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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By M. Paddon on 23-04-14

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.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Trevor on 28-06-14

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

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Mike Naka on 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!

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30 of 32 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Drew (@drewsant) on 15-04-15

A Solid Zombie Tale

A tale of two books ‘Dead: The Ugly Beginning’ is a solid zombie read. The first one third to half of this book is gore, gore and more gore. Everyone who dies does so in terribly painful way. This part of the story is all action and setting the scene for the second half of the book. I didn’t really like this part of the book because it felt more like whip around news coverage of the zombie apocalypse which no story or plot direction. The second half of the story was great as there is a good balance of both gore and action along with an actual plot. The characters are easy to like and wild and the book is well written. Despite the first half I was going to give it four stars but then it ended with no real resolution to the pending story lines which is one of my pet peeves so it’s it gets three starts in my rating but consider it a three start plus book.

Mr McFerrin does a good job with all of the charaters in his narration!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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