Customer Reviews: The Living End: A Zombie Novel
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on May 20, 2011
I really found the way the author consistently bashed on "organized religion" througout the book to be a distraction. -Spoilers- In this book every evil character went to church and believed in Jesus, every good character belonged to a town where they banned organized religion and were "free" as a result. OK, I can live with that, however, the church people actually go out of their way to kill all minorities. Really? What about black christians?
From the beginning of the book to the end the Jesus believers commit atrocities and apparently there is not one church goer that has a problem with this, not one. Also, there wasn't just one church group in the book that was bad. All church groups were evil. For example, another pastor killed his entire congregation. Sorry, by I don't really see the likes of Billy Graham going on a murderous killing spree along with ALL of the believers left on the planet. Couldn't the author mix it up with some "good" christians? I think this author has an ax to grind with organized religion and it takes away from the book. I read a zombie book to escape, not listen to a rant about religious people. Also, there were far to many grammatical errors to be ignored. I don't mind this usually but I find it frustrating when I can't figure out what the author intended to say.
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on December 27, 2011
A super creepy tale about a family pet that turns on humans, BC the Border Collie turned zombie herder. Man's best friend becomes man's worse enemy.

Three communities struggle to make a stand and a normal way of life after the dead walk. People who have tainted pasts struggle to reinvent themselves in a new world and try to adapt. Enter in BC. The Border Collie who turns the tables, not once, but twice!

I loved this book because to me it seemed more than possible that feral dogs would pack up and become just as deadly as the UNDEAD!
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on September 22, 2014
Reading anything written by James Robert Smith really just requires you to read the popular thing he's re-treading.

After the laughably inept and derivative "The Flock" which is about as close as a lift of Jurassic Park as one could get--this warmed over attempt to jump on the "Zombie bandwagon" is just as poorly written, just as one-dimensional, and even more mind-numbingly unimaginative.

Take a pass on this one.
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on January 6, 2014
different than most of the zombie apocalypse. good story. the whole thing kept me reading non stop. have a full day y of entertainment
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on July 16, 2011
The author is an experienced writer or has a fantastic editor. Judging by the thoughts he has put to print, however, his real world experience seems a little limited. A few examples if I may. This family dog is portrayed as listening to human conversation and understanding what they were talking about. Later, this same dog makes planned assaults on well defended strongholds utilizing other dogs and zombies as troops. Another example; he describes the night being lit by the moon, and yet a few paragraphs later one person cannot see another just a few feet away without a flashlight. I had to reread that thinking I had misread the moon part. He also has these zombies walking for hundreds of miles. Since they don't heal, or get new clothes, they would soon have no shoes and eventually no feet.
What makes the novel difficult to read however is the authors obvious hatred of Christians and his portrayel of every Christian as evil, stupid, or both. He goes out of his way to paint them as the most vile (almost) group of people in the
world. I say almost because he reserved that for people in Tennessee. (I think it was Tennessee).
Character development is simplified almost cartoonish; I could not care less about them. A few changes and this could be a real good, somber, story; as it stands, it is merely irritating. Hey, but what do I know?
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on May 26, 2012
James Robert Smith is a brillant writer. I was enthralled by his story telling, I read the book in one day. I plan to read more of his books.
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on March 16, 2011
What can I say about The Living End? It's a great novel with a different twist on the glut of zombie novels. Yes there are zombies, yes there are people on the run, yes there are factions separated by their beliefs in good and evil, and yes there are thrills & chills that make this a great novel. But what is the twist? The way that James Smith gives us the viewpoint of the world through the eyes of a Border Collie named B.C. is the twist. Abandoned by his family, B.C. must survive on his own, and re-build his life while trying to form a new family. A pack. The viewpoint has been done before, especially well done by James Hebert in his novel Fluke. Here, James Smith takes the writing style and expands it, bringing it a fresh outlook and a keen look into an animals point of view of this now, horrific world. My only disappointment was the cover art and the typography by the publisher. The cover art looks amatuerish and the layout and design don't look as polished as they should be in this very competitvie market.
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on February 24, 2012
I have to agree with some other reviews that the view toward religion in this book is somewhat dim. The religious characters are two dimensional and don't make sense. Religious people are not as bigoted as this book would portray them. And there is a short sightedness about areligious (not anti-religious) people.If people are not fighting over religion they will always find something else to fight over, Of course race is the most obvious but people being what they are, there are always differences that get exasperated when stress kicks in. It was just short sighted to portray religious people as the bad guys and the "free" society as living in a utopia.

And the dog thing? Not my favorite plot twist. Dogs are not, and will never be that smart. Not even border collies. But it was unique and for that, I thank you.
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on July 2, 2011
I've read quite a few and this is one of the better ones if not the best. There are some spelling/grammar issues but are generally mis-keys (out instead of put for example) that have at least had a spell check run over it... So it isn't so bad as to distract you and make you reread a sentence 5 times to figure out what someone is trying to say. Protip: run grammar check as well. It doesn't spend time trying to come up with some sort of hand waving way to explain the way things are but just describes what happens. This is the best way to do these kinds of things if you aren't going to spend most of your time researching instead of writing. Ultimately the time is better spent on the story and that shows here.

The story is very, very good and includes some unique elements that keep things interesting. I think that the viewpoint of the non-human characters (I'm trying to be obscure to not give anything away) is too human and could have been made better by phrasing and viewing things from that context instead of a human one. For example, instead of writing "The human liked electronics" (not an actual example, just making a point), maybe use "The human liked the small differently shining square-ish things they stared at on so many occasions". But these are small issues and I mention them only for the author's future works, this is still an excellent read.

I'll be looking for more books by this author!
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on July 19, 2011
Zombies (and dogs!), plus religion, politics, and treacherous diplomacy. I will be looking for more from this author. There were several glaring spellcheck/syntax errors that could have been uncovered by someone actually reading the novel, but overall, it was a pleasure.

I suspected that it would be fluff, but it really wasn't. There was more there than I expected. You can even relate many parts of it to current events, or universal human behavior, if you wish.
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