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Extended Audio Sample Zombie, by J. R.  Angelella Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (206 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: J. R. Angelella Narrator: Alston Brown Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781482974911
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Fourteen-year-old Jeremy Barker is obsessed with zombie movies. He attends an all-boys Catholic High School where roving gangs in plaid make his days a living hell. His mother is an absentee pillhead, his older brother a self-diagnosed sex-addict, and his father an ex-Marine realtor who disappears night after night without explanation. Jeremy navigates it all with a code cobbled together from Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Planet Terror, Zombieland, and Shaun of the Dead: Avoid Contact, Keep Quiet, Forget the Past, and Lock-and-Load.

The code is put to the test when he discovers in his father’s closet a bizarre homemade video of a man strapped to a bed, being prepped for some sort of surgical procedure. As Jeremy—troubled but ever-optimistic—attempts to trace the origin of the video, this remarkable debut moves from its sharp, precocious beginnings to a climax of almost unthinkable violence, testing him to the core.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wow! A crazy, wicked, knock-out of a book! Zombie is an energetic, hilarious romp through Jeremy’s world, which is full of dangers and perils of both real and imagined (or are they imagined?). Remember those zombie movies from your childhood that kept you up nights holding onto your baseball bat for safety? When you read this book you’ll go searching for that baseball bat again…Trust me.”

    Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

  • “If you are a ‘youth spy’ and want to know how teenagers feel and what they say when adults aren’t around, Zombie—a funny and very authentic, well-written first novel by J. R. Angelella—should definitely be the next book you read.”

    John Waters, writer and director of Hairspray

  • “An irreverent and twisted coming-of-age story with one of the most shocking endings I’ve ever read.”

    Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook

  • “Crackles with energy and attitude.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Without a doubt, J. R. Angelella is a truly gifted writer, and Zombie, his first novel, is one of the smartest, strangest, and most beautifully crafted coming-of-age stories you will ever encounter. I eagerly look forward to see what he comes up with next.”

    Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ed van der Winden | 2/18/2014

    " I felt a bit cheated. It is really not a zombie novel, but a coming-of-age story. I expected more of a mix (which would have been great). The zombie stuff was merely background and the ending did not make up for that. Not a bad novel, but bad expectation management through the blurbs on the cover. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten Renas | 2/5/2014

    " I really enjoyed this, I'm just having trouble coming to grips with the ending. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janet | 2/4/2014

    " Depressing story about a depressing life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 2/1/2014

    " WHAT. THE. $#&*. No, seriously. What the hell is this book? I don't even really know how to rate it. I picked this up at Midwinter because, well, because zombies. The publisher did try to tell me that it wasn't really about zombies, which I could tell from the plot description, but it sounded interesting anyway. But I couldn't really tell you what it is about. This book was disturbing for a number of reasons and I don't really get it, I don't think. Honestly, I have no idea what to say about this book. It completely baffled me. I feel like I need someone else to read it and talk about it with me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caanan Grall | 1/21/2014

    " This was a strange beast indeed. The last few chapters are like a completely different book than the rest of the high school drama leading up to it. Fun though, and you can't deny short chapters make for a compoundingly quick read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisette | 1/7/2014

    " Full of typos, grammatical errors, notes to the editor? It seemed like this book wasn't ready to be printed yet. The story itself was not interesting at all and the dialogue hard to believe, not natural. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 12/14/2013

    " Modern and super funny. The lead character, a lovable fuck-up. The dialogue is great. I almost didn't want to finish because I wouldn't be able to read it anymore--but the ending left me completely unfulfilled, and that's why I didn't give it five stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 11/29/2013

    " Really up and down with this book. Some of it was clever. Some of it seemed a little cliche. Not a bad read, and a fairly quick one. Just no lasting impression other than to say the ending is pretty weird and disturbing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 9/10/2013

    " I can't even finish this. There was tons of swearing - more than needed, in my opinion. I find myself not wanting to read a book at all. Very disappointed with this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helen | 5/14/2013

    " Not bad. Definitely a young adult book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan Daley | 3/21/2013

    " A dark, witty coming-of-age story with a few morbid twists. Similar in tone to stuff like The Basic Eight and Rotters. A few prudes have commented on the "foul language", but I thought the ribald verbal exchanges were a highlight. I loved this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jaime (Twisting the Lens) | 7/28/2012

    " I thought I was going to really get into this one, but it just has not drawn me in like I thought. Maybe I will pick it up again later on, but for now, it is a DNF- sadly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Isabel | 6/7/2012

    " I enjoyed this as a coming of age story and the listing of zombie films as a device is a good idea. I just felt the very end lacked a little something. "

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About the Author

J. R. Angelella is the author of the novel Zombie as well as a Southern Gothic supernatural YA series cowritten with his wife, Kate. He is a contributing author to the murder-mystery anthology Who Done It?, benefiting the nonprofit organization 826NYC. His short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous publications. Angelella holds an MFA in creative writing and literature from Bennington College and teaches professional writing at the University of Maryland in College Park. He lives in Brooklyn.