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Down the Road (Down the Road #1)

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  634 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
A bizarre plague of the walking dead. A nation desperate for survival. It could be the end of the world. Around the globe, the dead are rising to devour the living. Hospitals are overrun, and martial law has been declared. The streets are in chaos. Society is disintegrating. George Zaragosa is a young school teacher living in the shadow of his fiancée's unsolved murder. No ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published May 15th 2006 by Permuted Press (first published February 28th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bryan Zako
Jan 03, 2013 Bryan Zako rated it did not like it
How awful can a story be and still get published? I think Down The Road provides insight into the publishing world on this topic. I wish I could have rated this -1 stars, that's right, a negative entry because I wasted precious hours of my life that I will never get back reading this drivel.

Here's a partial short list of the bad points:
-Author has remarkable problems with grammar, syntax, spelling, etc. I wonder who his editor at the publishing house was. That the author is a high school teacher
"Down the Road" is a fun zombie story, with enough gore and violence to satisfy most readers for this type of read.

George is a high school teacher in San Antonio, Texas when the outbreak begins, and decides to journey to his small Texas hometown to find his family and shore up against the undead masses. For a public school teacher, George is the mac daddy of the apocalypse. On his initial excursion from the city, he deliberately runs over two police officers in his slick black Chevy Cavalier. H
Joel Wiebner
Sep 15, 2011 Joel Wiebner rated it it was ok
Shelves: zombie-books
This book was like an Oreo cookie if the cream was something sucky. It started out well, and the ending was fun, but it was was stuffed with suck in the middle. Oh well, onto the next one.
Dec 25, 2007 Thee_ron_clark rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: die hard zombie and post-apocalypse fans.
Shelves: zombies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Real Dead Review
Nov 21, 2008 Real Dead Review rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Zombie Lovers
Shelves: zombie-stuff
Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story is Bowie Ibarra's first novel and is a respectable effort. The book follows George Zaragoza, a teacher, as he tries to make his way home through a zombie infested wasteland. Along the way he has to fight through zombies, FEMA road blocks, and other survivors. While the story keeps you interested and the book is well paced, it just lacks the moxie that some of the better zombie novels have.

I'll start with the good in the book, which makes up most of it. First
Patrick D'Orazio
Nov 05, 2010 Patrick D'Orazio rated it liked it
Overall I enjoyed this story as a traditional zombie tale. True to Romero, these zombies don't do anything that will surprise the fan of the classic movies. Bowie obviously has as much love for the stories that GAR told and added to it with his own flavor and characterizations.

I don't read other's stories so that I get spoon fed exactly what I want to see. I like an author who speaks their mind even if I might disagree with their point of view. So I can pass over what felt like a very strong in
Jeremiah Boydstun
Aug 13, 2013 Jeremiah Boydstun rated it did not like it
As a literary trope, the zombie has become one of the most prescient and fruitful symbols of contemporary and future human society and its many problems. It seems as if there is no limit to the possibilities that the zombie presents to enterprising writers. Nevertheless, some things will forever remain the same where writing is concerned. Despite how fantastic, weird, or stylized an idea, theme, or topic becomes at the hands of a writer, readers still expect, at the very least, that a story rema ...more
Baidan Cortez
Sep 17, 2011 Baidan Cortez rated it it was ok
Picking up this book, I was genuinely excited. I love zombie stories, and "Down the Road" by Bowie Ibarra seemed promising from what I've heard. The payoff was.... genuinely disappointing.

The story starts off immediately with the zombie virus already having spread to pandemic levels. George Zaragosa is in his apartment preparing to leave. Right off the bat, this strucks the wrong cord in me, as I think part of the fun parts of zombie stories is watching the gradual fall of humanity. Here, we're
Doug Lewis
Jul 09, 2009 Doug Lewis rated it it was ok
Shelves: zombie-stuff
Alright .. so it wasn't terrible. But it wasn't great. I could tell far before i read the "authors commentary" that this book was very autobiographical, in a way. Being that the settings and the protagonists were based on, yes, his home area and HIS vocation. (the protagonist is a school teacher in texas, so is the author) WHile i understand this - hell, i do it - write-what-you-know thing ... you have to hide the fact that you are doing it from us within the text of your book. It was just reall ...more
Jan 19, 2011 Melissa rated it liked it
Pretty much this book starts out as most zombie stories. There is an unknown plague which animates the dead. A bite or scratch spreads the infection. In this story it is mostly told from George's POV. He sees what is coming and decides to try to reach his hometown where his mother and uncle still live. The government has taken over and put people in FEMA camps for "their own good". There is also a ban on living in private homes and owning weapons, even for safety. As things progress from bad to ...more
Feb 28, 2009 Dreadlocksmile rated it it was amazing
Bowie's tale sets off in a world that is slowly falling apart. The reader is quickly thrown in to the action packed tale of George (undoubtedly named after George Romero after reading about Bowie's fixation with the director), who struggles to survive as he tries to reach his hometown San Uvalde.

The characterization is somewhat simplistic throughout the novel, but this doesn't seem to detract from the tale too much. Bowie's military group FEMA is a fabulous addition to the tale, screaming of a
Frank Watson
Jun 02, 2014 Frank Watson rated it it was ok
Another zombie novel that makes the Military out to be blood thirsty and greedy. You want to pull for the main character, but the fact that he is full of personality conflicts makes it hard to do. Sometimes I wished that he would be killed and a new main character introduced. The plot was non sense, with the government, military and police bigger villains than the zombies. Along with the visions and dreams of a dead fiance who is leading the main character to avenge her death six months later an ...more
Jan 24, 2012 Shirley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apocalyptic
This book just wasn't for me. There were numerous plot holes indicating that the author didn't have a cohesive outline for the book. For example, the main character states early on that he only has pocket change, then when he needs to buy gas he has $30 in bills to pay with. Later his wallet is taken at a check point but he suddenly has it again after he escapes from the FEMA camp. That's just one example. The writing is also poor especially from an author who claims to be a teacher?? I'm very d ...more
Jul 15, 2008 Trevor rated it liked it
Recommended to Trevor by: Zombies! Group
Shelves: zombies
A very cool book for those looking for a "traditional zombie" fix! It's got everything I wanted for a "summer read" - its gory, action packed, and surprisingly sexy (didn't ever think I'd be writing that line about a zombie story!). Awesome beach reading.
Jan 25, 2011 Wenj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, read-2011
Review provided by Black Lagoon Reviews:

Down the Road by Bowie Ibarra was a thrilling fight for survival and absolutely one of the best zombie novels that I have had the pleasure of reading. Filled with blood, gore, violence and the inevitable journey through the collapse of both humanity and society, this novel delivers to fans of zombie horror like no other.

The world Ibarra created is a devastating and frightening mirror to our own allowing us to easily slip into George's situation. This easy
Oct 15, 2015 chucklesthescot rated it did not like it
A lot of reviews slam this book because the author has written a somewhat anti government book and paints FEMA as something akin to the devil. I can't comment much on the government agencies in a country I don't live in but this distrust is a widely held view and so when I see it in books about the apocalypse, to be honest, it doesn't bother me greatly. It's the opinion of a character whose story we follow so I just got on with reading.

The apocalypse is in full swing and George is wishing he had
Jan 03, 2011 Nick rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy Phillips
Mar 28, 2014 Andy Phillips rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombies
I was looking forward to reading this book as it had been recommended by several sources of zombie fiction fans, and by the author Travis Adkins in the book itself. Bowie Ibarra explains in his notes at the end of the book that he's a zombie fiction fan himself and a teacher, so I expected the novel to be better than average for a first attempt. I guess that it is better than average, but it's not a masterpiece.

The story centres around a teacher living in Texas ("write what you know"!) who makes
Max Kalininskij
Jun 18, 2014 Max Kalininskij rated it liked it
You know, I do like the story here, the narrative. It's something different from a survival story, albeit the zombie apocalypse features heavily enough.
Here we have a man who's on a journey, yet ends up getting shuffled from one situation to the next in the process.
I can't say that's it's all that believable (yeah I know, zombies, but you know what I mean), but there's a nice little theatrical story here alright, and I like it for that, the story is very much protagonist-driven and it stays from
Aug 15, 2013 WordLuver rated it it was ok
Eh...just okay. If you put it on your to-read list, move it towards the bottom. There are far better zombie reads out there.

I really wanted to like this book more, but it just fell short for me. I couldn't get attached to any of the characters as no one ever really stood out in any important way. There was nothing memorable about any of them, and for me to care if the characters live or die, I need to feel something for them one way or another. The zombie action was so-so, could have more origi
Dec 16, 2014 Tom rated it it was ok
DOWN THE ROAD is a great premise. It has a good idea that is not executed very well. The author tried his dead level best to make the story emotionally engaging. I have to say he fails. The story has a lot of the zombie cliches we have come to expect. However, the book reads like a personal fantasy of what the author would do if a real zombie apocalypse struck. The main character, George, has stupid amounts of sex at inappropriate times in silly settings. There is a vain attempt to insert a subp ...more
Jan 22, 2011 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All George Zaragosa wants to do is get home safely to San Uvalda. The world around him has gone mad. A deadly plague has turned most of the human population into flesh eating zombies.

George has two choices…he could either sit in his apartment as he does have enough food to last him for at least three weeks or he can make an attempt to go down the road to San Uvalda. George decides to risk it and travel home. It will be a dangerous trek. One that George will by lucky to survive.

I recently becam
Aug 15, 2011 Will rated it it was amazing
After recently reading The Fall of Austin, the third in this series, I went back and reread Down The Road. It was the first of this series. I had not realized this fact until 3/4's of the way through The Fall of Austin. Well, I sat down last night and reread Down the Road.

I have to give a hats off to Mr. Ibarra. It is official he is my new favorite zombie author. I can't believe the subtle tie ins I missed. Wow! I have since ordered the second book of his on my e-reader and will start it tonig
Dec 11, 2007 Jude rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, novel
Here's an old review that I wrote for this a few years back.

This is the first novel to my knowledge by the author Bowie Ibarra, and in my opinion is the beginning of a very promising career. It centres around George a school teacher who attempts to make his way home after a zombie epidemic breaks out.
It is quite an easy read, being that it is not very long, but in the short time it will take you to read there is a well written story in there. I think the main character of George is well written
Jul 20, 2008 Robi rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Zombie fans; Zombies.
Recommended to Robi by: nobody
Shelves: zombie-horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Shrewsbury
Oct 23, 2007 Sara Shrewsbury rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Zombie likin' Peeps
Shelves: zombie
This is a good book if you are in to Zombies. Recently I ran in to a cache of Zombie books and am feeling cheated for not having found them sooner. An interesting aspect of this book is that it was written pre-Katrina and got close to hitting the nail on the head as far as how FEMA responds to crises. It’s pretty well written with few editorial errors. You are routing for the main character throughout the story. I am always impressed when an author will kill off characters you like, this occurs ...more
Alexis Winning
Oct 19, 2011 Alexis Winning rated it liked it
Shelves: zombies
Hmm. Well, I can't say this was a great zombie book, nor can I say that it's bad. It is exactly as described: zombie pulp fiction. There's certainly nothing wrong with a little gory self indulgence, as long as you don't take it too personally.

Ibarra has written a fun book. I do have to give it a nod, because it was one of the first zombie books published at the start of this undead craze, so when I say it doesn't really add much to the genre, perhaps I mean it helped to shape the genre? hmm.

Gareth Jones
Jan 22, 2013 Gareth Jones rated it it was amazing
A consistently recommended book whenever discussing careers and modern working practices. it is also useful to show that business books can be illustrated and images used to get the message across. Particularly appropriate - then and now contrast - if you don't like change then you will like irrelevance even less! The contrast on the brand you section (page 247) is a very useful check-list for modern working. Example: Was - job for life. Now - gig for now! A book that for me has returned the inv ...more
Oct 23, 2013 Paul rated it liked it
A short read, very handy if you don't have a lot of time to read. 3 stars as although there's some tense moments in here there are also some really dragged out stuff, for example, author goes into George's (main character)past relationship and at the same time tries to have him come across to the reader as a ladies man. Having said that it's an ok read if you like your Zombie novels if a little on the short side.
Neil Sinclair
Aug 04, 2011 Neil Sinclair rated it really liked it
It was not bad not bad at all. Some might have problems with the ending (think night of the living dead) I did feel it was a little rushed though. I also felt the hero George was a little - I dunno. I mean the author tries to make him such a "nice guy" and average - but he's not really. Also, for someone grieving over his lost love he gets a lot of tail in this slim volume. makes me I wish I had a dead fiance.

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Bowie Valeriano Ibarra was born and raised in Uvalde, Texas on April 15, 1975. In his youth, he enjoyed acting, writing, and drawing. His most notable acting roles in High School include Huckleberry Finn, The Mad Hatter, Charlie Brown, and the Artful Dodger. Bowie also played wingback for the Uvalde Coyotes football team.
Bowie graduated from Uvalde High School and earned an acting scholarship to
More about Bowie V. Ibarra...

Other Books in the Series

Down the Road (3 books)
  • Down the Road: The Fall of Austin
  • Down the Road: On the Last Day

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