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Undead on Arrival

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Glen Novak is a dead man. Unfortunately for the scumbag who killed him, Novak will keep on cracking skulls and breaking bones until he finds the piece of trash that set him up, or is turned into a walking sack of rotten meat. With Undead On Arrival, Justin Robinson gives us a hard boiled zombie tale, and one of the most brutally compellingly examinations of the living dead ...more
Kindle Edition, Books of the Dead, 300 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Books of the Dead Press (first published June 14th 2012)
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  95 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was recommended to me by a friend, and while I am not really a fan of zombie stories anymore--I think they've jumped the shark--I decided to take a chance on this one.

I'm glad I did.

From its roots in classic noir stylings, "Undead on Arrival" offers a stark reality of flawed characters who the reader comes to realize exist in a world where there is no such thing as a good guy. It's not that there are only bad guys in this story, just that every villain is the protagonist of his/her own
Paul Montgomery
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis: Zombies. Bastards. They're out there again. Taking out most of the population, and forcing a few survivors to hole up in a rough little town. With three power figures, constantly struggling to keep an uneasy peace, there's as much threat internally as there is externally. And of those three, one has just been given a death sentence. With mere hours left before he turns into one of the undead, Novak is determined to find his killer and take his revenge...

Robinson handles this nicely. An
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you check out the description and find yourself interested (which I assume you would be if you're also checking out the reviews!), you MUST read this novel. Undead on Arrival will not let you down- delivering what you demand from a horror novel and serving up so much more.

Mr. Robinson's writing juxtaposes stark and vivid, creating a black & white world full of explicit detail and action. He has extracted a tiny portion of the zombie apocalypse aftermath (simplified down to the survivalist
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cynical noir antihero meets zombies - sorry, geeks - in what's a pretty darn clever update on the zombie survival genre. I don't even LIKE zombie novels, and this one kept me reading - with distinctive, if rather unlikeable (in that wonderful noir way), characters and a race-to-the-finish-line plot, it was pretty hard to step away, even when the geeks were coming fast and furious and the humans were as awful as the monsters they were fighting. The rendering of a postapocalyptic mini-society wa ...more
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Undead on Arrival: Justin Robinson

Glen Novak is dead but is he really dead dead? Glen Novak was shot in the head and his thoughts and feelings have not been erased, well not yet anyway. Humans are practically extinct. The war that started over five years ago is over. The human race is gone so who is telling this story and how why does he have one day: 24 hours to make things right? What exactly does he think he will accomplish? Why?

This man’s entire world ended five years ago. A strange and mys
Carly Kirk
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ku-2017
Such a good book!!!!! I found this book because I read the author's short story "Gone Fishin'" in the Undead Worlds: A Reanimated Writers Anthology and liked it so much I was hoping he had written a full length book about zombies as well and Yay! He did! Seriously the characters in this book are so real, the horror of what's happened and continues to be their reality and the way they each deal with it... the way the author doesn't shy away from the horribleness that people inflict on each other, ...more
Steve Wands
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. A whodunnit with zombies.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant take on the zompoc. Gritty, grim, and bloody as you'd expect.
Red Lace Reviews
Glen Novak has just been killed, but not directly. Discovering a severed head in his locker just after being bitten by it, he sets out for revenge against whoever wants him out of the way. There's a lot of people to go through and not a whole lot of time, but he's a dedicated man. He'll break bones, even kill those who stand in his way. As the infection slowly overtakes him, he gets more desperate, but he'll stop at nothing to being down his murderer.

(Please be aware, before reading further, th
The first chapter of this book was unreal. I thought it was going to turn into a really cool zombie book and I was going to love it. And there are a lot of reasons why I didn't.

To be fair, this is probably more accurately somewhere in 1.5 star range. I didn't particularly like it, but some of it was ok. Which is the division between 1 star and 2 stars, so.

Listen, I get it. I don't mind reading books with swearing or explicit sexual content or super messed up things happening in them. I enjoy mor
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book last night, started in on the second chapter, and didn't stop turning pages until I was finished, if that tells you anything about how much I liked this book. It's a classic noir murder mystery set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, chronicling the tale of Glen Novak attempting to solve his own murder before being devoured by the zombie plague he has been purposely infected with.

I'm not normally into noir or murder mysteries (I enjoy them, but I've never focused on t
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With zombies saturating the market lately in the form of movies and books, I was a little skeptical about how I'd feel when I finished this book. There was absolutely no reason for me to worry.

Although it's a novel about zombies, I really enjoyed the fresh take on how survivors would act post-zombie apocalypse. (I'm assuming it's a fresh take; I don't really love zombie stories and haven't read a ton of them) And since it follows just one man and only for one day, I didn't get overwhelmed with s
Kevin Hogan
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A series of disconnected thoughts about Undead on Arrival:

Once the story starts to move, it doesn't stop for anything.

The zombie apocalypse has happened, and it weighs heavily over everything. It is not a lighthearted romp through post-industrial society. Post-apocalypse implies that the apocalypse has ended -- this is not the case here. The book is bleak, but manages not to be without hope.

The violence is matter-of-fact, but not fetishistic (zombie fiction of all media is prone to this trap).

Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glen Novak is a dead man. Unfortunately for the scumbag that had the guts to take him out, Novak will keep on cracking skulls and breaking bones until he either finds the piece of trash that set him up for a geek bite, or is forced to take himself out before he turns into a walking sack of rotten meat. With Undead On Arrival, Justin Robinson gives us a hard boiled take on the Zombie genre that stands out as one of the most compellingly brutal examinations of the living dead you’ll ever read. Thr ...more
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Novak is not a nice person. Then again, there are few nice people in noir novels; its how light the grey is that defines the protagonist. He does questionable things; he'll make you downright disgusted at times. But, due in large part to Mr. Robinson's deft characterization of the populace of Devon, you will root for him nevertheless. Undead on Arrival is a meld of dark noir, zombie fiction, and a bit of historical siege warfare in one that starts fast and continuously builds momentum until ...more
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Zombie Noir, in the style of "D.O.A." It's a hard world where a man makes his own laws, and Novak is obsessed with control. When he gets bitten, he knows he has about 24 hours left and is determined to exact revenge before he puts himself down. (He uses 'fag' and 'pussy' as perjorative terms, but he's not supposed to be a 'good' character and so I'd like to think the author used that as part of his portrayal as a complex and toxicly masculine character.)
I didn't realize it until I got on the Goo
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This zombie noir thriller is a suspenseful, satisfying read, as evidenced by the fact that I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day. Not to say I liked the characters; I didn't, as they were all pretty horrible human beings. But they were incredibly interesting, and actual characters and not simply cardboard cut-outs made to walk around a post-apocalyptic novel like dolls. No, these characters were despicable yet compelling and complex. The plot was intense, and the story world itself w ...more
Nik Morton
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Conrad's character Kurtz said 'The horror! The horror!' in The Heart of Darkness. He could have been alluding to this slice of zombie fiction. The horror is unrelenting, from the doom-laden beginning to the riveting end. This book is not for the squeamish, being peppered with blood, gore, swearing and sex, but it certainly maintains an uncanny quite clammy grip of suspense, while grimly examining the duality of human nature. (I wrote the above as an advance review for the book and still a ...more
Mana Taylor-Hall
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mana by: Justin Robinson
The world has ended and has started to rot.

With words as stark and vivid as the hatchet on the cover we see the world in decay. This is not the last society of good that has clung together against the hungry maw of the undead, this is where every hardened murdering psychopath that you need in a zombie movie ends up after the rest of his happy-go-lucky group gets slaughtered by the undead.

It is gritty. It is dark. Its humor is really dark. And it is fantastic story. With a colorful crew of charac
Clint Wolf
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Something is rotten in the Central California town of Devon... and it's not just the smell of the zombies besieging its walls. Welcome to Undead on Arrival, a novel that ingeniously fuses the hard-boiled detective genre with the horrors of the zombie apocalypse. Get ready for a two-fisted thrill ride of murder and betrayal as Glen Novak has only a matter of hours to find out who punched his ticket and get his revenge, before he succumbs to the virus in his veins that will truly make him a dead m ...more
J. Ringo
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson, Cornell Woolrich, Patricia Highsmith, Stephen King…and now Justin Robinson.

Seriously, if you like any of the above authors, then you’ve gotta read this book. Even though I usually don’t really like zombies that much, I read the description and the reviews and I was intrigued enough to give it a shot. Next thing I know, I’d finished the whole thing. Robinson really does an amazing job of creating an immersive world that you'll get lost in. I alrea
This is a story about an already bitten human-soon-to-be-zombie trying to figure out who wanted him dead. It's a sort of "who dunnit/apocolypse/zombie/thriller". The writing and suspense are real and true, albeit a bit unsavory at times. That's really my only warning about this book...Robinson sure likes his characters to talk like sailors.

Everything happens within a single day - the last of Novak's life, but seems an eternity. Time slows down then your heart races through gritty action scenes.
Tondalaya "irisheyes"
For starters, I am not a zombie fan, but I am a huge mystery fan, and a real lover of interesting and fully realized characters - And I LOVED this book! The dialogue is great, the characters are gritty and quirky and really interesting. It made me laugh, kept my interest and had me compulsively reading it every spare moment to find out what was going to happen. Great read.
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's fast-paced, full of zombies, with plenty of intrigue for those who like a mystery in addition to chilling scenes of humanity gone awry. Plus, Pulaski is probably one of the most entertaining supporting characters in a book ever.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Part horror... Part mystery... Part thriller... Sprinkle in a little sex and murder and you get a fresh take on the Zombie genre... But the Zombies are just a small part of the story... The real story is how the people react to the new World created by the Zombie Apocalypse... Five Stars...
Lucille Bransfield
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
That was a very different zombie book. I really liked how it was written, liked the characters, and the whole concept of telling the story after being bitten. I’m definitely going to recommend this book to my zombie loving friends. I really liked the twist at the end !! Not at all what I expected.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, m, novels
A solid, suspenseful read. It isn't so much a zombie book as a revenge mystery that takes place in a world that happens to contain zombies. That may seem like a minor point, but I think it makes all the difference in the world and is what sets this book apart from other zombie tales.
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Probably the best zombie apocalypse noir novel. Unfortunately, with this book I've realized that I'm just not into noir. But if you are, you should check this out cause it's really well done.
Jennifer and Jessica Brunelle
Good read

Nice to have different storyline and very good charActer development. Would read another book from this author. Recommended to all who enjoy zombie stories
Traci Loya
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it...I am so loving the zombie apocalypse genre right now, and this book was awesome!!!!
A day in the life (last day actually).
Great read. Highly recommend!!!!
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Much like film noir, Justin Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He splits his time between editing comic books, writing prose and wondering what that disgusting smell is. Degrees in Anthropology and History prepared him for unemployment, but an obsession with horror fiction and a laundry list of phobias provided a more attractive option.