Customer Reviews for

Pariah

Average Rating 3.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(2)

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting and Intriguing

    I really liked this book. I'm currently addicted to zombie novels and this one caught my eye while searching on B&N. It's a little different than a normal zombie book because the zombies aren't really the central focus. They just happen to be the reason why the cast of characters happen to be together. The characters aren't very likable and all have fatal flaws, but the author brings it all together. I really liked it when I found out who the "Pariah" really was.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    Neither an intelligent social commentary, nor a thrilling zombie novel.

    One of the biggest selling points, it seems, for Pariah is the fact that it is not a typical zombie novel; it has zombies in it, but they are not the main focus of the story. Although this is an unusual aspect in a zombie novel, it is little more than that; Pariah does absolutely nothing intelligent with the plot it presents.

    Perhaps the fact that I have been spoiled by reading mainly classics, you know, books that are actually good, has made it difficult for me to appreciate a simpler novel, but I find that unlikely, because I happen to be a fanatic of zombies, vampires, and other grotesque things of the horror and science fiction genres. Therefore, let me make it clear that this book merely requires someone with sufficient knowledge of literature and modern horror novels to uncover the fact that while Pariah may attempt to combine the two, it ends up leaving both genres clumsily mashed together.

    With a book like Pariah, where there are several people holed up in an apartment complex from a zombie plague in New York City slowly starving to death, its basic plot has a lot of potential for an author with the skills to exploit them, possibly in a Lord of the Flies-esque novel; Bob Fingerman, however, is apparently neither a skillful nor intelligent author, as this book illustrates, and is better off sticking to graphic novels.

    The characters are very, VERY stereotypical, flat, and static: a nerdy, lonely artist, a closeted and rage-prone jock, an old Jewish couple, a housewife losing her looks, a metalhead from a small town of radical Christians, and a cool black guy. Along with their highly predictable character traits, none of these characters go through any significant changes as the story progresses, other than most of them dying rather predictably. There is also a girl called Mona, who has no personality, at all, and is ignored by zombies for indeterminable reasons. This character shows up about halfway through the book, and, due to the time of arrival and her immunity to zombies, was obviously the product of the author not knowing what to do with the story or getting lazy once it reached the point that the characters were all out of supplies.

    The book is also devoid of any themes or motifs, unless one considers it to be a theme that people suck; while that is a valid philosophical question, if the author was attempting to communicate that theme, he did so poorly. Most of the characters end up going crazy for no apparent reason.

    The writing was decent in some parts, such as the quasi-stream of consciousness writing, which I found interesting, but other than that, there was nothing about Fingerman's writing style that stood out. The descriptive details in the story were also, in some cases, quite disgusting; I understand the need to have gore and such in a zombie novel, but was it really necessary for him to provide SEVERAL sex scenes involving incredibly malnourished people, and even two men in one case? No, it was not necessary and was very offensive as well.

    Now if this were all just part of a typical zombie novel, I could maybe see this book working out; however, there is almost no zombie action whatsoever in this book. I cannot even remember one instance of one of the survivors killing a zombie, and the zombies essentially did nothing in the story besides stay in the background as an environmental factor.

    All in all, I'd say this book does very poorly in both genres it tries to incorporate.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exciting fast-paced zombie horror tale

    not bitten. It occurred so fast, zombie became the dominant species on the planet. Humans were food and forced to hide behind barriers. New York City, for instance, contains eight million of these reanimated dead and little pockets of hiding mortals.

    In an apartment building in Manhattan, a few souls remain concealed, but are running out of water and food. From windows they can see the supermarket, but zombies hang out on the streets seeking fresh flesh. The besieged group see hope when a female teenage human walks freely while the zombies avoid her. Mona brings food and drinks as she moves in with the adults at 1620 York Avenue, but the danger remains constant.

    This is an exciting fast-paced zombie horror tale that grips the audience early and never let's up as it will remind readers of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (and to a lesser degree the Will Smith movie). The vivid opening in which zombies walk the streets while humans are locked behind barriers is riveting with an implied social spin as to who owns the neighborhoods. Additionally with civilization collapsed, the humans trapped inside an apartment with no electricity prove horror comes in many shapes and forms as Bob Fingerman provides a taut thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Funny, and real!

    Low key humor mixed in with the real life problems after the zombie apocolypse....didnt want to put this one down to sleep. I can really see idiots with these issues, people can be so stupid!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Meh...

    I wanted to like it, I really did. I liked the premise but was never caught up in it. Other reviewers seem to take issue with the sex scenes, but truthfully they were the only things that made the charcters even remotely three dimensional. Also, the Pariah.... we never really get answers about why she is immune, we are told that she was born addicted to drugs and then left to hang in the wind. Overall an ok beach read, but I feel like the author was aiming higher, with a stab at social theory in zombieland, and just fell short. Read World War Z instead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Not good.

    I was going to write a detailed review. However, I do not think it is worth my time and effort after reading this book. Pariah was an interesting concept, but poor in execution.

    I get that it was supposed to be about the mental, physical, and moral breakdown of the living people trapped inside a high rise apartment building surrounded by the dead. Tormented by boredom, no modern amenities, and only a little food and water. They could even see the grocery store, but everyone died trying to get there. So these people simply gave up. A long time later the pariah, Mona, is introduced. This plot could have been done in a way that was psychologically compelling.

    Unfortunately, for the reader, Pariah was not written that way. The pariah is not introduced until the last third of the book. The many grotesque sex scene descriptions were unnecessary. Reading about a character reading is dull. More so, when there are long descriptions so you feel like you are actually reading whole chapters along with the character. There was so much filler in this book. There were too many details and not enough to keep the storyline moving along at all. After the first 50 pages, I realized that this book should have been a novella or a longer short story. It went on too long.

    After a short while, I realized that I did not care what happened to any of these two dimensional stereotypical characters. Even Mona, the pariah, was a flat character. She was protected from zombies and even repelled them. This could have been a great character, but she was not.

    In this novel, I keep thinking about what could have made this story robust and interesting, but in reality it all falls short of mildly compelling. It is overall disappointing. The concept was good, but was ruined by this book.

    Please do not waste your time or money. There are many well written novel zombie stories avaible. Try one of those instead.

    -AvidReader

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    a social commentary... not a zombie novel

    this was not a zombie novel. sure there was zombies in the story. they even attacked and ate humans. however, the were such a small portikn of the story that it deema nessiscary to state that this book is about socailbissues that are previlante today abd wat woukd happen is zombie plague arrose. very boring

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 1, 2011

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