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The Undead: Part 1

Written by: R. R. Haywood
Narrated by: Dan Morgan
Series: The Undead, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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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
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tanya
  • 2019-05-16

Entertaining but...

This is a perfectly entertaining, very well narrated zombie series. It doesn't really bring anything new to the genre, but it's well paced and sometimes very funny. I tend to prefer post-apocalyptic series featuring real people rather than hard-core military men (even if perhaps they're less "realistic" -- well, as much as a zombie book can be realistic!), and this one fits the bill. The characters are likeable, if somewhat flat other than the two main characters.

Before you get hooked on this series, though, be aware that, starting in book two, there's a running theme of juvenile jokes, most particularly gay jokes, and it's honestly really off-putting. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way some young men talk to each other, but I don't want to hear it reoccurring over and over again. While I enjoyed some of the early books, I eventually gave up. The threat of rape as a joke in one scene was really off-putting, and then the never-ending gay jokes, just got old.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike H
  • 2019-03-11

Should be a bundle.

Great storytelling. Too short. Not a good value. Needs to be bundled two books to an audible credit.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • elaine
  • 2015-03-12

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!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julia Fedorov
  • 2015-07-31

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!

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Wade Lancaster
  • 2017-10-27

Against The Current

How does this author keep getting great reviews. The plot, character development, etc are just ok. However, some of the literary devices that he employs are horribly implemented. The reader is tormented by the virus’s internal dialogue....yes the virus is ruminating over its’ course of action, over characters in the book(by Howie documenting in a journal). How about you show instead of telling, telling, telling. ESP, having a virus open its’ thoughts to us. Although the virus does seem to be more eloquent that the characters.

Furthermore, most of the characters are caricatures that have little redeeming value except when they briefly take time out of surviving to let us know their thoughts on life and politics or just whatever. Some of the characters actions and dialogue do not match up with their backgrounds. Example-Dave is an intelligent character with a military background. He saves the day quite a bit, but his dialogue leads the reader to believe he is an idiot savant of some sort (could be a narration issue).

Yes, I understand that this is supposed to be filled with humor. And yes I see where parts are funny, but some passages are clearly serious.

The only attraction I can see is the constant slaying of zombies and the corresponding gore because there is little plot here. It’s as thin as my 50 count sheets that chafes my calves at night.

Don’t hate me...I just don’t get it. There are way better zombie books.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lesley
  • 2015-04-05

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!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2015-09-30

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.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kathleen
  • 2015-06-29

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.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susana
  • 2015-06-15

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

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • clifford
  • 2016-05-03

Nothing original here

As a few other reviewers stated, this book starts taking off when we get to the character Dave. Its worth holding on until that happens. Though I would rate the first half of this book very lowly. The author relies on action and killing in great detail instead of character development too often.

Things that bugged me: The pandemic sweeps across Europe in a matter of hours. I don't buy that you go home, throw on the news, see that the outbreak is happening in Poland/Russia, then a few hours later his London suburb home town is one of the last areas that seemingly fall. As I said, also the reliance on action instead of character development is a real downer. Also, the characters move through conflicts too quickly. A lot of violence, some interesting setups, and poof, on to the next thing.

What I liked: Early on, Howie (the main character), runs from a hoard into a strip club. The tension that arises and the interaction between Howie and someone he meets is pretty darn good. Once Dave is introduced, the interaction between the two characters gives a depth that warrants a slightly better take on this book.

So, I thought this was an ok zombie genre story. If you want something better, I would recommend the Mountain Man series. You can get an omnibus edition. Seeing as how it would cost around $100 to get to the latest installment, I'm not sure its worth it.

6 people found this helpful