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Play Dead by Ryan Brown
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Play Dead

by Ryan Brown

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5911200,849 (3.52)2

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An undead high school football team plays a championship game against their biggest rivals. ( )
  saramllr | Dec 1, 2011 |
Cole Logan is the star quarterback of the Killingston Jackrabbits high school football team. They have a history of being absolutely terrible and rarely finishing the season with a winning record. For the first time ever, they are 1 win away from the district championships. The small town is frenzied with excitement, the young boys who make up the team are swollen with pride, and Cole Logan finally feels like he has a chance to make something of himself.

On the night of the final game, on the way to the opposing teams stadium, the bus tragically crashes into a river, killing the entire team. Except Cole. Unwilling to accept what has happened, he seeks the help of a fan, a mysterious cat lady who is thought to be a witch who casts curses on people who cross her.

So is the plot to this rather ridiculous novel. Zombies. Playing American football. I knew going in that the plot would be silly, but my understanding was that it was going to be humorous. Well, it wasn't. Not only that, but it was just too over-the-top for me.

The plot was too absurd, not just because it was as preposterous as I expected but because there characters' behavior was completely unbelievable. The football players were about as obnoxious as a group of teenagers ought to be, but the adults weren't a whole lot better. There is a poorly written subplot, which was mostly just ridiculous at first, and it all leads up to a climactic football game which turned out to be incredibly dull. It was too predictable, so I was just waiting for it to end.

I won't say that the book wasn't entertaining. It's quick, and it's one of those books that'll make you want to read 'just one more chapter,' but it's too silly to take seriously and not funny enough to consider a comedy. It's just...mediocre. That's all I can say for it. ( )
  Ape | Nov 26, 2011 |
This is a novel that is just plain fun to read.

The author wanted to write a story when he saw what was going on with steroids in sports and succeeds with this novel.

Set in Texas, the story also is a satire about the fanatical following of high school football and the manner in which football can almost take over small town life.

In the story, the local high school football team, the Killington Jackrabbits, are having their best year and are one win from going to the district championship.

The key to the team is the quarterback, Cole Logan. He's attacked one morning by three men wearing masks. He believes they are members of the rival team, the hated Elmwood Heights Badgers. When Cole refuses to throw the game, they cut off two of his fingers. However, not thinking too well, they cut the fingers from the wrong hand and Cole can still throw a football.

With this scheme doesn't work, the Badgers stage an accident where the school bus carrying the Jackrabbits crashes and goes off a bridge into the water below, killing the entire team, or, maybe not.

Both Cole and the coaches daughter, Savanna Hickman, are entertaining characters. These high school students have a love-hate relationship that is interesting and humorous in the situations in which they find themselves.

Cole's next door neighbor, Mona, has the ability to work with black magic. With her participaion in the story, I was reminded of Stephen King's "Pet Sematary" where animals return to life but eventually behave in a horrofic manner.

Overall, I recommend this book for its entertainment value and message about the abuse of steroids. The conclusion was a stretch but it delivered a fun story and readers interested in a good yarn without regard for logic, would be entertained. ( )
  mikedraper | Jul 19, 2011 |
I put this review on my blog, but when it comes to putting a rating on it, i just cannot give it a four. Its not that good, but it is better than a 3.5 if that makes sense?

In the search for a new writer to enjoy, I stumbled upon this book, a new release on feature in my local library (Trevor Inch Memorial Library, Rangiora) and due to the jacket, decided to give it a go. When it is advertised as “the zombie novel of the year. The comeback story of the season”, you cannot help but be intrigued by this story, and as writing goes, this is a pretty good one for a debut writer.

It follows the pending clash in High School Gridiron between two neighbouring towns who hate each others guts, and when one team dies in a horrific bus crash, it seems all bets are off. But in an effort to keep the story going, the author introduces a bit of black magic, a pact that lays souls on the line, and a team doing more steroids than a Tour de France stage. I found it tongue in cheek, and suspect that is was the intent of Brown, and if so he has done it well. While there are a couple of bits that push the already distended boundaries of possibility too far, it is graphic, gripping, and American High School humourous – this would make an interesting movie. I read it in three days so it is a testament to either a) I have no life, and/or b) it is well written.


Now, a little about the writer himself, it seems he has been in movies and TV (including that hit drama Young & Restless – so he must know horror!) – I showed my wife his photo and yes, he is not a bad looker (as guys go), but strikingly like a morph between Pitt and Kilmer. Judge for yourself.

Thanks Gael for recommending another writer to me, I will sample a book of hers after my next book I also got out of the library. Watch these spaces… ( )
  scuzzy | Jul 18, 2011 |
A surprisingly engaging story, moreso than one would expect from a book easily summarized as "zombie football book." Play Dead is the tale of a scrappy football team murdered by its rivals, and subsequently resurrected by a local witch. the problem is, the players have "come back wrong," Pet Semetary-style, and now the surviving QB must lead them in a final game against their murderers. A fast-paced tale of small-town supernatural high-jinks, peppered with sports fever and a little romance. Suitable for mature high-schoolers (a lot of foul language and some sexual content.)
  Sarahfine | May 10, 2011 |
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For the first time in Killington High School history, the Jackrabbits football team is one win away from the district championship where it will face its most vicious rival. On the way to the game, the Jackrabbits' bus plunges into a river, killing every player except for bad-boy quarterback Cole Logan who is certain the crash was no accident. Bent on payback, Cole turns to a mysterious fan skilled in black magic to resurrect his teammates. But unless the undead Jackrabibits defeat their murderous rival on the field, the team is destined for hell. -- from publisher description.… (more)

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