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Apocalypse Cow

(Apocalypse Cow #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  2,052 ratings  ·  428 reviews
When scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash an experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain's animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation.

Abattoir worker Terry Borders' love life is crippled by the stench of death that clings to his skin from his
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Doubleday
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,052 ratings  ·  428 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Last year saw the launch of the Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Award. More than 500 manuscripts came chasing the £20,000 prize for previously unpublished novelists, and ultimately it was split between two winners, Michael Logan and David Logan (no relation).

The winning novels, Apocalypse Cow and Half-Sick of Shadows are more different than chalk and cheese, which at least are both high in calcium. The competition’s requirements boil down to alternative, imaginativ
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, for full disclosure I'm married to this man. Whether this means I'm a harsher critic or biased in his favour, I'll let you decide.

This is essentially my husband in book form: hilarious, a bit gross and a bit cheeky. It's a novel about zombie cows after all.

Apocalypse Cow is very visual, well-paced, the dialogue is great and the characters are funny. I read this during its many edits and enjoyed it every time. Although the topic is pretty unique, the writing style is similar to authors s
It started with the cows.


They were beyond MAD, sporting disgusting lesions and red, glowing eyes.

The virus spread quickly from animal to animal, and soon, even the cutest kittens were infected and...hungry...


Logan has dreamed up a fun story. Most of the tale is played for laughs, though there are some serious and violent moments. He takes the done-to-death plot device of having a small-band-of-survivors-trapped-inside-a-confined-area-by-a-swarming-horde-of-zombies and turns it sideways by havi
Michael Logan
Aug 05, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I am shamelessly adding my own book (without a rating) to get one book closer to my 2012 book challenge total. I proofread it this year, and since that has the word read in it I feel I am justified. Actually, I know that is very weak, but I am 8 books behind. I am desperate!
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
I don't get it. Was this meant to be funny, or just plain vulgar?

I don't like crude humor at even the best of times, but that's not my only issue with this book. It uses the hugely cliche zombie subgenre plot, the "jokes" are either incredibly lame or disgusting, and although it's written for an older audience, its style just screams "immature 7th grader, proud of himself for writing a curse word on a school bathroom wall". I just didn't find this book funny or original at all.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies
Obviously I picked up Apocalypse Cow because it was a book about zombies, and cleverly titled to show that the author had a sense of humor. One would assume that this book would be beyond silly, and not really worth much at all but for a few laughs. The cover, title, and plot summary makes you think this is just some B-level trash. In all honesty however, this book was entertaining as hell. I haven't read a book so genuinely fun and exciting since something like Wayside School back in the days o ...more
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
The news reports says it was a stampede that sadly resulted in the abattoir burning to the ground. But one cow didn't die and soon a virus has been unleashed which turns Scotland's cattle into slobbering, sneezing, flesh-craving and horny beasts.

Not only did a cow survive, but abattoir worker, Terry also made it through the massacre but is now being held hostage in what looks suspiciously like a secret government research facility. The tip-off of the government's involvement falls into the lap o
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three a stars: An entertaining but totally predictable zombie book.

Geldof isn't your typical teenager. He absolutely detests hemp because his mother insists that he wear all hemp clothing which he is extremely allergic to. His parents are liberal hippies who walk around naked, and they are strict vegetarians. His father spends his days gardening and smoking weed, while his mother preaches her beliefs to anyone who will listen. Terry spends his days working in a beef slaughterhouse where he mindl
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, e-books
4 Stars

Apocalypse Cow is Grade ‘A’-musing… This is a comedic horror novel that puts i nice twist on the zombie genre. Michael Logan has created a fun little read that is similar in plot to David Moody’s Hater series. Only in this one, it is our animals that are doing the hating.

There are some laugh out loud moments in this one. The pacing is good. There are plenty of characters to like and to loathe. This is the perfect afternoon read.

Sure there is a pretty in your face political message in this
Dec 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
I picked this up because it won an award from (for?) Terry Pratchett. It also had an endorsement quote from him on the cover.

I didn't "snort out loud" once, and barely got a chuckle (those were mainly in the punny titles to the chapters). I finished the book: a tough slog at times, not because of density of writing, but because it was boring and predictable. I kept hoping I was wrong, that there'd be something just around the bend...


It takes the idea that I've thought of often with all zo
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting fluff with a few laughs, but was happy to get so much more. It was great fun to read, and the story was enjoyable, and captivating. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
You can find this full review and many others at Scifi and Scary's Book Reviews.

There have been many novels about the end of the world, but there’s only been one Apocalypse Cow. Okay, so technically there’s 2 because there’s a sequel called World War Moo, but still. The beef (and pork? and chicken? Awwww, crap!) has a, uh, beef it needs to settle with us. Hang on to your britches, folks, this book was moo-stly fun and udder madness!

This is going to be one of those books that you either love or h
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was sent this book by the publishers, Transworld in exchange for a review. Now although this book isnt my usual genre, when i read the synopsis i really had to read it.

This book is about several unlikely heroes who need to try and get out of Britain as the animals are turning into bloodythirsty zombies. There is Geldof, who is born to hippy parents and is a vegetarian. However, as a teenage boy he is none to happy about this and craves meat. Their is Lesley, a journalist, although not a very g
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
When scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash an experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain’s animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation.

Abattoir worker Terry Borders’ love life is crippled by the stench of death that clings to his skin from his days spent slaughtering cows; teenage vegan Geldof ‘Scabby’ Peters alternates between scratching furiously at his rash and ba
Erik Smith
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I first heard of Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan from my nephew (Wotcher, Nate!), who had picked it up at the library. Knowing my love of horror/comedy/animals-eating-people stories, Nate stopped by to show the book to me. One look at the cover, sporting a black and white bovine, with the glowing red eyes, and it was "To the book store, old chum!"

At the bookshelf, I tugged on Animal Farm, which opened a secret panel in the wall, and we slid down a pole to the hidden garage, where we jumped into
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
When I found out that I won this book from First-Reads, I was totally psyched. It sounded like the perfect ridiculous book to kick off my winter break and I wasn't wrong. This book knows not to take itself too seriously, definitely for people who enjoyed the movie Zombieland or the horror/comedy genre in general.

If the premise isn't absurd enough a selling point, the characters certainly help. A lot of zombie media nowadays feature protagonists that you would expect to survive an apocalypse by
Feb 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reshelved-dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zoe's Human
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of Pratchett & the Walking Dead
Shelves: lt
Apocalypse Cow offered all the quirky humour I expected from a Terry Pratchett Prize winner with a pun for a title, and then it gave me a lot more. It's actually a good apocalypse story - thrilling and shockingly credible. It's gross enough at some points to have made me turn my head from the book (as if that helps). It's like all the people I love best - dark, smart, funny, and a bit disturbing.
David Logan
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For me, the fundamental rule for reviewing is objectivity – or, as much objectivity as possible given that reviewing can be a subjective business. In practice, this means that I assess a book for what it aims to be rather than what I’d personally like it to be in a perfect world where everything I read was specifically written for me. In short: if it’s Harry Potter don’t condemn it for not being Middlemarch (God forbid that anybody writes another Middlemarch).

The plot of Apocalypse Cow is straig
Jo Bennie
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: l
If you like Mars Attacks you'll love this. A hilarious and completely sick thriller in which a deadly virus is unleashed on Britain, via a lab in Milgavie. An infected cow turns up at a nearby slaughterhouse and chaos ensues. The virus gives the cows a taste for blood, for raping anything they catch and enhanced strength and resiliance, they are harder to kill than a normal animal. And the virus can be passed on to any land based animal except humans. Cue killer squirrels, bunnies and sheep, out ...more
Tim Roast
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Apocalypse Cow is a book about a viral epidemic in Britain that first infects cows, then other animals and then humans. It makes them turn into zombie-like creatures and it falls upon three individuals – hemp-allergy sufferer Geldof, abattoir worker Terry and failed journalist Lesley – to help the world put an end to it. Together they attempt to escape the hordes of infected animals, the efforts of the army to put them into camps and the pursuit of one crazed man who is trying to conceal the tru ...more
This was an interesting story. I loved the idea of zombie animals! I just had one problem with it. If you are very sensitive to animal cruelty, the first 100 pages will be a little hard to get through. There are multiple descriptions of what goes on at a slaughter house, pets are heartlessly thrown out of houses due to fear of the virus( I could never do that!) and there are a few descriptive animal deaths.

Over all, the story felt fresh and unique, and after a few hard to read animal scenes, it
David Biondi
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. At first I was expecting that it was going to be more humorous than serious but after a few chapters and I realized that it was in fact a serious zombie novel with just a few funny parts in it. It has a lot of action and a nice new take on the whole zombie apocalypse. If you enjoy zombie books I highly suggest you check this book out. It was really good!
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a great read. It's not often you can go from laughing out loud to cringing in genuine horror and disgust within one paragraph.
If you like comedic horror and great characters, this one is for you. Highly recommended.

Oh, and I've just found out there's a sequel coming, too. Yay!
Michael McCarty
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Day of The Animals meets Monty Python ... I loved it
George Morrison
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Apocalypse Cow is a good summer read, with plenty of action and wry humor to keep it moving through an otherwise standard 'zombie apocalypse' plot. It is a tad predictable, following the well-rutted path of all of the other zombie stories that have been published. That is a shame, as the title suggests a tie-in with Conrad's Heart of Darkness (via the movie Apocalypse Now), which never materializes. With a little work, the story could have leveraged that classic work and elevated itself well abo ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
The title and the award caught my eye, but this book in my opinion doesn't live up to the Pratchett legacy. The humor is vulgar and crude almost overwhelmingly, though I did find a few moments bizarre and amusing.
The premise of a zombie-like infection breaking out among cattle intrigued me enough to take a chance on this book used, but I will be getting the second book from the library to see if it finds a less predictable end than this one did.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
When livestock in the UK starts to literally bite back, everyone is screwed!

Terry thought his biggest problem was the constant smell of meat that lingered on him thanks to his job at McTavish & Sons, a slaughterhouse located just outside of Glasgow. But when the cows fight back one afternoon, Terry finds himself at the center of a massive conspiracy. He wakes after the event to find that he's survived but is now being held prisoner by one of the men behind the virus that's infected the beasts.

Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zombie, comic, british
Terry, lone survivor of abattoir attack and Lesley, Scottish reporter down on her luck, end up on the run in a countryside full of dangerous wildlife – from cows, pigs and rats to squirrels, cats and dogs, while Geldof, teenager with bad skin, out of control hormones and parents in full hippy mode is struggling to convince his parents of the danger. Each of these characters feels real – none of them are Bruce Willis or Angelina Jolie. What they are, are fully formed flawed and entirely likeable ...more
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A humorous and original spin put on a genre that needs both more often. The strength of this book is definitely its characters. They are a motley crew of reluctant allies, with none particularly thought of as a "hero" in the traditional sense on their own, or collectively. So as they band together, Geldof, Lindsey, and Terry and a few others along for the ride figure out what they must do to survive "apocalyptic" Scotland, and it's all pretty funny every step of the way.

This novel is also clever
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Michael Logan is an award-winning Scottish writer, whose career has taken him across the globe.

His debut novel, Apocalypse Cow, won the Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize. Since then, the sequel, World War Moo, and two unrelated novels, Wannabes and Hell's Detective, have hit the shelves.

Michael’s short fiction has appeared in publications such as The Telegraph, Chapman and Underground Voices. He w

Other books in the series

Apocalypse Cow (2 books)
  • World War Moo (Apocalypse Cow, #2)

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