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The Undying Apathy of Imogen Shroud

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Imogen Shroud is the unhappiest seventeen year-old in all of existence. The world offers her nothing, and so she offers nothing to the world. Given the choice she'd just lie in bed all day every day, a stack of books beside her, locked safely away from the uncaring outside. But reality intrudes on even the most sedentary life. Imogen is forced out of her room and halfway Imogen Shroud is the unhappiest seventeen year-old in all of existence. The world offers her nothing, and so she offers nothing to the world. Given the choice she'd just lie in bed all day every day, a stack of books beside her, locked safely away from the uncaring outside. But reality intrudes on even the most sedentary life. Imogen is forced out of her room and halfway across the city, to the ultra-modern Phoenix Convention Centre and the comic convention it hosts. On its own this would be bad enough, but strange weather is blowing in, bringing with it death--and undeath. Dealing with depression is difficult. So is dealing with the undead. Dealing with both? Well, sometimes unlife can surprise you...


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Imogen Shroud is the unhappiest seventeen year-old in all of existence. The world offers her nothing, and so she offers nothing to the world. Given the choice she'd just lie in bed all day every day, a stack of books beside her, locked safely away from the uncaring outside. But reality intrudes on even the most sedentary life. Imogen is forced out of her room and halfway Imogen Shroud is the unhappiest seventeen year-old in all of existence. The world offers her nothing, and so she offers nothing to the world. Given the choice she'd just lie in bed all day every day, a stack of books beside her, locked safely away from the uncaring outside. But reality intrudes on even the most sedentary life. Imogen is forced out of her room and halfway across the city, to the ultra-modern Phoenix Convention Centre and the comic convention it hosts. On its own this would be bad enough, but strange weather is blowing in, bringing with it death--and undeath. Dealing with depression is difficult. So is dealing with the undead. Dealing with both? Well, sometimes unlife can surprise you...

30 review for The Undying Apathy of Imogen Shroud

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Fast paced, funny, and at times completely horrific I found myself staying up all night to finish this little gem. Imogen, wrapped in a deep depression after a failed romance, slogs through life just trying to meet her mothers demand that she leave her house once a week. Being 17 and tortured by the attentions of her hero worshipping younger brother, Imogen finds herself forced to endure the company of the undersized 11 year old Zack on a trek across town to a comic con. Once there all hell Fast paced, funny, and at times completely horrific I found myself staying up all night to finish this little gem. Imogen, wrapped in a deep depression after a failed romance, slogs through life just trying to meet her mothers demand that she leave her house once a week. Being 17 and tortured by the attentions of her hero worshipping younger brother, Imogen finds herself forced to endure the company of the undersized 11 year old Zack on a trek across town to a comic con. Once there all hell breaks loose as an unnatural disaster hits and the dead rise! Mr. White has created some truly engaging characters and another type of zombie! One of my favorite lines has to do with these are not Romero’s zombies and is it ever true! I found myself alternating between being horrified and tense for Imogen and laughing out loud at some of the survivors she meets on her quest to remain alive. While many of the standard tropes are used in the story the spin they undergo is hilarious. There are so many more story point I’d like to bring up but I do not want to spoil this experience for other readers. I will just say that I hadn’t had as much laugh out loud fun reading in a very long time. Isn’t it nice to find a new work and author to follow? I plan on reading as much of Mr. White’s work as I can lay my hands on.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Doskoi_panda

    Ben White's "The Undying Apathy of Imogen Shroud" begins with an angsty, vaguely gothy, 17 year old girl suffering from a bout of depression due to a romantic betrayal (her girlfriend turned out to have used her to get a boyfriend.) She lives at home with her mother (a possible couch potato with a bad leg) and her 12 year old brother, Zach. She ventures out only to make her mother's minimum of leaving the house once a week, returning library books and visiting her grandfather, who is growing Ben White's "The Undying Apathy of Imogen Shroud" begins with an angsty, vaguely gothy, 17 year old girl suffering from a bout of depression due to a romantic betrayal (her girlfriend turned out to have used her to get a boyfriend.) She lives at home with her mother (a possible couch potato with a bad leg) and her 12 year old brother, Zach. She ventures out only to make her mother's minimum of leaving the house once a week, returning library books and visiting her grandfather, who is growing senile in a geriatric centre. One day her mother volunteers her to act as chaperon for Zach on a trip to the convention centre for a comic convention (her mother also specifies a trip to the job centre, a suggestion which is largely ignored.) Imogen and Zach get to the convention centre, tour the con a bit, then things go ... wrong. And then there were zombies. The book shifts from teen angst to survivalist terror as it follows Imogen's attempt to survive. White handles the interaction between siblings well; Imogen's mixture of irritation, teasing, name-calling, and possessive-caring attitude and Zach's adoration, whinging, inability to shut up, and childish priorities are all very believable, though I felt that his actions could be read as younger than 12 at times. Descriptions of locations, costumes, zombies are all excellent; you can visualise it clearly, though the convention centre is confusing in its layout (and this comes across both in description and character comments) - I couldn't map it out in my head. Fight scenes, too, are chaotic, but it leaves the appropriate impression in the reader's mind - an experience of the chaos of a fight. Gore is ... well... gore; zombies being 1) undead and rotting 2) corpse eaters and 3) not known for hygiene or table manners, this was never going to be pretty. That said, the author keeps things just this side of nauseating. Now for the less delightful: there was a definite repetitive feel to the zombie attacks, so much so that I wound up skimming the longer attack sections, picking up on major changes or impacts. The formatting and font (please note: I read this converted on Calibre) felt designed to assault - hurling giant blocks of dense text. While that increased my awareness of the strain the characters were under, and it definitely grips and doesn't let go, it also made the reading experience part of the zombie's assault. Not sure I can really criticise that exactly, but I feel it worth mentioning. The characters need more depth - they feel cartoony; 2 dimensional rather than fleshed out or real. A lot of questions unanswered (significance of the monorail scene, particularly the weird rhythm Imogen hears; everything about the convention centre's weirdness; the question of the leg, etc.) though hopefully some sort of sequel will expound on these. Overall: 4 or 4.5 stars. I'm still oscillating - I almost decided on a 5 star rating, but the repetitiveness of the fight scenes really got to me. I really liked this enough to give it 5 stars, but the problems I've listed do make an impact on both the story's value. That said, it's a pretty fun ride if you enjoy the zombie genre. I gave this a 5 star on Amazon in the end - at $2.99 it's a steal. Review copy supplied by the author as part of LibraryThing's Member Giveaway Program.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Book Title: The Undying Apathy of Imogen Shroud Author: Ben White Published By: Clover Island Publishing (April 14, 2011) Genre: Horror Recommended Age: +14 Reviewed By: Emily Tuley / AngelsCryHavoc Blog Reviewed For: Great Minds Think Aloud Literary Community Rating: 4 Ravens First upon my receiving of this book I forgot that I had registered to win it off of Librarything. Being swamped with recent reviews and as well as the holidays I glanced at the title and then selected it for one of my weekly Book Title: The Undying Apathy of Imogen Shroud Author: Ben White Published By: Clover Island Publishing (April 14, 2011) Genre: Horror Recommended Age: +14 Reviewed By: Emily Tuley / AngelsCryHavoc Blog Reviewed For: Great Minds Think Aloud Literary Community Rating: 4 Ravens First upon my receiving of this book I forgot that I had registered to win it off of Librarything. Being swamped with recent reviews and as well as the holidays I glanced at the title and then selected it for one of my weekly reads. Imagine my surprise when I realized this wasn’t your normal Zombie story. Being the lovers of Zombie literature I was expecting a lot of the same old same old. I’m pleased to find that it was nothing of the sort and actually enjoyed this book thoroughly especially with the odd turn of events. The Undying Apathy of Imogen Shroud will have you laughing, crying a little and then laughing more as she struggles not only to save her life but her brothers , mothers, grandfathers and … dad? Imogen is a 17 year old girl, dealing with the loss of her first girlfriend and the fact that she is a lesbian. Depressed clinically to the point that she doesn’t even want to leave her room. She finds the only reason she gets out is to do what her mother forces her to do. Which are take care of her brother and go see her senile and little crazy grandfather. Who brings a very laughable dirty old man to the mix. He’s quite crazy but Imogen clearly loves him. Upon returning from visiting with her grandfather, Imogen is told by her mother that she is taking her brother to his comicon a comic book convention at the convention center. Unknowing of the crazy day that will begin for them both once there. As if the costume wearing comic geeks weren’t enough for Imogen as she things of them at times. She’s stuck with a crowd of people, nowhere to smoke and the feelings of depression struggling just to go home and stay in her funk wishing she was dead. For someone who wishes so hard to die it’s clear later that Imogen wants to live. Due to a weather experiment from some Japanese scientists a crazy wind is unleashed upon the whole of the US and Imogen finds herself in the middle of the whole crazy thing when whatever was in those winds starts to bring the dead back to life. The problem with these dead is you can’t kill them by just a hole in the head. In fact they can’t be killed at all only disabled but that begins the whole crazy hard display of life or death situations making Imogen fight… fight for her life and fight for her little brother who she loves just to get home. Meeting a list of crazy characters and other people as well as Zed Imogen and her group fight to get out of the city and home.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Imogen Shroud is a 17 year old dragged down by life, her days existing of hiding away in her room, reading and generally staring into space. I didnt know how to feel about Imogen to begin with she was an intriguing character, but not exactly likeable. However, as the book progressed, I grew to like her more and more her tenacity, her black sense of humour and loyalty to her family endeared Imogen to me, and by the end she was one of my favourite book characters of this year. The writing is Imogen Shroud is a 17 year old dragged down by life, her days existing of hiding away in her room, reading and generally staring into space. I didn’t know how to feel about Imogen to begin with – she was an intriguing character, but not exactly likeable. However, as the book progressed, I grew to like her more and more – her tenacity, her black sense of humour and loyalty to her family endeared Imogen to me, and by the end she was one of my favourite book characters of this year. The writing is fluid and descriptive, the action is fast-paced, and even the goriness of the fight scenes is written concisely, giving a polished yet breathless feel to the book, but probably the best writing is that of the characters – they are all individual and unique, and as a reader I couldn’t help but feel for all of them. There were a couple of places where I felt a little bogged down in the book, when certain parts seemed almost carbon copies of the preceding scenes, but the story turned again and drew me back in completely. The story of the infection is told by a biologist, but he is a rambler and I found to concentrate on exactly what he was trying to say – without wanting to give away any spoilers, there are some unique theories on how the zombies came to be and how to avoid being infected. This may cause a little shudder through some zombie purists, but personally I liked the fact that it wasn’t the ‘normal’ zombie situation. All in all I really liked The Undying Apathy of Imogen Shroud. It’s well written, the characters are great and the action is non-stop, but this book also has a heart! Full review on my blog: http://theaussiezombie.blogspot.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. At first, I was worried that the protagonist would be a character I really wouldn't be able to stand, but I'm glad I stuck with it! Imogen is depressed and heartbroken, and has not had much social interaction in the last two years, but when push comes to show, she regains the will to live, and actually be alive. I like that this is a zombie book that actually acknowledges that something called a zombie exists in pop culture, and Aaron the crazy video game nerd is a surprisingly realistic At first, I was worried that the protagonist would be a character I really wouldn't be able to stand, but I'm glad I stuck with it! Imogen is depressed and heartbroken, and has not had much social interaction in the last two years, but when push comes to show, she regains the will to live, and actually be alive. I like that this is a zombie book that actually acknowledges that something called a zombie exists in pop culture, and Aaron the crazy video game nerd is a surprisingly realistic portrayal of what would happen to some people if a zombie outbreak were to take place at a comic book convention. I loved how they're all stuck in their costumes, and how Imogen obviously cares very deeply for her brother, despite the apathy mentioned in the title. The fact that she's not above sacrificing a temporary ally as she did early in the book is probably more realistic than the heroics usually going down in zombie movies/literature. Though I am glad she softens up towards the end of the book, particularly towards her mother. I'm a little bummed that the entire group they met at the convention center ended up dead, but all in all most of their deaths were not particularly shocking. The only thing that annoys me at the obvious set up for a sequel is that it's not out yet, and so I won't be able to continue right away!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Smith

    Let me explain! I was excited to read this book, sounded great. But, it took me more than half way through to get interested. The main character really frustrated me and the only other character I really liked, Zed, didn't come into the book until it was almost finished! However much I loved Zed the use of GD really got to me. It was completely unnecessary, and changed my rating to a two star instead of a three star rating.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Khrystine

    I really really liked this book. It would make an awesome movie as well. The way it starts out, I was expecting something a little different, so if you aren't sure at first, keep reading.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura Smith

    I loved this book! It was a bit hard to get into in the beginning, but after that I couldn't put it down! Would love to see a part 2!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rayne

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily Turnage

  11. 4 out of 5

    Holly

  12. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna Kaling

  14. 4 out of 5

    Morwen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Davis Emmanuel

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Osterman

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carlla

  19. 5 out of 5

    Franci

  20. 5 out of 5

    Darren

  21. 4 out of 5

    Xander

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rumell Khan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha Ormiston-Smith

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julian Benjamin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anika

  26. 4 out of 5

    Linda Welch

  27. 5 out of 5

    Becky Ippolito

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Strangely dull, for a zombie outbreak tale. Gore does not mean an interesting plot.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather Horn

  30. 5 out of 5

    Orlease Campbell

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