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Asylum [Kindle Edition]

Mark Allan Gunnells
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Curtis, a young college student is dragged to his first gay club by his best friend Jimmy for a night of dancing, drinking and sex…at least until the dead start to rise and attack the club. Trapped inside the Asylum are a small band of survivors, including a drag queen, a male stripper, a Vietnam vet bartender, a pretentious gay couple, and an unstable DJ.

Will this motley crew survive the hungry undead rattling the sealed-off doors? Will they survive each other? Will they survive their own personal demons? Asylum recalls George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead--except with more gore and a more current social message.

About the Author

Mark Allan Gunnells is thirty-six years old and holds a degree in English and Psychology. He is the author of the chapbook A Laymon Kind of Night and the upcoming Whisonant and Tales from the Midnight Shift, Vol. I, all from Sideshow Press. His short story “Dancing in the Dark” was recently released through Darkside Digital. A small-town boy at heart, he still lives in his hometown of Gaffney, SC, with his partner of nine years.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 236 KB
  • Print Length: 80 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: The Zombie Feed Books (14 Dec 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #324,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars bit of a let down. 1 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I thought this was going to be a brilliant story, but I was sadly mistaken. It was mediocre at best and finished in a very short time. Its a SHORT story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel K, Kennedy 11 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Really enjoyed this book, loved the storyline and the different characters. Look for a nice short story with suspense and horror? Then would deffo recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ah so, a fresh take on rotting corpses 10 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The other reviews have done a fine job of summarising the story so I thought I'd just add my tuppence worth without repeating what has been said before. This is a zombie novella. It has all the tropes and cliches one would expect (and in many ways, that one hope for): a disparate bunch of survivors, each with backstory, holed up in a safe haven (in this case the titular gay club, Asylum). So what makes this so damn enjoyable? The fact that the characters are all gay? Not really. It's a nice idea to populate a survival story with an all gay cast and it's been handled well here; Gunnells avoids two dimensional cut outs and provides a series of people that you believe in and give a damn about, but he does well to avoid making the sexuality of the characters a cheap Maguffin. No, what really works are the following:

a) the pacing - this zips along in such a fashion that the instant hysteria of the zombie uprising is disorientating and as a reader you can share the confusion of the characters;
b) Gunnells' inherent awareness of what constitutes story - human drama trumps flesh biting every time and much like Romero's seminal Night', Asylum quickly discards the invading hoard to little more than the scratching outside the barricades, turning our attention on the well drawn human element with aplomb;
c) the setting - the club itself is as much a character as the human beings, illustrating the importance of location to our perception of safety - these characters have been marginalised by the outside world themselves and it's fitting that their haven at the end of everything is the place that they called home. The club is well drawn and enriches the atmosphere of the tale very well indeed.

In terms of what it sets out to do - deliver tension and a bit of diverting character interplay in the face of extreme circumstance - Asylum might not tread too much new ground but it does what it does in a satisfying and assured way.

Very enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars NOT the same old zombie tale. 2 Jan 2012
By vi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The zombie tale has been done so many times that it can easily become stale and predictable. Get some survivors together, shack them up in an eventually penetrable fortress while the hungry horde bang on the door and bay for blood. Rinse and repeat.
And this zombie tale in just that formula BUT and here's where it gets interesting, gone are the usual survivor stereotypes that the reader usually cares nothing about and in it's place are a bunch of gay guys and a drag queen. Now those types of characters are usually formulaic too but not here. These are not the effeminate caricatures that gay men are usually depicted as. They are realistically portrayed as tough and hard, caring and kind, heroic and opinionated as they fight to keep the zombies from the door, as relationships are formed and broken and they all wonder whether they will survive the night.The story has a few twists and turns. A bit of blood and guts for the gore hounds and a good sprinkling of dark humour plus an understated but powerful social commentary on the treatment of gay people makes this novella an impressive and very entertaining fresh take on a old tale of the zombie apocalypse. Excellent. Thank you for reading.
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Format:Kindle Edition
Asylum, a new novella by Mark Allan Gunnells published by Apex's Zombie Feed Press imprint, succeeds for two primary reasons. It adheres to the classic, tried-and-true George Romero formula of a diverse group of people trapped inside a makeshift fortress, surrounded by the shambling hungry undead, forced to cooperate in a fight for mental and physical survival. Second, the characters trapped within are well drawn, and as we learn more about them we care about them (for the most part).

When I began publishing fiction in the early `90s, horror reigned supreme and hot new writers of the splatterpunk movement were pushing the dark boundaries of the genre ever outward, including wild new takes on Romero's nightmarish, ultimate war of attrition. But some works by otherwise talented writers -- recall several of the titles published by the popular Dell Abyss imprint -- featured bleak novels populated by utterly reprehensible characters that Satan himself would be incapable of caring for.

Thankfully, Gunnells has steered clear of those pitfalls. And though I've written about both kinds, I like slow-moving zombies the best. Don't you? They're plodders, uncoordinated and relatively easy to kill, but -- they creep up on you. And in the end, there are just too many of them, Barbara.

Curtis is a twenty-year-old college student who picks a bad night to reluctantly visit his first gay club with his reckless, sex-crazed best friend, Jimmy. A night of revelry turns to nightmare as the living dead arrive and attack Jimmy's latest conquest outside of the club. Curtis and Jimmy retreat inside the Asylum dance club, and the siege against sanity and survival begins.
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