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The Undead: Part 1

Narrated by: Dan Morgan
Series: The Undead, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (671 ratings)

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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

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    1 out of 5 stars
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This review relates to book 11 onwards

Don't start the series unless you are happy for a drastically changed narrater half way through!

I enjoyed Books 1-10. I bought books 11 and 12 but could not cope with the narration. I had to return them. I wish I had known before starting the series as I would have seriously considered not starting it at all. I hate leaving a series part way through.

Book 11 (and onwards I presume) the narration is horrendous. Dave (one of the key characters throughout0 sounds like a lobotomised imbecile; all the girls sound like transvestites and any posh accents now sound like chavs??? It's like a totally new line of characters. At the very least the new narrater could have listened to the way Dan Morgan performed and done something similar. For me it is a lesson learned and when looking at a long series of books in the future I will double check the continuity!

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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

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!!

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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

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.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

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

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.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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

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 :-)

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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

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
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lee
  • Aberdeenshire
  • 23-12-17

Meh! Heard better. Average.

Sadly I found it average. Like other reviewers that have said you could miss a chunk and not miss any of the story. Its true. Didn't find it funny, gory, horrific or nail bitingly good. Sad as it's set in Britain and I really love anything to do with Zombies. Narrator did his best.

For a really good zombie series IMHO (okay it's not set in Britain) try Mountain Man read by the marvellous R C Bray.

Won't read the next in the series and I'm glad it was a BOGOF.

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

So glad I found this

Where does The Undead: Part 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's ranked and number 4. I don't like scary books and was worried this would be. It isn't. The author manages to capture the human traits in every character and tell several unique stories with each. Love it.

What other book might you compare The Undead: Part 1 to, and why?

Extracted. Same author. Well written with great characters

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

A great succinct read with the right amount of flare.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Shaun of the dead meets hot fuzz. Ok maybe not but it's got humour, zombies and great characters.

Any additional comments?

An awesome must read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Too Short

What made the experience of listening to The Undead: Part 1 the most enjoyable?

The characters are very well developed.

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

The stripper club.

What about Dan Morgan’s performance did you like?

Performance was excellent.

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

Yes and I did.

Any additional comments?

The book was to short. I really think the author could do readers a favor and put 2 books into 1 recording as there are a lot of books in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

What a fantastic read!!!!!

What did you like most about The Undead: Part 1?

The charater's are really likeable

What other book might you compare The Undead: Part 1 to, and why?

There are lots of Zombie books but this one is on its own with the way it unfolds

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for elaine
  • elaine
  • 12-03-15

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!

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Julia Fedorov
  • Julia Fedorov
  • 31-07-15

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!

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lesley
  • Lesley
  • 05-04-15

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!

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jim "The Impatient"
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 30-09-15

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 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mike H
  • Mike H
  • 11-03-19

Should be a bundle.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kathleen
  • Kathleen
  • 29-06-15

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 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Susana
  • Susana
  • 15-06-15

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 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for clifford
  • clifford
  • 03-05-16

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 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tanya
  • Tanya
  • 16-05-19

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wade Lancaster
  • Wade Lancaster
  • 27-10-17

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful