Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Keep Your Crowbar Handy (Volume 1) Paperback – July 22, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
For over a decade, S.P. Durnin criss-crossed the United States looking for that perfect pint of Guinness. Prior to lugging his Bug-Out-Bag into the Midwest, he lived in Montana, California, Colorado, Texas, New Jersey, and Washington. Over the years he has been shot, stabbed, beat up, blown-up, bludgeoned, electrocuted, mauled by a wild boar, and bitten by three separate rattlesnakes. S.P took up Parkour in early 2014 because he states after surviving all that, he was growing bored with the quiet life. Durnin hangs his mighty, steel brain-basher in Ohio. He resides with his family (the Redhead and the urchins), two dogs (the mutants), and two very spoiled cats (the stupid, furry, little ninja who are trying to kill him), where he’s currently working on the last of the “Keep Your Crowbar Handy” novels.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 50%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The story tells of Jake’s efforts to save his new found friends along with some of his old ones, including his landlord, a former military man, from their deaths at the hands of the undead as well as the living. This was an independent novel from SP Durnin, but has been picked up by Permuted Press to be re-released as a series of books (this novel plus several sequels).
Keep Your Crowbar Handy isn’t another tale of a bunch of regular folks barricading themselves in an apartment building with the hopes of being saved by the military. Instead, it is a tale of a group of well-armed and well trained individuals who plot how they can make it through 2,000 miles of deadly territory to what they hope is an area out west that has been cleared of the undead. It is also a tale of romance-the love triangle of Jake, Laurel, and Kat.
Jake has military training and Kat, who is half-Japanese, has extensive training in martial arts and weaponry, which makes her even more deadly than Jake against the undead and the living. Naturally, they face off against more than just zombies, as the world falls apart and desperate men and women fight to take the resources that Jake and his friends have at their disposal, along with the survivors they have rescued.
The story moves at a fast pace and the action is gripping. Jake is a strong, though reluctant leader/hero, and his character, along with Laurel and Kat, are well developed. They along with Allen, Rae (another military survivor they meet up with) and George (Jake’s landlord-the man with the plan for survival) were the most compelling characters in the book. There is quite a bit of traditional zombie survival storytelling going on here, though once again, it is clear that this isn’t your run of the mill apocalyptic survivor’s saga.
Credit to the author for putting the romantic elements of this story up front and center, making it complicated for the characters-not just because of the fear of death around every corner, but because of the feelings they have for one another. Jake has fallen for Laurel but has feelings for Kat as well, which she reciprocates. Jake is perhaps written too much as a ‘every man fears him and every woman wants him’ type guy who seems to far too perfect-he is strong, handsome, intelligent, and an all-around boy-scout, but as much as he proclaims his devotion to his gorgeous newfound girlfriend, he isn’t above tempting himself with Kat’s constant advances; this despite both of them knowing that what they are doing is wrong. That they both seemed to feel little guilt about their actions seemed out of character given their loyalty to Laurel and the fact that they are clearly presented as heroes and saviors. It would seem that their tantalizing and teasing of one another would weigh more heavily on them than it did.
As is the case with many independently written novels, this could use another solid round of edits-misplaced commas, over use of certain descriptive terms, etc. occur throughout the book. Despite this, the storytelling is solid and keeps you intrigued from start to finish. SP Durnin’s writing style is compelling and he clearly enjoys creating vivid characters and story sequences. With this book (along with its sequels) being re-released by Permuted Press, more editing will sharpen things up a bit and I would guess the story might get tweaked a bit as well. I look forward to seeing the entire series when it is completed. Keep Your Crowbar Handy has a memorable title and an entertaining storyline that I look forward to seeing through to the end of the road for Jake and his friends.
The main characters are interesting and likeable, although the author does tend to go a little bit over the top on how attractive they are but don't realize it. It doesn't ruin the book or anything but we don't need as much reminding as we get on how hot everyone (Well, nearly everyone) is.
The villains are pretty two dimensional. I'd have liked to have had them, particularly the ones at the end, a little more fleshed out, especially Nichole who was in Jake's life before the apocalypse. As unremitingly mean, petty, and just plain evil as she is, you have to wonder why Jake had stayed with her as long as he did in the pre-zombie world. Yeah, she's hot and he was really horny but please.
There's lots of good zombie action in this book, as well as some good battle scenes with the living. As is the case with most books of this genre, the main characters are a little too prepared to kick zombie ass to be totally realistic but we don't tend to read zombie books for their strictly realistic take on things. There were some relatively plausible backstories given for their state of preparedness and not everyone in their group is as prepared.
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS (sort of):
While I liked this book a lot and would be glad to read any subsequent books in the series, there was one thing that really bugged me. Jake, as we are reminded many times, is a really good guy--and he is.
Among the things that make him such a good guy are his extreme loyalty to those he loves and his high moral standards, which emphatically include being huge on monogamy, something that was a major breaking point in his prior relationship to Nichole. Jake loves Laurel. Laurel's best friend is Kat (a really cool character by the way), who is also extremely loyal.
Despite going on quite a bit about how loyal both of them are to Laurel, after nearly every battle (and there are a lot of them), Jake and Kat end up making out. They stop short of actually having sex but just barely. Apparently if you don't actually get to the point of insertion, neither of them is cheating.
I could buy it happening once, even twice, after the intensity of fighting for your lives but it happened so often that I found myself saying out loud, "Oh, come on now!", especially toward the end when they were still in danger.
It really took me out of the story after a while. It probably wouldn't have as much if the author hadn't gone to such pains to keep reminding us of how loyal the two were and how monogamy was such a deal-breaker to Jake.
The only other real problem I had with the book was a writing quirk regarding how the author referred to the characters. The author has a tendency to write things like "The writer looked up", "The gorgeous redhead grabbed her gun", etc. I'm sure the author (I'm not sure of the gender) was trying to avoid constantly writing "Jake said", "Laurel did", and so on but it kind of grated.
Despite these complaints, I did really like the book abd would recommend it. I look forward to further books in the series. It was generally well written and the characters were people I cared about.