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The Panama Laugh Paperback – August 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597802905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597802901
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,764,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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It's fast-paced and packed with action.
Vanessa Wu
This book kept me awake, turning pages to find out how it all turns out.
Amazon Customer
Roche does a fantastic job with his outbreak tour de force zombie novel!
Paul Nasca

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's exciting from the first page - even before things get *really* complicated. (My girlfriend and I both read this book, and she described the action as "relentless".) It's like a Quentin Tarantino movie, where a fight suddenly gets even more difficult - and then something else entirely new happens. But it's all very carefully written, which actually makes the whole wild story believable!

It's not just that there's zombies. There's also a family of crimelords, some independent soldiers of fortune, and a radical fringe group who falls under suspicion (which includes exactly one crazy dotcom millionaire). I liked all the author's "local" references to San Francisco and Oakland, and he also seems to know a lot about Panama. (And weapons. LOTS of weapons.) The story moves fast, but it also covers a lot of ground, like a good zombie apocalypse story should. After all, we're talking about a global apocalypse...

Everyone knows the basics of zombie lore, but this book adds a few original twists - both biological and situational. I'd say that it's definitely creepier than your typical zombie story - which makes it that much more rewarding when it's time for the inevitable zombie-fighting. But with all of that, the main character actually develops by the end of the book. I actually found that to be very satisfying - that there was a "novel"-sized moment within a larger action/horror story.

Caution: zombie brains will be splattered. It's an intense book, and your grandma probably won't like it. (Unless she's into zombie apocalypse fiction.) But then again, would you really want to read a zombie apocalypse story that was safe for your grandma?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. L. King on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Panama Laugh is brilliantly imagined apocalypse fiction; it's greed gone wild. Thomas Roche's action/adventure zombie book is completely rendered and cinematic in scale and it's both one of the funniest and most terrifying books I've read. I'm not going to go into the plot because the other reviews do that very well. I will say that it's a reading adventure that starts out with a bang and doesn't let up. Chapters alternate between past and present until the reader gets the complete picture of the anti-hero's backstory and world. It's a very terrifying world; the military politics and 1% are upsettingly close to reality and you can almost see something like this happening. Well -- maybe not zombies, but who knows? It's a roller coaster ride that speeds you along.

I also love the hat tip to a current popular porn empire, as well as the ever present lunatic fringe of our world. So, why four stars? Why not five? The story, the plot, the fully rendered characters, the sheer cleverness are all worth five stars plus, but I was jolted from the world too often by a lack of competent editing. If it were cleaned up a little, this book could be a runaway best seller. It also cries out for a film treatment. Here's hoping the right people discover it so we can go see it on the big screen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sommer Marsden on March 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars

Any book that makes you nervous when you have a laughing jag...that's a book to read.

A whole new take on zombies. As thrilling as it is terrifying. Roche's noir voice shines through. Highly recommended if you like rapid-fire witty dialogue and ya know...monsters. The writing is superb, the plot if flawless, the characters are brilliant. What's not to like?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MyBookishWays on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Panama Laugh has been high on my to-read list for a bit, but it moved up in the queue because Paul Goat Allen (of Barnes and Noble) said it was awesome. Yep, The Panama Laugh made a zombie fave list of his, and it's been a few books since my last zombie novel, so it was time. There's a fairly comprehensive synopsis above so I won't rehash it. I will say that The Panama Laugh grabs you by the throat, hard, pretty much from page one and doesn't let you go. Please let me stress this. It. Doesn't. Let. Up. Dante Bogart is pretty much everything I love in an anti-hero. Yes, I'm a sucker for the bad boys sometimes, I admit it, and Frosty D. (don't call him that)¸falls right in with just the kind of guy that would get my motor running. When the man wakes up naked, bloody, and loaded for bear in the middle of a battleground, gets up, surveys the scene, takes a suspicious-yet-valuable looking case with him, and makes his getaway, I'm totally his by the time he washes up at the home of his old friend Van Fish, wondering where the last 5 years went. His old flame, Trixie (that's Dr. Trixie to you) is there too, and she's a little bit pissed at how Dante left things between them. That's really the least of his worries though. Trust me on this one. When the laughers start invading the shoreline of Fish's jungle home, the real fun starts.

Thomas Roche pulls absolutely no punches with Panama Laugh. The guffawing (this is seriously creepy-making), hysterical dead come from every direction, and thanks to a relatively good supply of ammo, lots of guts end up flying around. Lots. A veritable cornucopia of gooey flying zombie flesh fills the pages of The Panama Laugh.
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