Audiobook Review: Hungry Tales by Jonathan Maberry

5 11 2012

Hungry Tales by Jonathan Maberry

Read by Tom Weiner

Blackstone Audio

Length: 3 Hrs 53 Min

Genre: Zombie Short Stories

Quick Thoughts:  Hungry Tales is the perfect treat for those looking for a quick fix of the undead. While some zombies shamble, or dig or make their way through the waters, they are all hungry for a chance to disturb you sleep. Maberry is a master of the genre, and in Hungry Tales he offers a smorgasbord of horrors for fans of the undead.

Grade: B

One thing that Sandy has taught me is that I am totally unprepared for the Zombie Apocalypse. In fact, I was one of those idiots out on Sunday night who realized that if he did lose power, his frozen microwave meals and turkey burgers weren’t the best choice to sustain him for an extended period. Sure, I had some canned soup and beans and some English muffins that taste like crap without a toaster, and supplies to make a decent salad, but beyond that, I was pretty much screwed. Hell, I wasn’t even sure I had a non-electric can opener. I was actually quite lucky during the hurricane, my apartments complex never lost power, despite the fact my sisters who lives less than a mile away from me was without power until Saturday, My work place was hit very hard, with downed trees, power lines and a fire in the generator house which kept the majority of the campus without power for most of the week. Now, due to the nature of my job all employees are considered essential and exempt from travel restrictions and required to show for work during inclement weather. Due to this fact, I was out on the roads during the heart of the storm, and it had a truly apocalyptic feel. While the devastation we suffered during the storm was minor compared to the Jersey shore and Staten Island, I think I got a unique look due to my job working at a home for people with disabilities. We rely so much on things being stable. Adaptive equipment, medical devices, powered wheelchairs, proper storage, and simple routines are essential when dealing with this community, and this taste of the chaos that is possible. This is one of the reasons I don’t think I would survive the first day of a Zombie Apocalypse. While the smart thing would be to run for the hills away from the dense population area that I live in, I don’t think I could leave behind the residents where I work.

So, if Romero is the master of the Zombie Movie, than it’s quite possible the Maberry may be his literary brother. I have read lots and lots of Zombie novels, and while there are Zomlit books I likes more that some of Maberry’s work, no one author has explored the genre with the scope and expertise as Maberry has. Hungry Tales, a collection of Zombie short stories written by this master, is proof of this. Maberry offers 5 varied and comprehensive looks at the possibilities we can explore with zombies, Maberry gives new twists and turns to the staple zombie tropes breathing fun and excitement into the walking dead. There are five strong zombie tales spanning the genre including a comic look at an isolated case of a zombie caused by green comet, an atmospheric and creepy tale set in the Appalachians and a look at the zombie apocalypse from the unique perspective of Samaria culture. Maberry also offers two short stories set within the established worlds of his zombie novels.  The Wind through the Fence is a nuanced story set before the events of Rot & Ruin as the survivors are attempting to reclaim land and establish a safe zone for humanity. In probably my favorite story Chokepoint, set in the world of Dead of Night, a small squad of misfit soldiers tries defend a bridge against the encroachment of the zombie hordes. It’s full of Maberry’s trademark action along with one of the more unique and fully fleshed group of characters to appear in a short story. Hungry Tales is the perfect treat for those looking for a quick fix of the undead. While some zombies shamble, or dig or make their way through the waters, they are all hungry for a chance to disturb you sleep. Maberry is a master of the genre, and in Hungry Tales he offers a smorgasbord of horrors for fans of the undead.

I am always surprised at the range that narrator Tom Weiner offers in his narrations. His natural voice is so deep and at times, booming, you forget that he can do many things with it you just won’t expect. From the start, in his reading of Calling Death, Weiner proves that he isn’t just a one trick pony. He reads the tale of an older Appalachian matron, and the soft spoke Samurai Sensei Otoro with just as much authenticity as he does hardcore soldiers and backwoods yokels. It’s a challenging job for a narrator to take on an anthology a varied as Hungry Tales, and pull it off with ease. Hungry Tales is another winning short story collection by Jonathan Maberry from Blackstone Audio. 

Note: Thanks to Blackstone Audio for providing me with a copy of this title for review.

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One response

5 11 2012
Laurie C

I’m finally watching Season One of The Walking Dead. I’m so behind! I’m on a short story kick right now, so this might fit in, but I’m about to start listening to Feed, also recommended by you a lo-o-o-n-g time ago, which I bought as an audiobook download.

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