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Zombie, Inc. (Zombie Inc, #1)
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Monthly Group Reads > September Group Read #2: Zombie, Inc

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim | 219 comments Mod
This group read will start 16 Sep. This is a placeholder for now.


message 2: by Tracey (last edited Sep 15, 2013 08:07PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tracey Hey everyone!
I volunteered to be mod for this discussion of Zombie, Inc. It's my first time doing it so call me on it if I do anything stupid or fail to do anything obvious :)

I set up the reading schedule almost identical to Jim's from the previous Group Read since the chapter count was so similar.
Sept 16-20...Prologue - Chapter 5
Sept 21-25...Chapters 6-10
Sept 26-30...Chapters 11-15

I'll try and come up with good discussion topics to get things rolling for each section, but of course if you guys have things that stand out that you want to talk about, let's here it!


message 3: by Elizabeth, Zombies! Mod (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elizabeth | 497 comments Mod
Tracey wrote: "Hey everyone!
I volunteered to be mod for this discussion of Zombie, Inc. It's my first time doing it so call me on it if I do anything stupid or fail to do anything obvious :)
"


You will be awesome!


Tracey Elizabeth wrote: "Tracey wrote: "Hey everyone!
I volunteered to be mod for this discussion of Zombie, Inc. It's my first time doing it so call me on it if I do anything stupid or fail to do anything obvious :)
"

Yo..."


Thank you, Elizabeth! I'm gonna try :)


message 5: by Debra (new)

Debra (spinynorma) | 47 comments I liked this book and am looking forward to reading what others thought about it. Unfortunately, I got the September reading order backwards and thought this was going to be discussed first so now I'm in kind of an awkward place for participating.

I've read several books since this one so the details aren't as clear as they would have been and also I'd be afraid of doing spoilers. I'll probably mostly lurk through the discussions but I may pop up from time to time if I have something to add that won't spoiler those who haven't finished the book.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) So I feel like a dummy cause I haven't participated in a group read yet, but saw that this was available for free for Amazon Prime members, and decided to give it a shot. I think it looks pretty good. Gonna start today!


Tracey Teresa wrote: "So I feel like a dummy cause I haven't participated in a group read yet, but saw that this was available for free for Amazon Prime members, and decided to give it a shot. I think it looks pretty go..."

It's my first read with this group as well so you're not alone!


Tracey Debra wrote: "I liked this book and am looking forward to reading what others thought about it. Unfortunately, I got the September reading order backwards and thought this was going to be discussed first so now ..."

Debra, can I just say that I love the imagery of you lurking. Say whatever you like whenever you like and just preface it with "SPOILER" so we'll know to be careful.


message 9: by Debra (new)

Debra (spinynorma) | 47 comments I may well feel compelled to leap out every now and then. :)


Teresa (teresatheterrible) Well, I just finished chapter 1 and I must say I am very intrigued. We've probably all read sooooo many zombie books, it's hard to find original material. I think this book is going to deliver in that department! I am loving the way some of Zombie, Inc.'s training manual and advertisements are included in the text. I was planning on a chapter a day, but I have a feeling that my day off tomorrow may include more than one chapter! I just really don't wanna jump the gun and finish the whole thing in one week, although it seems good enough so far to be a very tempting possibility. Can't wait to see how Dill handles herself on the next assignment. Also looking forward to seeing Carl develop as a character. By the by, for those of you that may not know, this title is part of Kindle's lender's library, which makes it 'free' to borrow. I'm almost ashamed to admit that was the selling point for me to participate in this group read. I just HATE paying so much for e-books....


Tracey Teresa, I agree. I was going to read a chapter a day but kept going a little today cause it was really good and interesting. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it because it is such a different take on the traditional zombie story. I like that already the question has been set up of is Dill a true trainee or is he being inspected? There's already some intrigue to hook you.


Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) I think I'll skip over the updates on this thread until Friday September 20th, the first comment due date, so as to avoid any spoilers.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) OOPS!!! Are we not supposed to comment until the 20th? I thought we just kinda read and posted as we saw fit, so long as it was within the chapters assigned during the time frame we are currently in (making sure to announce if we were including any spoilers in our comments, of course)...didn't mean to mess everything up! Soooo sorry, guys! :-(


Tracey I thought the same thing, Teresa. Tammy, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize. I'll keep quiet until the 20th as well. Sorry!


Teresa (teresatheterrible) You know what, Tracy? I think we should go ahead and keep up the discussion. It didn't appear that many people are participating anyway, so if Tammy wants to wait until Friday, she can, and you and I can discuss a chapter a day (keeps the doctor away ;-) ). I don't really think either of us spoiled anything, ESPECIALLY seeing as how everything either of us said was included in the first 5-10 pages! I'll be posting on chapter 2 later this evening. making sure to prominently announce any spoilers. Maybe what we can talk about is how the book focuses on the AFTERMATH of the Zombie apocalypse...its a breath of fresh air amongst so many zombie books that focus only on the infection, spread, and breakdown of society. Perhaps we can parallel the Zombies, Inc. world to our own 9-5 work-a-day grind....just a suggestion. Of course, if we are doing it totally wrong, Tammy can let us know; she seems to know more about group reads. But you are the mod, so you can make up your own rules! ;-)


message 16: by Tammy K. (last edited Sep 17, 2013 10:41AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) There is a difference in a "Group" read aka BOTM, and a Buddy Read.
Buddy reads are usually read/shared at a quicker pace, with less individuals participating. It's rather "down and dirty" with all members able to post discussion points and comments are less organised than a group read.
However both types of discussions have a time for "reading" followed by a time for "discussion" scheduled by the Discussion Leader @ the start of the read.
The reading time is longer in the BOTM so that all group members have the opportunity to read the reading assignments and join in on the discussion together. The separated reading time allotments/ discussion times, helps to give it a shared experience feeling, since we are reading individually after all. If the discussion gets too far ahead of the group members who are also reading the BOTM then it can becoming a de-motivating experience. Why join in when someone has likely covered what your thoughts are AND moved on to other points?
Also if someone comes to the thread and sees that this guy is going to do that, or that this event is really shocking or disappointing, Before the group's assigned reading time has expired it can "spoil" their reading experience.
It's like waiting in line at the movies for the previous crowd to get out of the show and hearing them talk about the best or worst parts of the movie you are going in to watch.
Personally speaking, I prefer the buddy reads over the BOTM because of it's quicker pace and open discussion style.
But I join in on the BOTM because it's supposed to promote group relationship through a "shared experience". It is a way of getting to know your fellow group members.
BOTM and buddy reads are a passing thing, but the interaction between the group members is what counts, these are two opportunities for us to bond and grow the group.
This is not a race to the finish line. It's a journey for group growth.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) That's exactly how I see it, Tammy. The only thing is, well...its already Sept. 17th, leaving us 3 days for the rest of the first chunk. I know I didn't post any spoilers and I didn't see any others, either. I just don't see the pleasure in, say, reading the first 5 chapters in one or two days, then having to wait a week to chime in. I don't see a set of discussion topics or focus points or questions for us to focus on, so I thought some lite-hearted commentary would be in good order. If anything, I think that my comments and the mod's comments would make someone MORE likely to want to participate. I saw that only 3 people participated in the first BOTM pick, so I would think you'd be thrilled to see more people participating! I've got a B.A. in English and we ALWAYS discussed the books AS we read them, otherwise people forget certain key elements and plot points. If you were behind on the reading schedule in lit classes, well, that was just too bad on your part if something got spoiled for you. I don't want to argue, but I feel like you are alienating other readers from piping up...I would hate for that to happen. I haven't had time for a book discussion in FOREVER and was really looking forward to this, but if I have to read 5 chapters, then wait til the 20th to 'get together' to discuss the chapters only on that day, its more like a chore than a fun thing. For instance, I work on Friday and Saturday. Does that mean that if I can't get on here those two days, I just miss out on discussing the first chunk of the book? That hardly seems fair...I've read in plenty of other book groups, and I've always seen them set up to pipe up and participate as you read along. I like to post everyday when doing a group read so that I feel as though I'm actively participating. I will admit that a lot of other groups set their reads up with a few subcatergories. Like a subcatergory for the first chunk, second chunk, spoilers, and oftentimes even a subcatergory just for book related chit-chat. While I'll be the first to admit that I've never done a 'buddy read,' it seems like perhaps that is going to be what the mod and I will be doing, seeing as how we don't even have a clue how many people are even participating in this read. Can we at least have a show of hands? Who plans to read this book? And maybe we can all throw in our two cents on whether we'd prefer to read, then wait til the end date to discuss (which, I think we can all tell I'm against- I think its too regimented and takes the fun and sense of community out of the read), or to discuss AS we read along. DO NOT GET ME WRONG!!!! I don't wanna see ANY spoilers, and I'm sure no one else does, either. But so long as you give a spoiler warning, I think its up to the participants whether they want to read posts including spoilers or not. So for now, how 'bout we try and get a gauge on how many people will be participating, and how they want to discuss the book. Sound fair? And please, Tammy, no hard feelings, OK? I don't want you to take anything personally. We all have different reading styles...now we just have to agree on a discussion style! :-P


Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) It takes time to see the benefits of each shared reading experience.
Patience, for me especially, is a learned attribute which I'm always trying to perfect.
It's always a mystery who will join in until first day of the Second comment time (this thread has that scheduled for September 26th Thursday).
You're correct Teresa that the first comment day can inspire more group members to join in the group read.
As I said before, Buddy Reads really are my favorite form of shared reads. They can be adjusted much quicker.
Generally they get a fair amount of group views as well.
Either way the reasoning behind the two reads are the same, a shared reading experience between group members.


Tracey Tammy, I definitely see your point on the BOTM being a slower experience. We'll keep all comments off the thread until the finish date of the section.
However, Teresa, if you want to message with me privately about the story and treat it as sort of a Buddy Read since we seem to be reading at the same pace, I would be all for that. Then when we reach the end time for the section, we can share our thoughts with the rest of the group and at that point will probably have some great topics for discussion and debate to throw out there for everyone else.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) I guess this style of 'group read' just isn't for me. I'm going to continue reading the book, because it's really captivated me, but I feel VERY stifled by not being able to comment on the actual group thread for days. I simply don't understand why everyone can't read and discuss as they go along...i'll admit it makes no sense whatsoever to me. By the time the 20th rolls around, I'll be done with the book and still be terrified to comment lest I spoil something. Thanks for the comments, guys, but I think I'll try and find a more interactive group read. It just seems more like a high school project- read chapters 1-5 by Sept 20th, then answer these questions. Not really my style, no offense to anyone. Where's the room for reflection and commentary that may not be directly related to the questions? I know the library's group reads get together once a week, but keep the conversation going on-line as well. I was super excited about this, too :-( Oh well, I'm sure you'll be happy to have me gone, seeing as how I seem to be throwing a ratchet into the well oiled machinery of your group reads. Just because they aren't like any group read I've ever participated in before does NOT mean it doesn't have its merits...I just don't feel as though the read, then wait, then answer questions style is cut out for me. I'm more of an in-depth reader that likes to point out correlations, allegories, and over-arching themes, and respond to other readers feelings and ideas whilst doing so. I might check back in on the 26th when I'm told people will start chiming in, but I'll be knees deep in another book by then. Sorry for screwing things up...twas not my intention. Thanks anyway, guys...


Tracey Teresa wrote: "I guess this style of 'group read' just isn't for me. I'm going to continue reading the book, because it's really captivated me, but I feel VERY stifled by not being able to comment on the actual g..."

Teresa, you absolutely did not screw it up! I'm new to this as well, it's my first MOD and it's my first group read with this group as well. I know Tammy has done at least one before so I'm taking her advice that this is how it's been done in the past and how most wish to proceed in the future.

I hate to see you leave the discussion!


Randy Harmelink | 2186 comments Teresa wrote: "It just seems more like a high school project- read chapters 1-5 by Sept 20th, then answer these questions. Not really my style, no offense to anyone. Where's the room for reflection and commentary that may not be directly related to the questions?"

Those questions aren't there to LIMIT discussion, but to promote it.

There's plenty of room for reflection and commentary outside of those questions. They are welcome and encouraged! It's just that they can't refer to something that occurs later in the book.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) Oh I TOTALLY understand that...I just can't wrap my mind around why we can't discuss chapters 1-5 AS we read them. Like I mentioned before, I had planned on adding a little 'update' like I did last night for Chapter 1 each day. Now that it's been explained to me that we are supposed to wait til after the 20th to say ANYTHING, it just doesn't seem that fun, engaging, or inclusive. I LOVE this book so far, and wasn't planning on ditching the discussion, but if there IS no discussion until after the 20 (or even the 26th!!!!!), I just don't see how it could be considered a group read. Group reads are for groups of people to input on. Not for groups of people to read, sit around for a week, answer a question or two, and repeat. Maybe I'm just an idiot all around. Maybe I'm just too stupid to understand how this works. I don't know. But I like to add bits and comments as I read. As someone mentioned, spoilers are like waiting in line at the movie and hearing others talking about the best and worst parts. My question is how is that ANY different than a book review???? Haven't we all read reviews that made a book sound better than it actually was, and vice versa? Can't we insinuate some things without spoiling the read? Where's the room for introspection and reflection if we can't comment until after a set of questions has been posted? I personally tend to write things IMMEDIATELY after I finish reading, while it's fresh in my mind, not a week later. I wasn't planning on finishing the book today, then putting up a synopsis immediately afterward, I just wanted to contribute a little each day. I guarantee you could read a review of this book right now that would contain more spoilers than I could let fly. Anyway, I've already commented WAY more than I was supposed to (its not the 20th, after all!), so I just want to apologize for messing up the group read. I was not familiar with this format, as its nothing like any group read I've participated in before. I'm sooooooo sorry, guys :'(


Tracey Personally, I don't have a problem with people discussing things that they are reading as they read them, just so long as those topics fall within the scheduled read time. i.e. only discuss chapters 1-5 during the first week scheduled for 1-5. I think it encourages a more active discussion, makes you more involved in the book.

Would people be alright if we did that instead of remaining mum until the end of the week as long as we notate where we are in the book. Like if I'm on Chapter 3 and want to talk about it, I would start a comment with ***CHAPTER 3***?


Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) If you're asking... I think a normal group read would provide the most opportunity for all group members to join in and fully participate.
If you're making an executive decision... I say, "Good luck in your goal of increased group member participation. It may work better, I've tried to get previous BOTM to move quicker but met with resistance from working group members as well as with members who have family obligations which limit their online time. I will see you around group threads."


Teresa (teresatheterrible) I'd OBVIOUSLY LOVE to do it that way, Tracey! But it seems to be met with an awful lot of resistance...as I've said a gajillion times, every group read I've participated in has been set up to actively post as much as possible. I guess that's not the way it goes in this group, though. It doesn't seem right that only you and I should be PMing our opinions and thoughts back and forth, then waiting for the 20th or 26th to roll around to see what others thought. I guess what's 'normal' to one is completely abnormal to another. Can you explain what exactly a 'normal group read,' according to this group is, Tammy? Perhaps that would help clear things up. For instance...normal group reads to me include members voicing up at the very beginning that they are participating, not waiting until 2/3rds of the book is done. Also, the time constraint thing makes no sense, because I, for one, CANNOT participate on Friday or Saturday because of work, but I CAN today, tomorrow, part of Thursday, and Sunday...


Tracey It was a question, Tammy. I was trying to find a solution that would make everyone happy and keep the Group Read as a group, losing no participants. It sounds like there is no happy medium to be met and for that I am sorry. I tried. We will proceed with the standard way of doing the read, setting the goals and all members will hold comments until the time when all participants are planning on having the chapters done so that no one is left behind or feels excluded from the discussion. Unless of course Jim or one of the moderators wants to change that. It's up to them. As I said, this is my first time moderating and I was only trying to keep everyone involved as a group.


Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) Tracey,
I'm out of this "group" experience, I've met my "bonding" quota for the day/week possibly month.
Honestly I have thought that the BOTM can drag on. But then again it is called book of the month, rather than book of the week.
In various group (not just the zombies! Group) I've noticed that the BOTM and Buddy Reads schedules rarely make everyone happy. Such is life, eh?!
Good reading to you both (all).


Tracey Tammy, I'm sorry to hear that. I have no plans to moderate a read in the future so please don't let this one bad experience stop you from reading with the group going forward.


message 30: by Jim (new)

Jim | 219 comments Mod
Moderators Note:

Bottom line up front: Readers can post their thoughts anytime during the reading period but should restrict their entries to the designated chapters for that reading segment and avoid/mark spoilers.

For the group reads, I think it is appropriate for people to discuss the book during the reading period as long as people avoid spoilers in their commentary. It allows for continuous book discussion. Those that would rather wait till the end of the reading period to discuss their thoughts can simply wait till that time to click on the link and post their thoughts.

The questions posted by the moderator are simply to delve deeper into the material and stimulate discussion but they are not the only discussion points.

As people read at different speeds, they should be allowed to post their thoughts as long as it is restrained to the chapters designated. Those that read slower can simply avoid have their reading experience affected by avoiding the thread till they are ready.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) Thanks Jim and Tracey....I feel A LOT better now, although I'm pretty upset that Tammy appears to have ditched the read. It was never my intention to alienate anyone, and for that I'm sorry. I wish she would at least come back for the 20th to input how she feels about the first 5 chapters. I know she's been an integral part of this group, and I was very much looking forward to her input. I feel like a newcomer that ruined everything :-( I REALLY hope Tammy holds no ill will towards me. At least we can consider this read a success if more than 3 people participate, seeing as how the first one of September only had 3 participants. Either way, as long as we have fun and respect each other, everything should be A-OK...I hope I wasn't too much of a drama queen; it's just been a LONG time since I've been able to take part in a Goodreads group read, and I felt alienated from the get-go, which certainly won't help us gain more readers! Anyway, enough on this subject...we will post as we want (within the proper time frame, of course). HAPPY READING, ALL!!! :-)


Randy Harmelink | 2186 comments Coming back in a little late...

One of the things I had suggested before is to have separate discussion topics. One for the first third of the book. Another for the first two-thirds of the book. Another for the complete book.

Then, the reading schedule doesn't really matter. You just join into whichever topic you're ready for.


message 33: by Debra (new)

Debra (spinynorma) | 47 comments I like Randy's idea!


Tracey Randy, would you suggest having different threads for each discussion topic to make sure you don't walk in on information before you're ready?


Randy Harmelink | 2186 comments That's exactly what I'm suggesting...


Tracey Well, I'm pretty sure Jim wants to kill me at this point for letting this Group Read run so far off the rails, so let's stay the course on this one for now :)
But I do think that's an awesome suggestion for future reads. It would really give us all the freedom to read at our pace and eliminate all this conflict and worry about spoilers.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) Before I start rambling about the book...YES!! Randy, you are EXACTLY right! That's what I was trying to explain in a previous post...different subcatergory folders for each chunk so you can move ahead at your own pace. Perhaps something we can try next time? Anyway, about Zombies, Inc...WOW....just WOW!!! If you are on the fence about whether or not to read it, PLEASE do...its so engaging. I have finished the first chunk and look forward to the discussion with other group members, but I'm afraid everyone is going to boycott this read cause of all the *ahem* drama. If you skip this one, you'll be doing no one but yourself a disservice, believe me. The character development is spot on, there is plenty of foreshadowing and hinting around, and there are absolutely stunning examples of beautifully grotesque prose mixed in. Christine Dougherty is most certainly a talented writer rather than a fly-by-nite pulp fiction trashy writer with absolutely no eloquence about her. Dill and Carl make a great team, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing how they affect each others' outlooks. I think the setting of this book is perfect...POST apocalyptic, meaning we are seeing humanity's best efforts to remain human. As I mentioned, there are LOTS if little hints and words that are kinda leaving you hanging, like "What the hell is a 'limber?' " (that's a question I asked myself, and still don't know the answer to ;-) ). I think this is a GREAT way for Christine to keep her audience captivated. It sure is working on me! Any thoughts about anything, guys? Do you all prefer the blood and gore of the apocalyptic struggle, or reading about humanity try to rebuild? Oh, and be prepared for #5 to be one hell of a chapter! I PROMISE you'll be begging for more! ;-)


Randy Harmelink | 2186 comments Teresa wrote: "Christine Dougherty is most certainly a talented writer rather than a fly-by-nite pulp fiction trashy writer with absolutely no eloquence about her."

I've picked up 12 of her books for free so far, but read none. If I do like this book, I may have a lot of reading ahead of me. :)


Teresa (teresatheterrible) How far in are you, Randy? I'd love to see this book in hard copy format to see the beginnings of each chapter...you know, the 'Training manual' and 'Employee Code' parts? I wonder how they are separated in the hard copy, because in the Kindle version, they just kind of meld into the text. Anyway, I'm sure you'll enjoy this read. I'm pretty picky, especially with such an overloaded genre. This is proving to be quite a gem, though, and I'm stoked I get to read it with you guys! :-)


Randy Harmelink | 2186 comments I haven't started yet. I'm still trying to get caught up on the Darlings of Decay buddy read.

However, so far I've only read one story there that I really liked. Most have been a waste of time. The one I liked was the first "episode" of Jacqueline Druga's Zombie Battles. I immediately copied my free purchase of the first 3 episodes over to my PaperWhite.


Tracey Teresa, I wondered that too about "limbers"! I like that there's a lot of lingo to learn in this weird yet familiar world. (Chapter One SPOILER coming, kind of) It feels like normal life (guy going out to get the paper) but it's really, jarringly not (guy almost gets eaten by his own zombie going out to get the paper). It makes it feel kinda sarcastic, a little tongue in cheek funny.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) I agree, Tracey. I think that is what is really gonna make this book worth the read....seeing how society has been 'put back together' again. Society has seemed to reach a 'stable' point in its reconstruction. Although I'm wagering that stability is going to get shaken up, giving us our plotline ;-)


Tracey Discussion questions! If you haven't read all the way through Chapter 5 the last question will contain spoilers. Reader beware...

1) How do you feel about the futuristic, high technology elements of this story considering traditional zombie lit throws mankind back to the Dark Ages? Is it refreshing? Jarring? Fun?

2) What are your thoughts on the corporation Zombie, Inc? Is it way too involved in people's lives (i.e. filtering through a person's phone records to split up the bill) or does it seem efficient and necessary?

3) What is your take on Z.A.P.T. and it's ideology? Do you agree with it, disagree with it? Is it a gray area?


Teresa (teresatheterrible) Super questions, Tracey! I wish I wasn't opening the store tomorrow, 'cause I'd stay up and post on them. I gotta get some sleep for now, but I'm mulling these questions over as I type. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon/evening with some input for the group! Happy reading, all! :-P


Tracey Teresa, I look forward to it! And you were right, the end of Chapter 5 was a cliffhanger :)


Teresa (teresatheterrible) Alright....Here goes:
#1. From my math, I'm getting that it is around year 2053. The Plague occurred in 2027, & it's mentioned that Dill is 26, so that figures up to be 2053 (or roundabouts). So, we are talking about a plague that has wiped out most of humanity (and, as part of the story pointed out, what DIDN'T get decimated by the plague got screwed up with panic, fear, and stupidity- I liked that they mentioned that, because I think that's exactly what would happen in the aftermath of a real modern day near extinction event) 26 years in the past. I would think after an initial period of, say, 10 years, humanity (or what's left, anyway) would begin to rebuild itself. This gives us 15 years to develop all the zombie control technology. As Carl mentions at one point, social media and satellite technology had been in place for YEARS before the plague. He mentions that they never actually lost cell phones and such (although they almost had to go through a period where they were unusable). So we are talking about a population that is already used to a certain modicum of technology. I think that the way Zombies, Inc. provides home defense, clean-up, control, and such is only natural. After a Malthusian Swing type event like this, I believe that the remaining population would be scared enough to want to return to 'normal' life as soon as possible. I think the reason there isn't any 'dark age' type stuff going on is obviously because that part of the NEE is over. The fact that you can buy 'zombie property guards' is quite jarring, but makes sense in a strange way. These people want protection and safety at any cost. The hive like nature of their town illustrates this as well. I, personally, enjoy these types of stories (you know, after the death and gore and into the rebuilding stage) more than the blood and guts zombie tales. I think it takes more talent to come up with a good 'reconstruction story' than an apocalyptic doom type book (with several exceptions, of course). I think we will be seeing more of these rebuilding tales, seeing as how the apocalyptic genre is just sooooo saturated now. It reminds me of the 'My Life As a White Trash Zombie' series in many ways. Anyway, that was one hell of a rambling answer, but in short, I think all the technology is necessary to keep the survivors strong, positive, and safe. I would definitely be using some of Zombies, Inc 's services myself, I admit (although I have a feeling they JUST MIGHT turn out to be the bad guys in the end...who knows?). So yes, I find the technology slightly jarring, but absolutely necessary.

#2. This question kinda brings me back to my lurking suspicion that this gigantic corporation just may turn out to be the bad guys. I definitely feel they are too involved in people's lives. I think this probably happened because after the plague, people would be more than willing to give up privacy and rights, just to be safe, fed, and sheltered. As time went on, the citizens probably just got used to it, and think nothing of it, especially those that actually went through the plague. The whole scanner in the wrist thingy that keeps track of your money, your identity, and most likely your whereabouts, and who knows WHAT else (hell, the damn thing might even be able to record and act as a radio...who knows?), is DEFINITELY creepy as all get out. However, I think these things would have been more necessary right after the plague. The younger people like Dill don't remember the struggle, the death, the despair. So I can see why they question it a lot more than the older folks. Also, it appears that if you want to eat, at least in New Trenton, you'd better be an employee of Zombies, Inc! Where else are you gonna work, the 7-11? LOL And I'm sure you HAVE to sign away basically all your rights to work there. After all, we've all got glimpses of the employee dress code, 'touching and staring' rules, and the paranoia Carl feels when questioning whether Dill is an Efficiency Agent (I think that's what he called it- can't look it up, as I'm typing on my Kindle lol) in disguise. What I'm curious about now is whether or not Zombies, Inc is global, or whether they have competitors out there. I'm kinda comparing them in my head to Wal-Mart, so I'm assuming they are everywhere. I know, I know, another WAY too long answer. But in short, they are DEFINITELY too involved in people's lives, but what are the alternatives? Live in Old Trenton? No thank you!

#3. I think Z.A.P.T. and it's ideology is ridiculous! This is the type of thing that would pose a real threat to the safety of the general population if this group began releasing zombies or something equally ridiculous. I believe that anyone who had seen the plague first-hand would be completely against this group. We all know that once you are bit, it's curtains for you, as well it should be. Yes, I've read zombie books where the zombies can control themselves and subsist on man-made brains, but I don't think that's going on in this book. It would most certainly be a gray area for me if there was a way the zombies could maintain some of their former selves, but so far, I don't think those are the type of zombies we are dealing with here. However, I CAN see the appeal for the younger crowd. They want rights for themselves, and I think they displace it by starting an underground movement as a way of breaking away from the set social order. Z.A.P.T is going to cause quite a bit of trouble, I'm guessing!

On a general note, I absolutely LOVE the juxtaposition between Carl and Dill. Carl is hardened. He's been there, done that. Dill is soft...she knows no other life. She can't possibly fathom the way things used to be. She even says that holidays seemed silly to her because they blew through so many resources. She knows nothing but a life of thrift. I think this is where the real genius of this work comes into play. Dougherty couldn't have paired two better characters together. I have a feeling Dill is going to soften Carl, and vice versa. The end of chapter 5 was like a WOW moment! It was AWESOME, but so sad. I never suspected Dill of being in Z.A.P.T., and I felt myself getting teary at Carl's attempt to simply fall asleep. I think their growing bond is going to make for some great conflict (which will, in turn, make for some kick ass reading!). I'm so excited for the next section!!!

Great questions, by the way, Tracey! How's everyone else liking the book so far? Oh, and in case you can't tell, I'm a rambler lol. I just have a pool many thoughts running through my head when I read a good book. Sorry if my answers are muddled and disjointed...I gave it my best shot, for what it's worth! :-) Happy reading, all!


Tracey 1) You're right, Tammy, the time frame makes sense and it is nice to see a rebuilding of civilization story instead of just the usual initial desetruction. I feel like the technology is a fresh take on the zombie tale. It's such a sharp contrast between the zombies, which are humans at their utterly most base with no thought and really just disgusting messes, to this sleek, high tech gadget filled existence. It's smart and different and I have definitely been enjoying it.

2) I hadn't even thought of whether or not ZI is global, good point! Reading the opinions of Dill and Carl, I can't decide who I agree with. On the one hand I agree with Dill that, as you said, it's a necessity. You work for ZI or you starve so of course they are agreeing to whatever they need to in order to work there. But I like that you also have Carl to kind of nod your head with and scowl at all of the intrusions ZI makes into people's lives because he's like us. He knew a world where that level of involved was too much. I definitely feel like ZI is a problem. A massive one. Maybe it's the present day Big Brother fear in me, but I don't like ZI one bit :)

3) Z.A.P.T. gave me some pause and I was surprised. I agree, they could be a dangerous group if they released zombies the way animal rights activists release test animals these days, but I see the point in both groups. Though since we're dealing with the dead of our loved ones, I kind of look at the ZAPT train of thought the same way I see organ donors and medical testing on the deceased. You want your family treated with respect and care, even after they're gone, and having them standing in someones lawn like a garden gnome is kind of a slap in the face. Also, the kind of violent testing that is obviously going on (what Carl saw when one broke out of RD was gruesome!), if you saw that and it was your grandma or your parents, you'd be pissed! So I get it, but I do agree that if they go radical with their protest of it, which they undoubtedly will!, then it's a huge problem.

Yes, the end of Chapter Five was awesome! I love that Carl is wavering back and forth between wanting to help Dill and just plain being annoyed with her. It gives him so much depth, depth that makes sense and that I can understand. And I love that Dill is in ZAPT but that her heart isn't in it. She doesn't seem to really be too involved in her own life and Carl is trying to escape his so I'm really curious to see how they affect each other in the future.


message 48: by Debra (new)

Debra (spinynorma) | 47 comments I liked this book a lot. I wasn't totally sure I would when I first started but it really grew on me. As others have commented, I especially liked the the characters of Carl and Dill and the evolution of their relationship together.

1)I liked the futuristic high tech aspects of this book, although it's not the type of zombie setting I generally prefer. I thought it worked for this story.

It reminded me a bit of the world in Mira Grant's trilogy. The details of the worlds were different but both followed the idea of technology bouncing back after the initial apolcalyptic panic and mayhem. Both also had the people become almost complacent about living in a world where zombies are a fact of their lives now.

2) I thought the way that the corporation of Zombie Inc was such a huge part of their lives was troublingly believable. Having the people live in a cash-free society, buying everything via credits deducted from their pay, is not that far off from our present--at least up to a point.

We may not go as far as this society does but I think most of us do make the majority of our purchases through debit cards rather than with cash these days. An argument could be made that debit cards are the precursor for this future way.

The degree to which literally everything was not only paid through debiting your pay but was also obtained through the company (Your "phone", your housing, etc) kind of put me in mind of those old towns that were built around a business.

Said business (I believe mines did this a lot) provided your housing and the only store was owned by them. You could charge what you needed but the rates were high so they essentially owned the workers as they could never really get out from under the debt.

I did find myself wondering how the people who didn't work for Zombie Inc got by. The book mentions how desperate people are to work there because of how desperate life is otherwise but I was curious about how they paid for food, shelter, etc if they didn't have the ability to get it through working at ZI.

One thing I liked about the book was the juxtaposition of story and exerpts from the company manual. I thought it was a clever and effective way to give a lot of background into the culture of the people living in this book's world.

Some of it, particularly the painfully spelled out lists of accepted work behavior and the excruciatingly detailed list of ways you were NOT allowed to interact, I had very little trouble seeing happen as an over-the-top outgrowth of more current sexual harrassment policies and such.

Sadly, I could easily see how a lot of businesses (Including where I work) would dearly love to have the kind of control over their workers' lives that ZI has. I suspect many would dance with joy at being able to make you jump through those kind of hoops to take a day off or call in sick.

As to the question the moderator set for this section, YES, I think ZI was way too involved and controling when it came to their employees' lives, especially away from the job.

I don't think it was necessary so much as convenient for the company and with things the way they were following the zombie uprising, they could get away with it. Efficient? I suppose I'd give them that but I think the efficiency was of the sort more beneficial to ZI than to its workers.

3) ZAPT was one of the weakest parts of this story for me while I was reading it, mainly because I thought they were idiots. The only member we really got to "meet" was Dill's boyfriend and he seemed so two dimensional compared to the other characters.

I changed my mind somewhat after reading Tracey's post on the subject. Her point about these zombies that ZI uses in its business being not unlike cadavers used for research and organ donation was thought-provoking.

Yes, they are no longer living people,but even so, they once were and they should be treated with some respect. As she said, having them stand in someone's garden like a bitey plaster gnome is pretty much a slap in the face.

I hadn't considered that aspect of it. The impression I had gotten about the group was more that they didn't think zombies ought to be captive and that the members were too young to remember and grasp the danger inherent in the zeds.

To be honest, I still pretty much think ZAPT is made up of a bunch of idjits but Tracey's take on it did make me look at their objections more seriously.

Somewhat off topic, there's a movie called Fred that I think many of you might find interesting. This book reminded me of it somewhat in that both involve a society that has adjusted to a world with zombies and developed technology to control them.

The company behind this technology in the film plays a huge part in everyone's life and, like in Zombie Inc, it can be argued that it is a central character as well.

Zombie Inc is a darker take on this world. While I wouldn't call the movie strictly a comedy, it's very stylized and has more comedic elements. I've described it to friends as a depiction of the kind of world you might get if George Romero and Tim Burton had a child together.

Back to the book discussion, I'd like to add my vote to those who thought the questions for this discussion were truly excellent.


Teresa (teresatheterrible) Some of it, particularly the painfully spelled out lists of accepted work behavior and the excruciatingly detailed list of ways you were NOT allowed to interact, I had very little trouble seeing happen as an over-the-top outgrowth of more current sexual harrassment policies and such.

Sadly, I could easily see how a lot of businesses (Including where I work) would dearly love to have the kind of control over their workers' lives that ZI has. I suspect many would dance with joy at being able to make you jump through those kind of hoops to take a day off or call in sick.

LOL!!! I totally understand this one...my company would LOVE to control us this much! And I agree with you about enjoying the excerpts of the training manuals, codes, etc.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Tracey's take on Z.A.P.T. The thought had not even once crossed my mind that perhaps it would be my father or boyfriend acting as someone's "pet" zombie lawn gnome. It is very disconcerting. I am super thrilled to see your comment, Debra! I'm hoping this group read gets a little more active. But even if it doesn't, Tracey and I will 'discuss the hell outta this book' as she put it! ;-) And Tracey...I believe you referred to me as 'Tammy' in an earlier post >:( lol ;-)


Randy Harmelink | 2186 comments >> 1) How do you feel about the futuristic, high technology elements of this story...

I didn't think anything was technology in advance of what we have today. Well, maybe the laser to slice up the zombie. But the society the author has created is interesting. But it's a little over the top, so I don't know whether I should be laughing at some points, or taking it seriously.

2) What are your thoughts on the corporation Zombie, Inc?

I keep thinking of the Umbrella Corp from Resident Evil. It certainly appears that they've replaced the government, and keep close tabs on everything. I think we're headed that way, so it makes sense. For the most part, I think most of us ignore the things that make life easier, even if we may lose a little privacy and freedom in exchange.

But when push comes to shove, I fear the corporation can just remove a troublemaker with very little trouble. Maybe the lab tech turned zombie was even one of those?

I do think ZI will turn out to be the big bad.

3) What is your take on Z.A.P.T. and it's ideology?

Idiots. Unless they have the capability to restore the zombies to people, they're just dead flesh. Of course, we haven't been told if zombies retain any memory or intelligence. In some stories, going from human to zombie isn't much more than going through puberty.

As Carl thought, put a ZAPT member in a room with a zombie and a weapon, and let's see how long their ideology lasts.

Teresa: What I'm curious about now is whether or not Zombies, Inc is global, or whether they have competitors out there.

Good point. I was thinking they were all that is left. But it could just be one region.

And what would it be like to live in areas outside of ZI control? Are there still hordes of zombies out there that are kept out of the inners and outers and the suburbs?

If there is something other than ZI, I would think there would have been discussion of it. Like Dill or Carl asking if they ever thought of going to work for the competitor.

Teresa: Carl is hardened. He's been there, done that. Dill is soft...she knows no other life.

Hmm. I don't know if I would call her soft. Just inexperienced. She took out the one zombie pretty easily. But she does seem unsure of a lot of things, including ZAPT.

And, then, as you noted, we see that Carl has a soft inner core as well. He's almost a split personality from what we've seen.

Debra: I did find myself wondering how the people who didn't work for Zombie Inc got by.

Yes. So far, we've seen nothing about the world outside of ZI-controlled territory. If there were no more zombies in the world, I can't see people living under ZI control.

OTOH, a really evil corporation could have a residential area surrounded by a zombie buffer. To keep the people in. But then the rest of the world is separated off from those zombies. Like several concentric circles -- the residential core, the zombie belt, and everything else.

Debra: One thing I liked about the book was the juxtaposition of story and exerpts from the company manual.

That's what I didn't like about the book. But I've always thought such things were troublesome even today. I knew a number of co-workers that had met at work and married. When we went through "Sexual Harassment Training" (how could someone name a class that?), the instructor told us we shouldn't do anything that someone else would find offensive. I told her I found that offensive. I was never into the corporate politics thing. They always seemed more of a CYA thing.

Debra: Yes, they are no longer living people,but even so, they once were and they should be treated with some respect. As she said, having them stand in someone's garden like a bitey plaster gnome is pretty much a slap in the face.

I'm just not getting that. A body is not the person. Anyone could go through plastic surgery and you'd never recognize them. Isn't the whole point of an organ donor that someone else can benefit from their death? If so, using the zombies in this way does that as well.


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