• DEAD: The Ugly Beginning

  • By: TW Brown
  • Narrated by: Andrew McFerrin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (853 ratings)

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DEAD: The Ugly Beginning

By: TW Brown
Narrated by: Andrew McFerrin
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Publisher's 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 listeners say about DEAD: The Ugly Beginning

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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!

32 people found this helpful

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

overdone

What would have made DEAD: The Ugly Beginning better?

I loved some of the characters and the fact that no one was safe. I did however think he overdid the amount of rape that should have been included in his story. It can be assumed that things like that will happen. It does not need to be discussed over and over including details. I will not be listening to anymore in the series.

24 people found this helpful

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

EH...

I cant pinpoint exactly what it was that didn't grab my attention...I think the Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo ruined it for all other zombie series.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • NK
  • 05-04-14

Not As Great As All That. Rape scenes awful

My first impression of this book was the somewhat awkward presentation of it by the narrator. It took me the first three chapters to 'adapt' to his reading style. He can be quiet, steady, almost monotone, then suddenly gets very loud when voicing different characters. I'm not a fan of this narrator.

Next, the book was a slow and awkward start. I can't tell you how much of it was the writing, or how much of it was the narration. I came very close to quitting and asking for my money back in the first three chapters.

As the book moved on, I found it very convoluted. Most zombie books will introduce you to up to three different sets of characters. Not this one. This one has at least five, maybe more, I'm not sure, I've lost count. I find this to be very confusing. Each chapter seems to focus on one character or set of characters, then the next chapter moves to another bunch. There are so many people, so many names, so many different scenarios. Sometimes I find myself two pages into a chapter before I remember who they're talking about this time.

Some of the story lines are well written, others are boring, and still others are just, in my opinion, absolutely grotesque and very difficult to read/listen to. It seems to me, the author was trying to cover every different scenario he could think of in one book. There's the military guy; the average joe from the city; the group of geeks; the crazy rule the world folks (actually two sets of them);
...but the one that bothers me the most is the guy who likes to rape women and young girls. I understand the 'rape' guy seems to have the need to make an appearance in almost every zombie novel... However, I do not feel it was necessary for the author to go into such extreme detail concerning the acts of rape and violence against women. Far too much DETAIL... to the point it actually makes me wonder about the author himself.

THIS, above everything else, is the main reason I will NOT be buying the rest of the books in this series. Frankly, I don't want to hear that crap. It's sick, it's twisted, and it makes me feel sick to my stomach having to listen to it.

I listen to books for pleasure, not to hear this kind of crap.

It makes me a little bit sad, as there are a very few characters in the book that I like very much and I'd like to continue to see where they go. But, it's not worth it for me to have to endure another rape scene of a 15 year old girl...Or a rape scene of a woman being fed to zombies while she's being raped.

16 people found this helpful

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

Romero and King Fans Rejoice

If you have listened to the Zombie Fallout or the Blood Soaked series and loved the comical side of the stories, you're not going to find much of that here. While there are funny parts Dead: The Ugly Beginning is definitely not a comedy. If you have listened to I, Zombie or the Timothy series and loved the brutality and gore, you're not going to find much of that here either. What you will find is a meticulously intricate and well thought out zombie apocalypse story, told from multiple points of view, with a plethora of different complex and interesting characters, that explores, in my mind, several realistic scenarios and situations. All that being said there were a few completely grotesque and disturbing parts that made my skin crawl with disgust. Brown is quite obviously a fan of George Romero and Stephen King as this comes out in the many references throughout and is not a bad thing. While the book started out pretty cliché and predictable and even a tad slow, I started to think that there wasn't going to be anything special here, but I was so wrong. Where this audiobook shines is, within a rather short period of time, when it became clear that Brown was shooting for realism, something that is missing from many of this genre. I could see myself and those that I know in the story trying to survive. I can only imagine where the rest of the books and soon to be audiobooks will take us, I can say that I cannot wait to plug in and forget all of reality.

Audiobook provided for review by TW Brown and downloaded from Audible

Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

11 people found this helpful

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

A standout from the hoard

What made the experience of listening to Dead: The Ugly Beginning the most enjoyable?

I liked the fact that there was just the right amount of character development. Plus it was a nice touch that the characters were aware of "zombies" unlike other stories where the characters seem to of never heard of them.

What other book might you compare Dead: The Ugly Beginning to and why?

The only comparison I can make is to a podcast called "We're Alive". They both focus on survival after a zombie apocalypse in a similar fashion

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

I have not however I will. His performance was much better than other narrators I have heard

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

I lost some sleep due this book only because I was so caught up in it I couldn't put it down

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this audio book. In fact I listened to it twice, back to back. Really looking forward to the rest of the series.

11 people found this helpful

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

Sleep with the lights on & a baseball bat in hand.

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

This book is tops on my reader's choice list. If you love a really great zombie book, you'll love this one. Once you start, it is very hard to put it down for any length of time. Sleep becomes next to impossible till you finish this book.

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

The scene that got me hooked on this book was when Steve's dog Pluck saves Steve. Cold chills ran down my spin and any noise in my house made me twitch. It is from this scene that I knew I wouldn't be getting any sleep till the book was finished.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was when Dillon heard the baby cry. I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes by the time the scene ended.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

When hell is full the dead walk...You better be able to run.

Any additional comments?

This book kept me thralled for the whole duration. My emotions swung from fearful to pissed in seconds, from elation to horror, and everything in-between. It is one of the best zombie books I've found in a long time. I have every intention of stalking Audible to pounce each book of this series when they are released!

10 people found this helpful

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

The Narrator is so BAD!!!

Would you try another book from TW Brown and/or Andrew McFerrin?

Yes because the story is actually pretty good...But the narration is so awful, it seems to be read without full stops or taking a breath....It moves from one group to the next in the same sentence...

Who was your favorite character and why?

meh they all have good things and bad things....

How could the performance have been better?

Sean Runnette

Was Dead: The Ugly Beginning worth the listening time?

Its a good story i just dont have the time to read all that much so listening to it while working is just easier

Any additional comments?

Good story :) Try to ignore narration being in one single sentence

9 people found this helpful

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

Took me long enough.

What did you love best about Dead: The Ugly Beginning?

I was putting off reading Dead because I was waiting for the other books to come out so I could read them all at once, like I usually do, until I was pushed and pushed to read it. I would listen to it when I was doing laundry, laying in bed, even working and wasn't around any customers, and I just couldn't stop listening to it.

What did you like best about this story?

The character point of views are very well done, and it really tells you what could really happen at the beginning, and duration, of a zombie apocalypse. It isn't all about the zombies. The detail he put into every chapter he wrote really made me feel like I was in the story. I got a little confused at times, because I would get distracted by everything that was going on, but reading on, it all made sense a little later. The small stories every now and again really made me pay more attention to the other, bigger stories as well.

What about Andrew McFerrin’s performance did you like?

The voice work Andrew did for the characters I felt were really spot on. He got the emotions that were needed for the scene and really made it seem like there was more than one person speaking.

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

I really wanted to listen to it all in one sitting, but work really gets in the way of that happening. I will definitely take some time to listen to it again when I have less work and more leisure. I would love to get deeper into the book and really know what's going on.

Any additional comments?

Even though it may not be a book for the younger generations, I highly recommend it to anyone who is even slightly interested in zombies. There are some parts that you may not like, but you have to admit, anything, even what TW writes about, could happen when the zombies come. You just have to be ready, like I believe TW is. I'm definitely ready for book two.

7 people found this helpful

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

The Dead Rise In This Awesome Tale.

Todd Brown is the new Zombie genre king.
Author T.W. Brown delivers an amazing tale with book one of his Dead series. This book take you from the beginning of a zombie apocalypse through multiple story arcs and point of views. Todd Brown does an amazing job with his wide range of characters and their development. You will come across characters that you love and feel for and others that you will hate. The author does well diving into the human psyche of what would happen if the dead began to rise. Mr. McFerrin does an outstanding job bringing the written word to audio. His voice acting really serves well to draw the listener into Brown's story.
I highly recommend this book to listeners. Give it a shot!
5 stars.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Paddon
  • 04-23-14

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Titan
  • Titan
  • 06-28-14

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

4 people found this helpful

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

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for cathy
  • cathy
  • 11-28-13

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MsRanPan
  • MsRanPan
  • 01-30-18

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
Profile Image for baggio
  • baggio
  • 03-08-17

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.