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105 Ways to Die in ‘Zombocalypse Now’ by Matt Youngmark
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"Zombocalypse Now", now!
May 24, Don rated it it was amazing. Okay, this was a LOT of fun. Reading through to each new ending is entirely entertaining, as the writing keeps a constant sense of humor that's both funny and inventive. However, it's when you really start to have read through most of the branches that an unexpected Easter Egg emerges, as your discoveries down different roads illuminate your newest path, whet WOW.
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However, it's when you really start to have read through most of the branches that an unexpected Easter Egg emerges, as your discoveries down different roads illuminate your newest path, whether it's having a previous main supporting character crop up in only a passing cameo, or having something occur that would have just seemed like random apocalyptic oddness if you hadn't learned more about the backplot through a markedly different path before.
The sum of all these mutually-exclusive choices adding up to a larger understanding of the story in aggregate is something rarely used in these kinds of gamebooks - as a lifelong fan of the medium, I can't recall another instance offhand - and it made the end product far, far more innovative and satisfying than it really had any right to be. Above and beyond all expectations; pick this one up!
Jan 05, David Monroe rated it it was amazing Shelves: funny. I loved the choose your own adventures books as a kid so when I read about this book on some Geek site a while back, I HAD to do it. It was awesome!! You're a snarky, chain smoking chainsaw wielding stuffed pink bunny. You're in the middle of a Zombie-apocalypse, living in a world where stuffed animals walk, talk, and intermarry with the human population. There's even a moment where you let out the battle cry "Leeeeeeroy Jenkins! I teamed wit I loved the choose your own adventures books as a kid so when I read about this book on some Geek site a while back, I HAD to do it.
I teamed with a cop named Mittens who isn't a stuffed animal and survived only once. The author states that there are different endings only 7 that you don't die. Go buy, rent or borrow it now! Aug 18, SeeAmandaRead rated it really liked it Shelves: read. This is a "choose your own adventure type book for adults" where you are a pink stuffed bunny trying to survive during a zombie apocalypse. I found this book to be a fun, easy, and very quick read. The first time reading it I was a little disappointed because it was so fast and the ending was so abrupt and I died , but I found the more times I rea This is a "choose your own adventure type book for adults" where you are a pink stuffed bunny trying to survive during a zombie apocalypse.
The first time reading it I was a little disappointed because it was so fast and the ending was so abrupt and I died , but I found the more times I read the book, the more I enjoyed it. As I went through the different scenarios, I learned more about this world where humans and stuffed animals cohabit and about the characters. View 2 comments. This is absolutely the most hilarious book I've read all year! In a "Choose-your-own-journey" style, this book leads you a pink stuffed bunny through the hellish events of very rapidly occurring zombie apocalypse.
There a tons of pop culture references, fourth wall shattering comments, and plenty of beautiful ways to DIE. The cover boasts of endings, of which at least seven will see you through to other side of this nightmare! Oct 10, Muffy Morrigan rated it it was amazing. This is a wonderful return to the choose your own adventure books of my youth. While written with those in mind, it nonetheless is written to appeal to the adult reader. Jan 02, Janet Godsoe rated it it was amazing. It was fun, silly, and zombietastic. What more could you want? Aug 04, Mjhancock rated it really liked it Shelves: zombie , cyoa , science-fantasy.
Let's dive in here. Let's go deep, and really think about what makes a choose your own adventure zombie apocalypse story starring a sentient plush bunny rabbit tick. I'm going to get really technical and really detailed, and I think we'll all learn a little something before we're done. Using terminology I largely invented, Zombocalypse Now is a choose your own adventure book that specializes in persistent, binary-unfolding, latitudinal choice.
In terms of those latter two adjectives, that means i Let's dive in here. In terms of those latter two adjectives, that means it's very close to the original style of choose your own adventure books, such as Edward Packard's Sugarcane Island, back in the s. Generally speaking, that means that most entries that aren't endings contain a least two choices, and the choices keep branching off into largely separate paths until you do reach an ending--hence the binary-unfolding part.
The separate path part is what distinguishes these books from gamebooks like the Fighting Fantasy series, which tend to feature more crossover and merging between paths, as well as be directed towards a single "main" ending.
Later books in the original series tend towards fewer choices, with more entries that are just part of the story leading directly to another entry, without choice--as a result, if you "mapped" out all the choices of these books, the map would be longitudinal; the first few CYOA, and Zombocalypse Now are, in comparison, latitudinal, in that their choice maps are much more spread out along the horizontal.
In particular, the CYOA series was infamous for its choices being narratively inconsistent; if you made one choice, your best friend could turn out to be a soviet spy, and another choice, the same friend was an alien all along. Rather than the friend being both an alien and spy, the different paths posit mutually exclusive narrative universes. Brace yourself, because Zombocalypse does something entirely different.
Rather than radical exclusivity, Zombocalypse exhibits radical persistence, where fundamental aspects of the plot remain the same regardless of what choices you make. For example, the cause of the zombie outbreak is the same throughout, and many of the characters you meet down one path will be there down another, pursuing the same sort of actions they'd be doing with or without your presence. The result is that the book feels much more like a simulated world, where the plot is unfolding with or without you, and you choose what course you take within it.
Occasionally, the book even draws on that knowledge, letting the reader draw their own conclusions--one ending, for example, takes on a very different tone when you realize exactly what you're bringing into the refuge. I'd argue that Youngmark uses persistence to better effect in his next choosematic book, Thrusts of Justice, but it's definitely a selling point here as well. So that's structure, more or less. Let's talk about writing. The immediate question here is, why make the reader-character a sentient plush bunny?
Why take the zombie apocalypse, and add the fact that in this world, sentient plushies exist?
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Arguably, the book wouldn't be intrinsically different without its rabbit lead, but it does serve a few purposes. Usually, CYOA make the reader-character as bland as possible, to encourage the readers to think of them as themselves; this identification usually runs afoul of the fact that the character is often implied as teenage, male, and, frequently, white. By making the reader-character something impossible, it jumps over that hurdle; it also creates some distance between reader and character, which helps with the fact that this bunny will be dying a lot.
It's a side effect of the binary-unfolding, latitudinal CYOA that they have a lot more endings than most CYOA; the zombie setting helps with that, because it's implied that your character is going to die a lot. And it also sets a tone, that the book's going to be humorous and somewhat absurd, which again helps with the high fatality count.