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Zombie Fallout

Zombie Fallout, Book 1
Written by: Mark Tufo
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It was a flu season like no other. With the H1N1 virus running rampant throughout the country, people lined up in droves to try and attain one of the coveted vaccines. What was not known was the effect this largely untested, rushed to market, inoculation was to have on the unsuspecting throngs. Within days, feverish folk throughout the country convulsed, collapsed, and died, only to be reborn. With a taste for brains, blood, and bodies, these modern-day zombies scoured the lands for their next meal. Overnight the country became a killing ground for the hordes of zombies that ravaged the land.

This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.

Can he keep his family safe? Can he discover the secret behind Tommy's powers? Can he save anyone from the zombie queen? Encircled in a seemingly safe haven called Little Turtle, Mike and his family, together with the remnants of a tattered community, must fight against a relentless, ruthless, unstoppable force. This last bastion of civilization has made its final stand. God help them all.

©2010 Mark Tufo (P)2012 Tantor

What the critics say

"Once you read the first few pages of Zombie Fallout, you're in for the series." (John Ramsey Miller, author of The Last Family)
“The word lighthearted doesn’t usually come to mind when we think of the zombie apocalypse, but Sean Runnette does a skillful job balancing humor with horror in this audio edition, which makes for an entertaining stroll with the walking dead…Runnette gives Talbot a dry, I-knew-this-was-going-to-happen-to-me-someday attitude that captures the wry spirit of Tufo’s prose. This provides a welcome departure from the doom and gloom of most zombie tales, and Runnette wrings plenty of chuckles from the material. Still, the narrator doesn’t forget that this is an apocalyptic horror story, making sure there are plenty of chills and thrills along the way.” ( Publisher’s Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

A strong start, then came the attempt of humor

I decided to give this book another shot after dropping it a few chapters in the first time. I felt like there could have been more to this book but by the time I got halfway thru I knew I made a mistake. The narrator in my opinion does not reflect the personality of a former Marine well and sounds like he would be better suited for a comedy space drama.

Then came the attempt at dead pan humor that took you out of the action more than added to it. Much of the book felt like the author didn't trust the listener to put together the scenes for themselves and parts felt over explained and unnecessary. The book would have been better served allowing the listener to interpret the scenes rather then be told how something is happening in rambling detail.

Another thing I didn't feel add any value was the portrayal of female characters. They felt basic and heavily stereotyped to the suburban soccer mom who was more of a stubborn pylon. It gave me the impression that the author feels a type of way about gender equality and unfortunately this lead to missed opportunities in developing meaningful character arcs that would have given the book more dimension.

Overall, I'm dumbfounded this series has went on to push out like another ten books or something? I'll admit that some scenes are entertaining but I can't say the same about the rest of the book.



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

Mark Tufo nails it.

So, I have read the entire zombie fallout series, the entire Indian Hill series, and am half way through the Lycan fallout series.
Not only does Mark Tufo write the way most of us think, there is humor, seriousness, guts and gore. Its literally like the best action movie you have watched, only better, and written in a book. I find myself laughing at some of the narrative, and I have nearly cried..... I blame all of that on the narrator Sean Runnette, he could read me a shopping list, or the ingredients on a box of cherry pop tarts and I would be in awe.....

Definitely a good read, you wont be dissapointed.

Keep up the writing Mr T. Your books are awesome!

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

Great story, but lose the Circumlocution!

I love zombie books and anything to do with the end of the world, and this is a pretty darned good entry into both. It's got a good narrator, a cracking good story and the characters are terrific -- but it reaches a point that our intrepid author's ineptitude in using big words becomes downright laughable. At some points the verbiage is so tortuous and so woefully misguided, that for me it stopped the narrative cold. Somebody should tell Mr. Tufo that when something is penultimate, it is the second to last occurrence of something, not a last occurrence that is somehow better than ultimate. And does it have to be a visage every single time? What's wrong with just talking about someone's face? So my suggestion to Mr. Tufo is, throw away the thesaurus, and use everyday words that blend in with the story to help it along. Stop trying to impress with English Lit 1.0 blather. In short, get an editor!

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I love all mark Tufo's books

narration is awesome.
love it so much and highly recommend. I cant wait for the 2nd book , starting it tomorrow

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    3 out of 5 stars
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It was an ok listen

It was ok. It did drag a little the bouncing with back story and long descriptions was a little boring but it finished off with a wanting to listen to books 2.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing books

This is one of my favourite series of books I have ever listen too! It has everything a zombie book needs, survival, love, devastation, and a very cool twist. The characters are amazing! Loved listening to these on long car rides and walks, and would often take the long ways home to listen longer #Audible1

  • Overall
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great book that leads into a great series.

loved the character Michael Talbot! great start to an adventure 11 books long and counting, opens you up to a greater universe of books.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • coreybeth
  • 2012-04-22

Awesome! I didn't think it was slapstick at all!

I've read a couple of reviews that mentioned this was like slapstick (as in Zombieland) and I passed over the series for quite some time. I HATE anything slapstick! Boy am I glad I gave it a chance. I absolutely love zombie and/or apocalypse books and movies. Sure the book was chock-full of humor but it was not ridiculous nor did the characters behavior exceed the boundaries of common sense! I found it to be very entertaining and very believable. I thought the narrator did an excellent job and cannot imagine anyone else voicing Mike. I also liked the hint of paranormal vibe i.e., Tommy. It is in my top 3 reads! Please give it a chance. If you're like me and cringe when you see the Three Stooges don't worry - this book is not slapstick! Love it!!!

66 of 86 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda H.
  • 2012-04-05

Wow! Intriguing, Horrific, and Apocolyptic

What made the experience of listening to Zombie Fallout the most enjoyable?

The story follows Mike Talbot and his family as they try to make sense of the new Zombie apocalyptic world. Mark Tufo does an excellent job developing multidimensional characters that force you to cry, laugh, and cringe at them and with them. This gory, intense, and frightening story is defiantly on my top 5 Zombie list. A MUST listen for ALL Zombie fans. Spoiler**** My favorite part was the mother and daughter's journey into town to purchase cigarettes only to find a perfect and frightening opportunity to extract revenge on a Zombie from their past....the dialog is hilarious. And of course the haunting Zombie kiss, which freaks me out to this day.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really like Mike, I found myself relating to him in so many ways as he is sarcastic, witty, and a survivalist.

Which scene was your favorite?

Spoiler*****Road trip to purchase cigarettes, the final breach of the wall as the Talbots move from one room to the next trying to stay ahead of the NEW intelligent Zombies.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book provoked all emotions, some at the same time, mostly fear!

Any additional comments?

Starting the second book now.....CAN

42 of 56 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike Naka
  • 2012-09-21

bucket full of zombie juice

Any additional comments?

if you're new to the zombie genre, stop reading this review and download zombie fallout NOW! if you're into zombies AND haven't read this book, download it NOW!

ok...on with my review...

this is a funny book. hi-lar-ious! political correctness be damned. the story follows mike talbot and his family as the zombie apocalypse begins. mike lives in denver, colorado with his wife, tracy, 2 teenage boys, justin and travis, and his dog, henry, an english bulldog.

mike is in the shower when his wife screams. finding this unusual, mike dons a towel and heads downstairs to see what the heck is going on. tracy and travis are trying to shut the front door as mike appears. after they get the door closed, they implore mike to look through the peephole.

i'm inserting that part here:

"look out the peephole my wife whispered. i put my eye to the hole, expecting to see some little s#!t gangbanger out there tearing s#1t up. what i saw was a tongue. i see a tongue! some a$$hole is licking my peephole i said. then i laughed a little bit.

that sounded a little gross even to me. my wife didn't see the humor. her face still hadn't regained her color, and my son looked like he was about to hyperventilate.

my wife told me to look out the window, but she made no move to look with me. i'm not the brightest bulb on the string but even i knew at this point something was really messed up. i put on my best male bravado and stepped over to the window and rolled up the shade. to this day, i don't know how it happened, but i simultaneously felt my stomach lurch into my throat and my balls fill in the abandoned spot my belly left behind. there had to have been at least a couple dozen dead people milling about on our communal lawn."

so starts the zombie apocalypse and the quest for survival. mike's oldest son, justin, is working the night shift at walmart. mike, tracy, and travis set out to rescue justin.

while rescuing justin, they also rescue tommy. tommy is a greeter at walmart who gets stuck on the roof with justin. tommy is a jolly, seemingly retarded guy. he's huge, overweight, and always eating something sweet. mike and his family learn there is more to tommy than meets the eye. he hears a voice in his head. i won't tell you whose voice it is, but it's hilarious.

when mike and his family get back to their neighborhood, the entrance is blocked off by a bus full of armed people. jed, the neighborhood president, recognizes mike and lets him and his family through.

back at the house, mike finds his daughter, nicole, and her fiancé, brandon, have fled there. so starts the process of fortifying the neighborhood and venturing out for supplies.

on a supply run, mike notices a weird zombie, who just stares at him. later, he notices the same zombie following him. just what does this zombie have in store for mike? it's a joy to find out!

this story has it all! lots of humor. unimaginable gore. the power of a hoard. whew! when you get to that part, you just won't believe how well it's done. lots of zombie carnage. a great human nemesis, dergin. now, that's a great bad guy's name.

there are just so many superlatives that if i haven't convinced you by now, i never will. you know what they say...you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

55 of 74 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Theodore
  • 2012-11-19

Hooked!

This book was recommended to me by one of my co-workers and without question I'm hooked! I enjoyed this title so much.. Between the wonderful narration by Sean Runnette and the excellent writing of Mark Tufo, this book is easily one of the most enjoyable listens I have had.

To start the concept of the audiobook is something that would interest anyone with an open mind. The book is current (provided you are reading/listening it in 2012 or prior at least), humerus and witty. Mark Tufo did an excellent job creating the Talbot family and experiencing a majority of the story from Mike Talbot's perspective is hilarious to say the least. The way that Mike Talbot's mind work and the very situations he finds himself in makes him easily one of my favorite literary characters. You can't help but find the humor in even the most tragic circumstances in this book by just finding out how this man's brain tick.

Sean Runnette did AWESOME if you ask me. I agree with my co-worker who said he sounds a bit 'dry' in the beginning, but as the story progresses, he got better. It almost was a case where the story was carrying him in the beginning but as the book continued you found yourself warming up to his performance and by the end of the book you frankly can't fathom someone else narrating the book.

This is an excellent title, one of those nail-biters that ends with a cliff hanger but totally worth the listen! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes that witty, sort of satire, sarcasm riddled, modern titles!

49 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher
  • 2012-10-26

Too much bickering

What disappointed you about Zombie Fallout?

My main issue with this audiobook is the incessant bickering and sarcasm. Maybe some people like that, apparently a lot do, but I wouldn`t recommend this book. I just found myself getting annoyed and frustrated with the relationship between the main character and his wife, and how he`s always getting the evil eye`from her.

For instance, who bickers over which car to take when your kids life is on the line?

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Tufo again?

I tried the second book and just couldn't deal with it. Slow plot movement, and the character kept referencing back to the first book in an attempt to explain plot holes away.

I stopped listening after a few chapters of nothing much happening and returned it.

What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

The performance was well done, he captured the character's essence very well. Should be a 5 star performance but I just can't stand the character enough to rate it that high.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The survivalism aspect of the book was neat...personally I think that's what a lot of people are drawn to with zombie stories. It definitely satisfied in that department.

Mostly I felt frustration.

Any additional comments?

As I said, I wouldn't recommend, but clearly most people really dig this story. Maybe it just wasn't for me.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • E
  • 2012-10-15

schticky - listen to the sample first

I like zombies and comedy, but I called it quits on "Zombie Fallout" after a few chapters. I'm chiming in because many of these "unanimous five star" genre books have been unqualified hits for me. With this one, I wish I'd listened to the sample, although frankly I think the cover, title and marketing should indicate a bit more of the schticky style contained.

There's a lot here that just wasn't my taste - constant references to past zombie pop culture (no 00's movie or videogame goes unnoticed), the conceit that the main character was fully prepared for a zombie apocalypse, and, most of all, Mr. Tufo's overeager and slightly corny sense of humor.

Not a minute goes by without him trying to elicit some kind of laugh from the listener/reader, and just about every attempt was a failure with me. It's all firmly from the Jeff Foxworthy/King Of The Hill school of "redneck sitcom husband" humor; he slips in poop, gets annoyed with his wife, disdains anything more high-brow than a monster-truck rally, and expresses exasperation at the idiot neighbors. Hey, I have no problem with humor or bending genre conventions, but it didn't connect with me and felt fairly stale after Shawn of the Dead and Zombieland (which, of course, are knowingly referenced).

I can't say the narrator helped. Mr. Runnette is affable and sympathetic but his reading neither delivered the punchlines or amped up the suspense for me. Frankly, he sounds like a quirky character actor more than the leading man I'd want to join for a multi-book saga.

I sensed some inventive supernatural twists before I quit, but all of this was too much baggage for me. But hey, a quick listen to Audible's generous sample should be enough for you to tell which reviewers you should listen to.

99 of 136 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Roger
  • 2012-05-07

So much Fun!

Any additional comments?

What a fantastic listen. I love Zombie books and this is a great one. I love the humor, it fits in perfectly, I think Mike is a great main character and the narrator does a fantastic job of bringing everyone 'to life'. A nice light and easy listen.
The story could use some more development, but with 7 books in the series, this was a great start.

22 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 2012-04-16

One of the best I have heard

I have truly enjoyed this book! I have heard a number of zombie books as of late, to be honest I was starting to get bored with them. Story line a bit cliche, narration boring, in a last ditch effort I downloaded this book. I was captured by the humor in the narration, Sean Runnette is great at this, made this a must read, the story line is a bit off the norm as well, made the entire experience great, have already downloaded the 2nd volume.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melissa
  • 2013-06-16

best series ever...really!

Mark Tufo's writing style draws you in and hooks you from the start.The characters are 'real', aside from the zombies of course, and I think that's what sets his stories apart from the rest. He has created a relatable set of characters that will make you laugh, gag and sometimes cry.

18 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2013-05-26

I Was Scared All The Way Down To My Meat And

Potatoes.(A line from the book, not a description of the book.)

This is a sitcom, plain and simple. Almost every line is an attempt at humor. There are some really funny lines and lots of misses. I will have to say the book is never boring. I will have to also say the book is never great. Tufo shows he has some imagination and that he can write. In this book though he could not figure out if he wanted to be funny or serious and ended up being neither as a whole. Fart jokes abound in this and sometimes he will drag the same fart joke out for several minutes.

The whole book is done in first person and the main character says everything in a smirkingly way. I did not like the character at first, put he grew on me. In parts the book is very gross and the humor does not relieve you from it, it just makes it grosser.

This has a audience, it has gotten some really good reviews, the Zombie Queen even gave it four stars. It is not for me and I will not be following this series. If Tufo has written a serious scary book, I will read that, I am just not into one liners.

45 of 64 people found this review helpful