Audiobook Review: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part 1 by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonasinga

9 10 2013

The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor Part 1 by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga

Read by Fred Berman

Macmillan Audio

Length: 7 Hrs 46 Min

Genre: Zombie Apocalypse

Quick Thoughts: Through surprising deceptive marketing, this is only the first half of the promise finale of what magically is now being called “A Four Book series” instead of the original label of a trilogy. What follows is a ranty rant rant.

Grade: Incomplete

Note: This review is less of a review, and more of a rant. Of course, everybody likes a good rant, so enjoy.

There has been a lot of talk about blogger responsibilities, and how in reviews we need to “Review the book, not the author.” Well, I’m going to call bullshit on this. We, as bloggers, have a little slice of the internet in which to talk about our experiences with books, and there, we should have the right to do just that, review the experience. If something about an author affects your ability to enjoy the experience of the book, feel free to review it. It’s you slice of the internet, and I think bloggers need to be honest. I would implore people to be respectful and, well, not act like raging dicks, but again, your house, your house rules.  Yet, there is more than just the content of a book the affects your experience. Whether it be your own expectations, the cover, any interaction with the author or publisher, or even your own ignorant beliefs, if it affects your enjoyment, it does a disservice to the book not to mention it. For example, if I hate a book, because I have a strong dislike of the fact that the author once marched in the mummers parade, it’s actually benefits the book if I mention that is what affected my negative experience. Your readers will learn your peccadilloes, and adjust their expectations based on them if you are honest.

All of that is to say that despite the fact the story was pretty good, and the narration was decent, my experience with The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor Part One, was one that was akin to watching a drunk man kick a puppy, while screaming invectives at school children. The dude may be, in reality, a nice guy, but in that situation, he is an utter douchenoodle.  My experience began, when I was thinking about how the cover of this latest walking dead novel was kind lame compared to the last two. It’s all good, Lame covers rarely affect my enjoyment of a book. Yet, I flicked my finger over the audible app to get a closer look, and there, under the words “Fall of the Governor” in dark lettering on a dark background, it says “Part 1.” WHAT IS THIS PART ONE SHIT? I thought. Maybe I only downloaded half the book on audible, and needed to download Part 2? Nope. Listening to the book intro, Mr. Fred Berman, our audio guide through the series, also said, PART 1. So, my anger began to grow. I was already surprised that the finale was significantly shorter than the first two novels. With what Kirkman said we should expect in the final novel, it’s length surprised me. i expected it to be longer than the first two, not shorter. So, I reread the product description. No where on the Audible page, beyond the cover image did it say Part One. In fact, the product description contained this sentence:

“…readers will experience a terrifying finale befitting the cultural phenomenon that this great series has become.”

LIES! MOTHER FUCKING LIES!

Readers will experience the first half of a terrifying finale because…

THESE ASSHATS SPLIT THIS BOOK IN TWO.

So, when will there be a part two. Who the hell knows? Yet, I know when it comes out, they sure as hell won’t be charging me half price for the book. I just spent a full credit to buy a half of a book. I would be OK with this if they let me know this beyond a small little tag on the cover. I would have been happy telling fans of The Walking Dead that this was a pretty cool story, about Rick, Glenn and Michonne’s first disastrous meeting with the Governor, which is just different enough from the TV show to be enjoyable. I liked the story. Not as much as The Rise of the Governor. There was less zombie action, and more person on person cruelty, not to mention a brutal off camera rape scene. Yet, the grit was what you expect from The Walking Dead. Yet, I can’t in good conscious give this book a good rating, not based on content, but on the deceptive marketing. It affected my ability to enjoy it. As I got close to the ending, with my fears being realized, I kept getting angrier and angrier.

So, yeah. this isn’t much of a review. More like a Bob rant with cussing and mean faces. Let’s call this my review: PART ONE! Part two will come when the bastards give me the rest of the book I paid for.

So, for shit and giggles, here’s the initial imagery of the book.

Yet, the released version looks like this:

Anyone notice the difference?

EDIT: I found a statement about this from Kirkman’s editor, Brendon Deenan:

“When the draft for the third and final book of the Governor series, THE FALL OF THE GOVERNOR, came in, it was much too long to be published as one book, but we knew (Robert, Jay and I), that fans of the series would want the whole story, the Governor’s story in full, as raw as possible and as true to Robert’s vision as we could get it. And that’s the book Robert and Jay handed in, the Governor in all his glory ‘til the bitter end. So we made the tough but ultimately necessary decision to split the conclusion into two parts—the first available now, and the second picking back up in March with the terrifying, concluding pages of this series.”

I call Bullshit. If you had enough time to know that the book needed to be split in two, you had enough time to let the marketing material obviously reflect that. Sneaking a Part One onto the cover in easily overlooked lettering was not enough. This book came in under 8 hours. Even if you double it the book would have been around 15 hours, not “too long to be published.” My guess was that the book was long enough that they realized THEY COULD split it in two, not they HAD TO split it in two. So, yeah… bullshit.

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10 responses

10 10 2013
Dave Thompson

*SLOW CLAP*

Epic, righteous, rant, Bob. I agree that it is super lame it doesn’t say that anywhere on the description, and it was added at the last minute. Splitting a book in two is bad enough. Being kind of secretive about it sucks. If they had time to decide to split it in two, sneak “Part One” on the cover, they could’ve put added to the copy as well.

It also seems very odd to suggest this book is too long with the current running time of the first half. 15-20 hours is not too long for an audiobook. To be fair, maybe they realized the length would intimidate some of their readers, and cut the sales? But my more cynical side says they’ll charge you twice if you let them.

10 10 2013
Jenn Lawrence (@jennbookshelves)

Blurgh! Not a fan of this decision at all. Not a fan! Avid fans could handle a voluminous book, would cherish it in fact.

11 10 2013
theguildedearlobe

I have experienced a few situations where I felts publishers place horror fans, especially zombie fans, in a category below the average reader. I think especially with zombies being the hot thing they try to keep the genre short and relatively simple. I think this is the case hear.

10 10 2013
Felicia S (The Geeky Blogger)

BRAVO! PS: Unless it was longer than The Stand then I call BS on releasing a long book. Your fans can handle it *sigh*

10 10 2013
Audiobook Review: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part 1 by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonasinga | kyranjaden's Blog

[…] Audiobook Review: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part 1 by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonas…. […]

13 10 2013
russell1200

How a multi-part book is presented I think is very much on target.

What drives me even more up a tree is the authors who don’t even write a complete novel, but wait to see if the first one sells before finishing the story. More common than one would think.

26 11 2013
Nicholas Brody

It was so fucking long originally that Kirkman split it in two. Don’t get your panties in a twist.

26 11 2013
theguildedearlobe

My panties aren’t in a twist. The book was under 300 pages and the audio around 8 hrs. Double that and you still have less than an half a Stephen King book. They made no attempt to inform the readers of the change. Even the publisher summary indicates it’s the final book. As the consumer I have a right to be upset by this and indicate it in my review.

14 01 2014
The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor – Book One | Audiobook Reviewer

[…] have read some of the rants about this particular installment of the Walking Dead and I must agree with most of it. Maybe I […]

22 02 2014
The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor – Book One | Audio Book Reviewer

[…] have read some of the rants about this particular installment of the Walking Dead and I must agree with most of it. Maybe I […]

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