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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 23 January 2014
Quite a readable story with decent enough characters and plenty of action. I am afraid the 'feudal England' bit towards the end rather blew it away for me.
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on 11 March 2011
(May contain very mild spoilers)

As a zombie fanatic, it's odd that I've never been drawn to the world of zombie fiction. It all seems rather dreary, silly and, ultimately, pointless. After all, everybody knows how a zombie apocalypse ends - a small group of survivors holed up somewhere relatively safe, waiting patiently to meet their end. In a war between humans and zombies, the zombies will always win. Certainly I've heard that some of the available zombie books are rather good, but they just haven't interested me. Indeed, the only zombie tale I'd previously read was Christopher Fowler's short story 'Night after night of the living dead', which I recommend along with his other works.

Thus, it was with fair to middling interest that I finally decided to buy this book - Breaking News: An autozombiography. The 70p price tag convinced me that it was worth a flutter.

I was initially concerned that it would be a light-hearted affair involving much running, hiding, fighting and wise-cracking with, perhaps, little in the way of real thought about how the inevitable zombie apocalypse would play out. Instead, I was astonished at how detailed it was. NJ Hallard has clearly thought this through way too much!

I found myself pulled in to the lives of the characters, fearing for their safety, cheering their successes and genuinely touched by the moments of tragedy. There is a scene where our heroes rush back to Cissbury Ring when it becomes apparent that their camp is being overrun by zombies and, if I'd been sitting down rather than loafing about in bed, I'd have inched forwards to the edge of my seat waiting to find out what had happened to Lou.

People use the phrase "roller-coaster ride" too often, but I think it describes this book perfectly. I was delighted at the heroes victories and saddened by their losses. I cared about what happened to them.

Perhaps this is partly because Hallard has done something rather clever, electing to write about what he knows best. You see, the whole story is based on himself, his girlfriend, their friends and family, and the geographical area that he lives in. It's a genuine autobiography that suddenly takes a turn into the Twilight Zone. A classic 'What If?' plot. There are no crudely-drawn caricatures (well, apart from the knuckle-headed Brian, perhaps) because these are real people.

When finishing a thoroughly enjoyable book such as this one, I always experience a sense of loss; the journey is over, the story finished. The literary equivalent, perhaps, of Le Petit Mort.

The final three words of this book, however, filled me with childlike anticipation: an otherwise blank page with a simple "To be continued..." in the centre. I hope it does continue. Hallard is an excellent storyteller and I'm itching to find out what happens next.
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on 4 April 2011
If George A. Romero and Ray Mears sat down together to write a book this could well be the outcome.

A brilliantly detailed and accurate account of how the British manage and adapt during the Zombie apocalypse.

Read it! May just save your life one day.
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on 18 June 2012
I came across this book/author via a tweet recommendation!

A great purchase and a cracking read. Funny to read about all those things happening in places that we know and live so close to!

Great to see such a good book based at home and I think he painted England as it would be if such thing happened!

The honest and down to earth way in which other is written, males it that much more enjoyable and plausible (?)

I would recommend it everyone! Especially if you like zombies!!!
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on 7 June 2011
What an awesome read - not your average zombie novel though. This is structured like an autobiography and very quickly draws you in deep. You are at all times with the main characters and live through hell and back with them. It is written in detail, has recognizable places, actions and deeds you can empathize with - a brilliant story told very well and fast paced. And there seems to be second one coming - I am looking forward to that one.
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on 2 January 2013
This is a great read. Packed full of gore and zombie action, Breaking News has all you would expect from this genre, with the addition of a rich vein of humour. All good fun, which is something that can seldom be said about the end of society as we know it.
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on 29 August 2013
A very well done version of a virus outbreak and subsequent dissolution and reformation of society in its aftermath.
Quintessentially British from the obsession with tea with milk, pubs and the (no spoilers ) ending.

What differentiates this from any other book in the genre? Well its about the people , the places and what keeps us all going when the brown stuff hits the fan. This is what shaun of the dead would have been without the laughs. A few mates trying to survive in an england gone bad. Numerous references to classic zombie genre material and a fairly decent take on the immediate aftermath.

Couldnt put it down. Read it cover to cover without stopping.
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on 29 May 2014
i really did enjoy this book and ended up reading it over a day

i loved the characters and the fact that it was in England

i would recommend this book for all Zombie fans
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on 7 January 2014
Loved this for its British-ness.

Liked the characters and the reality of people dealing with a crappy situation.

Cannot wait for another if it's on its way!
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on 23 December 2013
A really good story with well likable characters, Really enjoyed it with plenty of gore and some good original ideas, I wont be reading anymore of the series because as soon as it all morphs away from the basic NOm NOm NOm I always lose interest, I aint particularly interested in the re-build of civilization though I wish them luck and lets hope they make a better job of it the second time around, Well worth a read and I would imagine that because of the strength of the likable characters it will be well followed and wish the writer every success!
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