than getting back home in order to have, of course, a nice cup of tea, regardless of the mayhem playing out amongst his neighbours.
All in all this is a small bite of a light-hearted zombie tale, well written and amusing.
What I should have said, and forgot, is that this book is also permafree, yay!
Thank you for taking the time to read Bite No.1: The Old Man at the End of the World – and especially for picking up a zombie tale when it isn’t normally your cup of tea! Very impressed!
I’m glad you were entertained by it and I was delighted with your reference to Carry on up the Khyber. Bite No.2 sees the introduction of several new characters as Gerald and Ham come to terms with the implications of this ‘zompocalypse’ and Finnbar’s future hangs in the balance.
By the way, if you are inclined to read some more traditional zombie novels; Max Brook’s World War Z is wonderfully broad in its scope, Frank Tayell’s Surviving the Evacuation series is the standout UK-based winner and Colin Drysdale’s For Those in Peril on the Sea is a well-written nautical zombie experience.
This is one of the joys of being part of Rosie Ambers Book Review Team, Amanda. I’ve picked up all sorts of books I’d never have taken a second look at otherwise and it has really opened my eyes to fabulous reads.
I wish you well with the next book and many thanks for the recommendations, I’m pretty sure I already have one of those on my kindle! 🙂
It’s a great group you guys have there, I think RBRT is building a very good name via honest and impartial reviews. So thank you for trying out Bite No.1!
Thank you Georgia.
You’re welcome, Rosie.
I reiterate the recommendation for Frank Tayell; the first one, London, is so good, and I’ve read about 7 of his books. I’d still start with Kate Mary’s Broken Stories, though! The best books of this genre aren’t particularly gory, but just about survival when the world has gone mad. London is about a man who breaks his leg on the first day of the outbreak, and has to exist on his own in an attic room until it heals, with the suspicion of a darker conspiracy. Doesn’t sound that thrilling, but it’s brilliant.
I suppose I was unable to read this because I do like ‘serious’ zombie stuff and I just found it silly rather than funny, though I agree with you that it was well written.
I know how you love your ‘serious’ zombie stuff T and I am taking note of all these recommendations, and I will get to them, one day, I promise 😉 Thanks for commenting.
Hi Terry, thank you for trying the novella though, most appreciated and comments well noted!
I’d also recommend The End of the World Running Club – no zombies but sometimes you just don’t need them if TWOTWAWKI (!) has happened. Adrian Walker’s style reminds me of Tayell and his development of the protagonist, Edgar, is really nicely done.
I missed a couple of letters there – TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Phew, it’s all too much today ;).
Thanks very much, Amanda – always happy to see a good post apoc recommendation!