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Autumn by David Moody
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Autumn (original 2002; edition 2010)

by David Moody

Series: Autumn (1)

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2883739,063 (3.37)23
Member:SmashAttack
Title:Autumn
Authors:David Moody
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2010), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
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Autumn by David Moody (2002)

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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
This is a easy read but still have some intense moments. I've really enjoyed the story so far. I'm looking forward to reading the next book. There is a certain level of grossness, but not too bad. btw, to all my friends, if 99% of the population drop dead and I'm still alive, I'm beheading any of you who are down. I want you to stay down!!! ( )
  morandia | Aug 1, 2014 |
Truly just an OK book. The character's are not well developed and well, kind of dumb. At first the rising dead aren't dangerous, but everyone is freaking out about going outside. Umm...go get supplies! Some of the characters are just plain jerks. The two main male characters fight without reason like 10 and 13 year old brothers and it doesn't add to the story at all. Just thrown in for conflict I guess. It ended up just being irritating. The seems almost like a young adult book, but there are no young characters so it's not in that category. ( )
  CinderH | Mar 3, 2014 |
Freaky, but a great book. I look forward to the others in the series. More psychological than just horror. Highly recommend. ( )
  AutumnTurner | Dec 29, 2013 |
Posted in October 2010 to my Livejournal, review of both Autumn and Hater by David Moody:

Both of these books (Autumn, and Hater) were previously offered as self-published online downloads. Then Hater got picked up by an actual publisher and did really well, so now Autumn, one of Moody's earliest works, is being published as well. I had to read Autumn for professional review, and I was excited to do so, for I love zombies (fictional zombies, of course -- real zombies are another thing entirely. I hate to admit it, but I would be dead within the first few hours of any zombie apocalypse, because I'm just not all that quick of mind or action). My excitement over reading Autumn lasted about five pages and quickly turned to real pain. On the other hand, Hater had been on my to-read list for a while and had gotten great reviews -- a couple of stars in review journals I trust, even -- but I couldn't reconcile the praise it got with how terribly bad Autumn was. I figured, Moody must have drastically improved as a writer somewhere between those two novels, so I decided to give him a shot and read his more recent book (recent as "in the order written", not "in the order published").

And yes, Hater is a much better book than Autumn, but not so good that I will read the rest of the series. Not so good, in fact, that I didn't skim over certain sections when they began to get repetitive, or skim over the ending, when I was already so far ahead of the plot that I could just skip a couple tedious pages and land where I expected to be. But it is has a lot going for it as a mindless zombie thriller (it has lots of gore; it's very visual; it sets up a thick sense of dread hanging over the main character; and it's fast-paced).

In Autumn, we are stuck with following a small band of extremely dull people as they hole up in a farmhouse and have endless discussion about what they should do next. (Hint: not much.) The zombies, even when they finally become mobile and violent, are not much of a threat and are not really scary. In Hater, we follow one person in particular -- Danny -- as he witnesses his life slowly change from a rational one in which he knows his place to one filled with violence, paranoia, and government cover-ups. Danny is your typical office drudge who dislikes his work, regrets the direction his life is going (nowhere), and loves but is simultaneously resentful of his wife and kids. Because of that, is he much easier to relate to than the cardboard people we get in Autumn, and while he never became someone I liked, he did earn my sympathy and my interest. His voice was also distinctive -- Hater is narrated in first person, present tense, which gives it a very effective immediacy. Reading it is effortless and fast.

Moody does a lot of the same things in Autumn and Hater, but he does them better in Hater. Mostly. In both books, he shows the effects of the virus on different people, one in each chapter. In Autumn, we get several short chapters in a row in which a new character is shocked and horrified when everybody drops dead around him or her. By the fourth time, you're like, yeah, I get what's going on, I get the point, can we move on now? He set the same scene over and over and over without really telling us anything. It's a technique that would work well in a movie, when you can do it in a shocking ten-minute montage or something, but not in a book. It didn't help that, aside from location, each of these scenes is a mirror of the rest, and none of the "characters" turned out to be anybody. In Hater, Moody does the same thing, only by this time he's learned to space out these "discovery" chapters, each one appearing at the beginning of a new section of the novel. They still get repetitive (yeah, character goes crazy and violently kills someone nearby, I get it) but at least they don't happen all at once. For some readers, it could lead to an increasing sense of tension, as we wait for this to happen to our main character, Danny. You know the violence has to directly affect him at some point, so it definitely sets the mood. For me, though, I started skipping over them about halfway through the book, because even though the gore was excellent, they distracted from Danny's story, which was the only story I was interested in. I think Moody should have quit them by the middle of the book, when they were no longer revealing anything new about how the virus works.

Hater would make a good movie. So might Autumn. (Good thing, right, since they've both been optioned.) The premise of both books isn't terribly original but they fit well within the "virus" zombie genre and I think as movies they might actually be scary. Hater also has a suffocating sense of paranoia, of not really knowing what's going on but knowing there's something larger out there at work, that Moody pulls off pretty successfully. Things go to hell slowly, with just the right amount of paranoia taking hold and just the right amount of worry that the paranoia is more of a problem than the reality of the violent attacks. I was able to look past the mediocre clunky writing in Hater because of being so immersed in Danny's head and because of the relentless pacing. (The only thing relentless in Autumn is the boredom.)

So, though I probably won't read any more of Moody's books, I will go see the movies, and I will probably enjoy them. ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
Suddenly, some sort of virus attacks and 95% of the earth's population drops dead. There are a handful of survivors, and they must deal with the fact that everything that they know is gone forever. The entire novel actually spans the first week and a half after the disaster. Unfortunately, as with many dystopian books, Autumn is absent GLBT people, people of colour and disabled people. Though this is a common trend, it still reads as genocide of historically marginalized people. How is it that historically marginalized people are always the first to go? It is particularly alarming because in a dystopian setting, the author has the ability to completely remake the world and to fall back into a position where only privileged people survive chooses an extreme lack of imagination and a wallowing in self privilege.

The suriviors must first come to terms with the fact that they somehow were not infected by whatever virus attacked the dead. Everywhere they turn are the bodies of the dead, and they serve to remind them of everything that is gone. The survivors are barely accustomed to the change, when the unspeakable happens - the dead begin to rise and walk. At first they are harmless and unaware of their environment, but that does not last long.

Autumn is about how one survives, when the world as you know it is gone. Can you deal with the loss of everyone that you loved, and is life even still worth living? Even conversation becomes a struggle, because everything always leads back to the fact that the world is gone. Even though the book covers such a short time period, the characters are so clearly damaged. Each breathe the survivors take is an absolute struggle. Though everything is free for the taking now that society has crumbled, getting food is a danger because of the threat of the zombies. Even everyday necessities like hydro, running water and heat become luxuries. The survivors quickly learn that the things once prized are worthless now, because they do nothing to aid in subsistence.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Billions died in less than twenty-four hours.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031256998X, Paperback)

A bastard hybrid of War of the Worlds and Night of the Living DeadAutumn chronicles the struggle of a small group of survivors forced to contend with a world torn apart by a deadly disease. After 99% of the population of the planet is killed in less than 24 hours, for the very few who have managed to stay alive, things are about to get much worse.  Animated by "phase two" of some unknown contagion, the dead begin to rise. At first slow, blind, dumb and lumbering, quickly the bodies regain their most basic senses and abilities... sight, hearing, locomotion...  As well as the instinct toward aggression and violence.  Held back only by the restraints of their rapidly decomposing flesh, the dead seem to have only one single goal - to lumber forth and destroy the sole remaining attraction in the silent, lifeless world:  those who have survived the plague, who now find themselves outnumbered 1,000,000 to 1...

Without ever using the 'Z' word, Autumn offers a new perspective on the traditional zombie story. There's no flesh eating, no fast-moving corpses, no gore for gore's sake. Combining the atmosphere and tone of George Romero's classic living dead films with the attitude and awareness of 28 Days (and Weeks) later, this horrifying and suspenseful novel is filled with relentless cold, dark fear.
 
 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A hybrid of War of the worlds and Night of the living dead, chronicles the struggle of a small group of survivors forced to contend with a world torn apart by a deadly disease.

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» see all 3 descriptions

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