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Apocalyptic Organ Grinder

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  38 reviews
William Todd Rose reinvents the zombie story with a thrilling novella of a post-apocalyptic America where saviors are heroes . . . and heroes are killers.
A fatal virus—a biowarfare experiment unleashed on an unsuspecting world—has reduced the once-mighty United States to a smattering of tribes dueling for survival in the lawless wilderness. The disease-free folk known as
ebook, 92 pages
Published June 17th 2013 by Hydra (first published April 22nd 2011)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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Frank Errington
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review copy

For a novella length story, there is a lot going on in Apocalyptic Organ Grinder.

There's the back story of the evil wizard who created the pathogen which kills off most of the world's population, there are two groups of survivors, those not killed outright, but are diseased carriers who refer to themselves as The People, and those known as Clear Skins who call the infected Spewers.

Tanner Kline, a Clear Skin, is also a Sweeper, it's his job to seek out Spewers and eliminate them. I fou
Carol Kean
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much to my surprise, this story hooked me from page one, and the characters were believable and real to me. I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. Zombies and apocalypses are not my favorite genre, so I had low expectations. Since this is from Random House instead of a self pub, I was confident the prose would be polished and readable, and it was, in spite of some small inconsistencies and glitches. E.g., introduce the protagonist as Tanner Kline; thereafter, refer t ...more
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first assignment from, and I must admit my heart sank a little, especially as when I checked out the author the dreaded word “vampires” appeared. Oh no, I thought, this one is most definitely not going to be for me. Should I even attempt to review it, as I am not the target audience and therefore perhaps not the best person to make a judgement? But I hope to continue working with so I decided to give it a go and try to keep an open mind.
The result was a co
2.5/5 rating

I was invited to read an advanced reading copy of this book from NetGalley:

I would have enjoyed this book more without the italized chapters. They did not add much to the plot besides back story on the separation between the two groups and how the virus came about. Instead of adding to the plot, it gave the story subtle religious undertones and made the whole premise rather farfetched and unrealistic. Then the author added to the mix magicians/wizards and kings and the so called Grea
I requested this novella from Netgalley without even reading the synopsis for it; the title alone just screamed out at me and all I could think of was "gimme, gimme, gimme!"

Judging from the title, I thought this would read like a cheap b-movie storyline or something, complete with mounds of gore and stupidity, which is just what I like in a b-movie and wanted the equivalent in literature form.

This novella is not like that all, but that didn't disappoint me. This is a very well written novella a
Wayne McCoy
A novella length book about 2 warring factions of humans in a not too distant. One set is infected with sores and blisters. The discharge is infectious. The other group is uninfected and trying to remain that way.

The story follows a man named Tanner Kline, who is a Sweeper. It's his job to eliminate the infected and protect his village. On a hunt one day, he is captured by a tribe of the infected and their leader Lila. The infected live in tribes in the woods, not in walled houses and they hate
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.25 of 5

Tanner Kline is a 'Sweeper.' It is his job to protect the uninfected from the infected. In this post-apocalyptic setting there are really only the two factions - those infected with the Gabriel Virus, referred to as "Spewers" because of the way their sores tend to eject pus, infecting others, and there are those who have not been infected by the Spewers, the Clear-Skins.

Tanner and his kind have completely de-humanized th
May 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poorly written tripe.
Vincenzo Bilof
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this amazing work of art from William Todd Rose, I'm still reeling from the maddening conclusion.

A work of speculative-fiction, Apocalyptic Organ Grinder has less to do with the apocalypse than it does with the human species and our monstrous ability to classify and subdivide groups of people until we can create an acceptable standard. If written in the 1950s or '60s, this book would have been hailed as a masterpiece: pitting two different variations of the human species--one inf
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an end-of-the-world story, but it’s not your typical every day story. There are different groups of people: those infected and those not. The infected are exiled and exterminated to keep the infection out of the colonies. Each colony has what are called Sweepers. They are the ones that go out and protect the people from the infected or “Spewers” as they are referred to. The Spewers seem to be normal people, with the exception that they are infected with a deadly virus and can make everyo ...more
Taylor Troncin
This is a book that I received a free e-copy from net galley to review. All I can say is "wow." The book went by really quickly - a lot quicker than what I thought it would. Some gross stuff - but nothing too bad (though if you get queasy with the idea of "pus" then stay away!). What prevented the book from getting 5/5 stars was the fact that I could (and did - though not because I really wanted to..) skip some parts / sections and still figure out what was going on. Ok, maybe that's not a bad t ...more
Carrie Slager
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Whatever my expectations were starting Apocalyptic Organ Grinder, they were blown away within a few chapters. William Todd Rose packed so much into this novella that I hardly know where to start.

Let’s start off with his world-building. It was fascinating, terrifying and worst of all, believable. The divide between the Spewers, the people infected with a horrible disease who pass it onto healthy people a
Nicola Mansfield
At only 86 pages this is an intense novella, with chapter breaks, focusing on characteristics and feelings of two differing post-apocalyptic species and certain members. A typical hypothesis that I enjoy with post-apocalyptic novels: the evil virus that wipes out the population, at least most of it. The lucky ones die, the not so lucky ones live and the least fortunate ones become something mutated, less than human. Rose brings a unique vision to the table here though that makes for some fast pa ...more
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)

Book source ~ Many thanks to NetGalley and Hydra for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Centuries ago a virus caused a great divide in the people of the United States. The virus caused many people to die, but those that didn’t became carriers capable of infecting others. The sick and carriers were separated from those uninfected and made to live in prison camp conditions. Eventually those infected escaped and built villages far from the others. The infected came to be kn
Cassandra Mitchell
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
The story of me and this book:
Let me start off by saying I would have never chosen this book to read because of the title alone. “Apocalyptic Organ Grinder” is a title that I do not find myself drawn to at all. It makes the book sound gruesome and full of zombies that will only eat puppies once the organs have been ground up. Ew. As someone who loves unicorns, rainbows, and young adult romance novels I did not have high hopes for this short story. Or, actually, any at all
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I received this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review. When this book arrived in my inbox, I did not think I would like it at all. The title "Apocalyptic Organ Grinder" sounded gory and unappealing to me. Therefore, I doubt I would ever pick it up off the shelf at a library or bookstore. I would probably be embarassed to do so, no matter how good the ratings. But, I was in between books and the synopsis looked promising so I gave it a go. I figured if it got too gross I could alway ...more
Becky Condit
Apocalyptic Organ Grinder by William Todd Rose is a very dark look at a possible future in which a manmade plague called the Gabriel virus has ravaged mankind, and left two groups of survivors-those who are infected and those who are not. Tanner Kline is a Sweeper, charged with hunting down and killing the Spewers-those who carry the virus, and to also eliminate anyone who becomes infected. A confrontation between him and Lila-a female warrior from a local Spewer tribe leads to death and destruc ...more
Jacqueline Patricks
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this ARC Ebook free from Netgalley for my honest opinion.

This is not your typical apocalyptic book. It tells the story of the end of the United States through the eyes of Tanner, Lila and an alternating omniscient narrator.

Tanner is a Sweeper, one of the men responsible for keeping the settlements safe from the infected.
Lila is a Spewer, one of the infected.
Their paths cross in a surprising way as Tanner is outside the settlement.
Between their third person narratives, the omniscient n
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, net-gallery
Apocalyptic Organ Grinder is a story of two races divided by a virus: Spewer and the Clear Skin. Each has a different opinions of each other. The story starts with a wizard who dreams and believes he is an hero, created a virus that kills everyone to bring forth paradise. Instead the virus created two races. Those are infected by the virus became a race called the Spewers. The Spewers develop some resistances to the virus however they develop blisters that would opened and spread the virus. The ...more
Rachel Tsoumbakos
Seriously, this is one of the best post-apocalyptic zombie books I've read in a while! Probably because it looks at both parties equally. Actually, maybe not completely equally. The author starts out telling us the typical zombie story. There is a character called Tanner who is fighting the good fight by ridding the world of Spewers - what they call the infected.

It's all good, you totally hate the Spewers because, you know, they're the baddies. But then the author turns your beliefs on their hea
This short, gruesome and enjoyable tale of revenge and misconception has stayed in my mind longer than I expected. The message is a little heavy-handed, but thought-provoking and resonant, with an interesting twist on the zombie genre.

I found the first chapter (after the italicised section) off-putting because of the excessive use of imagery. I counted four similes in one short paragraph (barely a single paragraph goes by without one) and it didn’t work for me in creating atmosphere. But once t
Lelia Taylor
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: full-reviews
This is SUCH a cool book for those like me who love post-apocalyptic fiction. What’s left of society has devolved into the most primitive existence and two clans are pitted against each other. The Settlers are as healthy as possible in a world of limited hygiene and medical skills while the Spewers are diseased and infectious, not welcome among the Settlers or anywhere nearby. The Spewers are the new version of Typhoid Marys and literally could destroy the little that’s left of humanity.

Still, t
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
This book was given to me by Netgalley when I signed up, and I really didn't want to read it. With a name like Apocalyptic Organ Grinder, I really didn't expect much, if anything at all, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story isn't the typical zombie Apocalypse thing, which honestly, I don't like zombies very much, so that was a relief.

First off, what I expected this book to be was a stupid, horribly written zombie story by an author trying to cash in on the latest fade. In reality this sto
Nick Turner
Dystopia. According to one oral history, generations ago, a lone madman made a new fatal disease (with symptoms like bubonic plague) which could spread in air. Supporters infected many people and the infection was spread beyond the USA by air travellers.
Tanner Kline is a Sweeper. He is one of select few trained to hunt down the threat of plague-stricken Spewers.
Lila is a Person. According to another oral history, The People are Chosen and do not die from the Gabriel disease (although adults ar
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. Maybe a 2.5 but that would be pushing it. It was a bit of an interesting premise as I liked the idea of the infected still surviving and being aware, trying to survive in their own communities. But, I didn't particularly care too much for either faction (Clear Skins or Spewers). This was such a difficult read already with so much hatred and prejudice between the 2 groups, but was compounded by numerous grammar errors throughout the story (unsure if what I was provided is a final copy or adv ...more
Jeremy Stephens
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2011
This extremely dark novella is disturbing. Yet, it's a fascinating kind of disturbing that is hard to stop reading. The way the two cultures in the story are presented is a strange but believable variation of the usual post-apocalyptic theme and the the plot is situated in such a way that there are no "good guys" or "bad guys"- there's just a bunch of miserable people trying to survive. I found that this book had one of the best endings I've read in a long time. This is worth taking a look at.

Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Would not recommend
A post apocalyptic work of speculative fiction about a world destroyed by the Gabriel virus.

As concepts go it is nothing new, and unfortunately, I felt it did not add anything new to an idea that has been done better so many times before (i.e. I am legend by Richard Matheson).

The characters were always angry and I could not bring myself to care for them or their motivations. What is written to be shocking and revealing, came across as dull and forced. As the characters went through their trials,
This was a free read gifted when I first joined Netgalley, so I felt obligated to finish it, event though it's not really my type of book. Although it is short, probably more a novella, I had a difficult time finishing it. There wasn't really anything glaringly wrong, but after a while I noticed something odd: the writing feels very forced. Lots of adjectives, all different and probably chosen from a thesaurus. Hundreds of similes. Not much dialogue. Characters I didn't warm up to or even remote ...more
Donald Armfield
I received my copy from Netgalley, after requsting to read.

Well written you sink into the setting the story is told with a dash of prose, deep at sometimes. The title may turn readers away, but the content of the story gives a great view on a post apocalyptic wasteland. A quick read that I'm sure will get better reviews when given to the right readers.

Sweepers and Spewers despise each other, fighting for change of the world to be the better of the two. A sad tune that gives a melancholy story of
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the end of the world as we know it. When a disease not unlike the black plague raveges human life. Those who do survive are divided between the infected and the uninfected. It is not the disease its self that seperates the two but the ability of the infected to infect the unifected too easily. When the unifected become stingy and believe they are better than anything the wars begin and the end will truly terrify and may even confuse you im stillnot real sure about the organ gr ...more
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