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Summary

The unthinkable has happened. The dead are walking! Humanity's fragile thread may be reaching its bitter end. Individuals and groups struggle to survive...some at any cost. Will there be anybody left? Or, is this just..The Ugly Beginning?

©2010 T W Brown (P)2013 May December Publications, LLC

What members say

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Performance

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Story

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

One of the better reads in the genre

What did you like most about DEAD: The Ugly Beginning?

I liked the concept of writing about multiple groups, and it worked pretty well on the whole.

What was one of the most memorable moments of DEAD: The Ugly Beginning?

I think it was memorable because the writer didn't shy away from writing strong content that represented the darkest parts of human behaviour. I think a lot of writers consider doing what he does in this but then bottle out and use another character to do it too or lessen it. Dark things happen in real life, so with no laws I think reflecting that in writing is fine.

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

No I haven't. I thought he did a fine job, though some of his female voices did leave a lot to be desired for me personally.

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

Oddly it was the woman in the office block I felt most for in the book. You'll know it if you read it, and I kind of felt for her, as I asked myself the same question she did during 911.

Any additional comments?

I read a lot of books in the zombie sub-genre of horror, and can say that this is one of the better ones. It isn’t perfect by any means but it is a very solid read as well.

The good points to the book are that the characters are on the whole fairly interesting. The writing is good, certainly for this type of fiction that tends to have a huge pile of horrible writers. The action is solid, exciting enough and comes along often enough to keep you engaged. The plot is much like any zombie novel, but does have a few touches of originality there as well.

The book does have a few negative aspects as well though, or at least for me. I didn’t like the fact the author wrote the book in a combination of first-person and third-person. This can be effective when writing from a MC (main character) perspective and then wanting to write about another group that is not with the MC, but in this book there are too many groups for this style to work well in my opinion. When you spend more time in third-person because of the fact there is more going on with the other groups compared to your MC then for me the change feels more awkward and unnecessary. See no reason not to have written this from third-person only.

Also I think that the book was very borderline on the amount of groups and individuals the writer took on here. I’m sure that some people will find it difficult to keep up with all that is going on, or will find it annoying having to keep remembering who people are and what they were doing when you last where reading about them. For me personally it wasn’t horrible, but it was borderline and some may not like it. It also means that the amount you can get done with each group is lessened.

The last sentence above leads to my final point. I felt that while the characters were fairly solid they were a little flat and two-dimensional. Some of this may just be the writer’s style, and some of it may be down to the fact he changed groups so often it left little room to expand on the characters themselves. When so much is going on that all you can write is action and discussions on what the characters plan to do next etc. it does make characters a little flat. When there are not many real conversations other than them planning this and that you don’t get to know them well, or care as much about them.

Overall this is a good read and so I gave it four stars, and might have given it five but for a few short-comings I’ve mentioned. Oh, and he does tend to get a little repetitive with his zombie descriptions I found. Something I hope he has worked on with his following books in this series.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Great Book

What did you like most about DEAD: The Ugly Beginning?

Many different groups in one book, a bit confusing to start but soon as you get the hang of which group is which you really get into it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of DEAD: The Ugly Beginning?

Steve grabbing and saving the little girl right at the start, there were some horrible memorable bits but those are for you to find out.

Any additional comments?

Wow a really dark writer, he goes much deeper into the darker side of humanity after the zombie wipeout. A real must for zombie book fans, no real humour in the book but light and shade in characters and their stories however long or brief

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • cathy
  • maraghafelt, United Kingdom
  • 28-11-13

amazingly addictive

Where does Dead: The Ugly Beginning rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right at the very top,
The story is amazing, it's just a pleasure to have it read to you
Zombies are roaming the world, and a few groups are trying to survive, but not just from the zombies, there's people worse than the zombies
The good and bad characters are perfectly portrayed

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dead: The Ugly Beginning?

When Steve's saves Thalia and then meets Theresa, and they take the food from the shop....It's funny that they take the meat...with a box of ice.
Just love everything about the story, I couldn't recommend it enough...

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

No I haven't, but I'm sure there great ..
This sure is

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No...but I practically was listening all day

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent book, the story is definitely the best I've ever read/heard
I love the characters, they are so easy to love
The audio is quite a treat for any of the dead fans...

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

Really enjoyed this book series

I thought this series was really well written, it took on a number of different perspectives and followed a number of groups, which I really liked however after much feedback TW cut down on this which I thought was disappointing, he also re-wrote the first few books following just one group each, these are 'Dead perspectives', 'Dead Vignettes' and 'Dead Geeks' I believe, so if you find lots of groups difficult to keep up with you might prefer these. He decided to keep it to 12 books which is a shame as it felt like there was a lot more these storylines could have given us. TW doesnt shy away from the horror of what could happen and there is a lot of differences between the groups (which is why I'm unsure what others found so difficult about it, if they were all very similar it would have been confusing and boring but they are very very varied which I loved) but he doesnt go too far into realms you dont want to wander into (like the Zombie Fallout series by Tufo). I liked that it followed zombies on occasion too as well as groups of survivors and he wasn't afraid to kill people off when their time was done.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • baggio
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 08-03-17

Pretty standard stuff...

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not really... It's just a very 'run of the mill' Zombie jaunt. There's nothing particularly new or innovative in the novel. Everything is just 'okay' in my opinion.

Has DEAD: The Ugly Beginning put you off other books in this genre?

Definitely not! I love the zombie genre, but I wouldn't buy any more of this particular series.

Did Andrew McFerrin do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

I suppose he did. I liked his general narrator's voice. But I found one or two of his character voices quite irritating. Like the little girl in the story.

Do you think DEAD: The Ugly Beginning needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It already has... The author has quite a lot of characters. So you'd really need another book or two to explore the world in detail.

Any additional comments?

Not bad but not particularly good either. I much prefer the Mountain man series. I didn't particularly like the characters. The whole jaunt felt very self-referential as well - Which put me off too.

If you like Zombies, then you might like this, but don't expect anything new.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 08-07-14

just average

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

it filled the time when cycleing to work

What will your next listen be?

im waiting for a dj moles reallyy

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

not alot

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

poss

Any additional comments?

was ok

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-02-18

Exciting Zombie World with Gripping Story

I finished the book in just 2 days. I didn't want to turn it off. I needed to know what woukd happen next. There are characters to love, to hate, and to be shocked by. The story builds an entire world effected by telephone Zombies. I am starting the next book immediately.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JillsTempted
  • 09-10-17

loved it

I loved it!! it was exciting from beginning to end and I cannot wait for the next one!! I'm sure I will devour it just as I did this one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rhonda
  • 04-12-16

Favorite zombie series!

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

Definitely. It's a fantastic read that pulls you immediately into the story with great characters, strong action scenes, and amazing descriptions

What did you like best about this story?

I originally read the Kindle version 11/19/2012 and just finished the audio version today. Although I've read most of the series, I decided to start over from the beginning prior to reading the last three since it's been so long since I immersed myself in the DEAD world.

My rating remains a 5 star. The narrator was excellent.

There are a lot of talented zombie authors out there who I enjoy reading. And TW Brown's DEAD series is my favorite of the zombie lit.

Mr. Brown takes you into the heart of the story from the beginning with awesome characters -- both good and bad and one that is truly dedpicable. He makes you care about the characters and their plight so that you cheer at their successes and feel their pain when they're hurting.

Lots of great zombie action and all the gore that goes with it, but this book is definitely character/emotion driven. If you haven't read it, you're missing out.

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

I was able to focus solely on the book. Great narration!

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

Both.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amber
  • 04-10-16

Great Story

Any additional comments?

This was a great book with well-developed characters, a great story line, and zombies. There are some parts that are a little too graphic for my taste. The whole Dead series is very original and well done. The narrator did a very good job. This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Denise Brown
  • 08-03-16

loved it!

I am going through the books once again after finishing the series. I love getting to know the characters better and seeing old friends again. I can't wait to start book 2 tonight. I am obsessed with tw brown and his writing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mike Naka
  • 25-04-14

extremely graphic and brutal

Any additional comments?


wow! people either loved this book or hated it. i think that's what attracted me to it. i wanted to see what all the fuss was about! after listening to it, i can definitely see why some people didn't like it.

so let's start there...

i guess the biggest complaint is the violence against women. yup, i agree. it's brutal and sadistic. it's the most graphic and extreme i've ever listened to. but it provokes your emotions. i think that is the author's point. it brings home the meaning of an apocylapse, and the end of all civility. i liken it to a terrible accident. some slow down to look while others are too horrified. i can see how this "torture porn" can definitely put some people off. me? i was shocked by the sheer brutality of the character, garrett, but he is only in the vignettes.

this leads me to the structure of the book. throughout the story, there are 2 main story lines. one follows steve, who is a regular guy that gets caught up in a zombie apocylapse. he has no skills and no weapons. all he starts out with is a repair truck he stole. the other group is a young group of nerdy guys, who are online chatting as the zombie apocylapse begins. they decide to stock up what they have in their cars and meet in order to get out of the city.

interspersed between these 2 story lines are vignettes. within these, there are a couple of mini stories and one shot stories. there are like 8 vignettes throughout the story. the 2 mini stories follow juan, a homeless guy and former convict, and garrett, a psychopathic rapist. both mini stories are filled with extreme human on human violence. each vignette has 3 or 4 stories in it and lasts about 15 minutes.

with all of these story lines, it's hard to bond with the main characters. you don't really get a feel for them until 3/4 of the way through the book. plus, there's no notification that the story has changed story lines. it's kind of confusing. a few times when i wasn't listening closely, i was like, "what? what's going on here?" i had to rewind to find the switch.

this is a very graphic story. i must say the author does a great job describing and differentiating what the zombies look like and how they attack and feed. very gory stuff! but the zombies don't hold a candle to what man does to other men and women.

by the end of the story, i was engrossed enough to download the second book. hey! i'm a sucker for zombie series. i will say i liked book 2 better than book 1 b/c you actually get to know the characters better.

download at your own risk!

30 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian Q.
  • 21-06-18

A must read!

Overall a great book. It’s gives you many perspective points and views of characters from different locations around the USA. How they are going about surviving a zombie outbreak. Its full and of action and suspense. Thumbs ups!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kel J
  • 30-08-16

If you love zombies...

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

This is a good book to listen to if you like zombies. It doesn't focus on just the zombies and it gives you different perspectives from various characters which adds to the narrative. The narrator does a really good job and you can tell the different characters apart as he reads.

What was one of the most memorable moments of DEAD: The Ugly Beginning?

It's hard to pick just one since there are a lot of good, little moments through the whole book. When Steve and Thalia meet Therese is a good one and Kevin and his friends trying to get out of the city is another.

Which character – as performed by Andrew McFerrin – was your favorite?

I liked Steve's character best out of all the ones Andrew does for the story. I also like his version of Kevin. Both of them are trying to deal with what's going on and you can hear Kevin's confidence in his decisions and Steve's uncertainty with what he's doing.

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

Steve saving Thalia is a big one, I think. He isn't going to at first but then he decides he can't leave a little girl all by herself to deal with the monsters.

Any additional comments?

I really liked this book, I'm a big zombie fan, and it was really hard to put down. It caught me from the beginning and I wanted to find out what happened to Steve, Kevin and the others. I stayed up late at night and read on and off all day, just to find out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gina
  • 04-07-16

Best of the Genre

This is the best post-apocalypse story that I have read. It tells the story of how Joe "everyman" might survive in a world gone mad. The protagonist is a young man who knows the basics of how shoot various firearms, but the ones he and his group use are the types of guns one might find in any gun store or pawn shop. They also use a variety of melee weapons, of course, but nothing that I have to look up on Wikipedia to understand what it is. The military makes a few cameo appearances, but this is pretty much the story of how regular, ordinary people, like me might fare.
I have read, and enjoyed, several stories in which special forces star in the leading role. It's interesting to learn about the gadgets used by our troops to gain advantage and to keep themselves safe. However this is the book I've been looking for. I hope everyone who reads it enjoys it as much as I did.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kyrysnik
  • 02-05-16

Love at second sight

At first I didn't like the book, managed just about 8%, got bored and put the book down: A book starting in the middle of nowhere without any explanation, with geeks ruminating over zombies? Then, maybe after a year I gave it a second chance and was enthralled. So good a book!! I love the characters, the plot(s). I've already bought the second book - amazing. So, if you are into typical zombie reading, don't hesitate, survive the "uggly" beginning and have fun.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful