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Allison Hewitt Is Trapped
     

Allison Hewitt Is Trapped

4.3 20
by Madeleine Roux
 

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From the New York Times bestselling author of ASYLUM comes one woman's story as she blogs - and fights back - the zombie apocalypse

Allison Hewitt and her five colleagues at the Brooks and Peabody Bookstore are trapped together when the zombie outbreak hits. Allison reaches out for help through her blog, writing on her laptop and utilizing the military's

Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of ASYLUM comes one woman's story as she blogs - and fights back - the zombie apocalypse

Allison Hewitt and her five colleagues at the Brooks and Peabody Bookstore are trapped together when the zombie outbreak hits. Allison reaches out for help through her blog, writing on her laptop and utilizing the military's emergency wireless network (SNET). It may also be her only chance to reach her mother. But as the reality of their situation sinks in, Allison's blog becomes a harrowing account of her edge-of-the-seat adventures (with some witty sarcasm thrown in) as she and her companions fight their way through ravenous zombies and sometimes even more dangerous humans.

"Madeline Roux manages to answer the eternal question all of us must ask ourselves eventually: "When the zombie apocalypse comes (and it will come), how will I handle it?" For my part, I hope I manage it with as much humanity and determination as Allison. But I would like to make a request for bigger weapons."
--Christine Warren, New York Times bestselling author of The Others series

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Plot gaps diminish this otherwise exciting horror adventure debut. When the zombie apocalypse breaks out, bookstore clerk Allison escapes the titular trap and finds a group of survivors at a community center, including handsome astronomy professor Collin. Complications--aside from the usual attacks by ravenous undead--include religious zealots, paramilitary survivalists, and Collin's estranged and intimidating wife. As Allison blogs about her experience on SNet, an emergency military network, commenters provide some sense of the disaster's scope, but there's little explanation for how she created the blog and why no other sites are mentioned. Likewise, a pivotal early attack by a zombified squirrel is ignored later as the heroes traipse through the woods ignoring all nonhumanoid threats. These flaws aren't enough to hide Roux's obvious talent for witty characters and gory action sequences, but they will frustrate attentive readers. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

“Finally, a zombie apocalypse done right. ALLISON HEWITT IS TRAPPED is a smart and furious thrill-ride, touched with just the right mix of humor and romance. Madeleine Roux's stunning characters and breathless action are unforgettable.” —Ilona Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of Magic Bleeds

“Madeline Roux doesn't just offer an engaging and addictive adventure story, though she's certainly done that; she manages to answer the eternal question all of us must ask ourselves eventually: "When the zombie apocalypse comes (and it will come), how will I handle it?" For my part, I hope I manage it with as much humanity and determination as Allison. But I would like to make a request for bigger weapons.” —Christine Warren, New York Times bestselling author of The Others series

“I've never laughed so much while being so creeped out...Roux did the impossible: she made zombies funny.” —MaryJanice Davidson, New York Times bestselling author

“Roux achieved a perfect blend of humor, horror, and heartbreaking sadness.” —Reader to Reader Reviews

“...damn entertaining and fun book... The combination of humor and action really work here and it's a wonderful way to spend a few hours with a smile on your face, and all the lights on...” —Crimespree Magazine

Library Journal
The worst has happened—Allison and her coworkers are trapped at Brooks and Peabody Bookstore. Outside their safe haven is a crowd of the infected—zombies. No one knows what has happened, but luckily the WiFi still works. Somehow the government has enabled a backup Internet system that allows communication. In a series of blog posts, Allison records her experiences and communicates with other survivors to help her small village fend off the dreaded infected. This fast-paced thrill ride offers an eye-opening look at what is more dangerous—humans or their zombie counterparts. Gory in places and certainly intense, the story features strong character development and plot movement. Some suspension of disbelief is required, as Allison's group of survivors easily acquire weaponry and sustain themselves on Doritos and SoBe for longer than the average human. VERDICT Zombies remain popular, and overall this is a great undead time for adult and YA fans of the genre.—Jennifer Zoethout, Pickering P.L., Ont.
Kirkus Reviews

A fierce young bookseller blogs the zombie apocalypse in this debut novel from Wisconsin resident Roux.

The author brings a neat concept to her tale about the end of the world—but ironically fails to land the ending. The book's heroine, Allison Hewitt, is involved in a terrifying scenario. "They are coming and I don't think we will ever get out," she blogs. "If you're reading this, please call the police. Call them now; call the cops if there are any cops left to call. Tell them to come find me." We soon learn that Allison and her crew are trapped in the back room of a Wisconsin bookstore, while the undead roam the aisles outside. It's not worth introducing her compatriots because, like in all good stories of the damned, most of them aren't long for the world. What are worth mentioning are the comments left by other survivors around the world on Allison's blog. They run the gamut from terror ("I can only hope that someone else will save my boy") to snark ("Go easy on the crazy pills?") to courage in the face of jeopardy ("Allison knows a thing or two about hopelessness. Listen to her and me, don't give up man. Fight the good fight"). There are some early moments of unnerving humor—during a run for supplies at the bookstore's entrance, Allison can't resist grabbing a little light reading—but things soon turn much darker, and her lighter side rarely surfaces during her long, circuitous journey. Between axe-wielding skirmishes, she follows the trail of her mother and flirts with a romance with a married survivor. But along the way, she also discovers the horrible capabilities of men without law.

A treat for lovers of groaners and roamers with neither enough gore nor pathos to keep casual readers engaged.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312658908
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
01/18/2011
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
332,665
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

9-19-09

Location: Brooks & Peabody Bookstore 

When I sit and watch the monitors there’s an infected creature I recognize. I recognize her for three reasons:

1) Her name is Susan. Because she was – is – a regular. She bought six copies of The Shack. Six. I shit you not.

2) She was in the Christian section when it all started. The floor to ceiling window behind her imploded, sending shards of glass the size of stalactites crashing onto the floor. I watched her try to run toward me, through Biography and Home & Garden. She didn’t get very far. A gnarled, gray thing came in the window and caught up to her. It draped itself over her neck and they fell to the floor.

3) Susan should have been dead. You don’t lose that much blood, that much of your neck and walk it off. But she just sort of shrugged off the decaying person on her back, and got to her feet. It was without a doubt the most unsettling thing I’ve ever seen. 

Susan came at me, not fast, but my brain was taking too long to compute what I had just seen. Then there was a little flash of red in the corner of my vision. It was the ax. There was a hard little hammer hanging down next to the glass case – “Break in case of emergency”. Hell, I thought, this certainly ranks.  I swung, hard, a big, overhead swing that came down at her shoulder. Susan sort of grunted as if she had dropped her purse or tripped a little.

I didn’t stop.  I kept hold of the ax and sprinted to the front of the store where Phil was ushering Matt, Janette and Hollianted to toward the break room. Phil had a bat.  He swung the bat wildly as he caught sight of me, beckoning me with a bloody hand; I never thought I’d be so happy to see that pudgy bastard waving me over.

Now I see Susan on the monitor from time to time. We don’t call her Susan anymore, we call her Lefty.

Tomorrow I’ll have to confront Lefty again. We’re running out of food. We'll have to leave the safety of the door: we don't have a choice.

Meet the Author

MADELEINE ROUX is the New York Times bestselling author of ASYLUM. She received her BA in Creative Writing and Acting from Beloit College in 2008. In the spring of 2009, Madeleine completed an Honors Term at Beloit College, proposing, writing and presenting a full-length historical fiction novel. Shortly after, she began the experimental fiction blog Allison Hewitt Is Trapped. Allison Hewitt Is Trapped quickly spread throughout the blogosphere, bringing a unique serial fiction experience to readers.

Born in Minnesota, she now lives and works in Wisconsin where she enjoys the local beer and preparing for the eventual and inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Customer Reviews

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Allison Hewitt Is Trapped 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
ValerieInIndiana More than 1 year ago
I found myself staying up late in order to finish this book. I read it first in the blog format and I thought I would skim through much of the original material, but I found myself drawn into reading it again, laughing for the second time at the jokes, witty dialog, and funny diagrams. Books in this genre are often written by men and run the risk of reducing women to archetypes--the whore, the female warrior, the damsel-in-distress, etc. Roux does an excellent job with her heroine and creates characters that are likable and three-dimensional. The moral and logistical concerns confronted by the characters paint a realistic picture of post-apocalyptic life (the loss of indoor plumbing, a recurring issue in the book, is one example of something typically glossed over). Roux keeps the zombie gore to a minimum, instead focusing (as good literature does) on human psychology. Allison's concerns are everyday--sanitation, celebrating a fellow survivor's birthday, worrying about her cancer-survivor mother, and so on. These ordinary concerns help animate the characters and give the book a fullness that shoot-em-up, on-the-run post-apocalyptic novels often lack. The blog format of this book is both an interesting plus and a potential hazard. The early posts work quite well, especially the shorter joke posts (for example, a post entirely of haiku poems written while two of the characters are drunk). The later posts are longer and feel more like a novel, despite still being in blog format. I understand Roux wanting to stick to the original format of the writing and include the comments people made on the original blog, and I am willing to suspend disbelief. I loved the prologue and epilogue of this book and laughed out loud at the ending. It is a humorous twist on a device used by many authors and points to our human tendency to judge others actions in extreme situations without knowing how we would act ourselves. Excellent!
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
I need to say upfront that I'm not a fan of zombies. Tried World War Z and just couldn't get through it. So it was a delight to read this book and thoroughly enjoy it. Allison is trapped in a bookstore with her fellow employees and a couple customers when zombies attack (The Outbreak). She quickly becomes the leader of the group, guiding the survivors into making the best possible decisions about living arrangements including procuring food from outside the safety of the room they are barricaded in and moving to other locations for better security. In the two months following the Outbreak, Allison documents her thoughts and actions in an online blog; through the blog, she learns there are other survivors out there, all holding onto the hope that help will come. The book is a quick read which I couldn't put down. I wanted Allison's group to be safe but I also wanted more zombies to beat it down so Allison could come up with another harebrain scheme to survive -- I was not disappointed. I look forward to reading the author's next book, Sadie Walker is Stranded. It's set in Seattle!
AriTheBookReader More than 1 year ago
Wow...THIS is a book to read! Seriously, whatever your literary tendencies, this was very enjoyable and a lot of fun to boot. I myself am not a zombie fiction junkie, but a voracious reader of all genres of good books. When this book was in blog form it was suggested to me and, being well-written and compelling, I got hooked. I was very excited for this book to be released. I was, however, wary that based on my enthusiasm for the blog I may be setting myself up for a let down. Let me say in a resounding voice: not only was this not the case, but I even went from lingering excitement after reading a good blog to thoughtful admiration after reading a great book. The ending especially shows the authors talent. It is easy to write a good story, but we have all seen countless books and movies that cannot deliver an appropriately engaging, thoughtful, and intelligent ending after an otherwise strong story. Roux, in this matter, delivers. The ending, as is the story, is beautiful and real; true to the life of the story. Before I talk about specifics, I would like to make this point: you intuitively know a good author when you read one and I would be surprised to find anyone who would not place Roux in this category. There is a fluidity, development, humor, maturity, and literary prowess to this category of authors. Roux possesses these traits without a doubt. Characters are the cornerstone of every book. Roux does a masterful job developing characters just as personalities appear to one in real life. Each character gets a brief introduction so we are able to gain familiarity with them, but it is their words and actions in a variety of situations that teach us their true character and motivations. Roux seems to come to this naturally, avoiding overbearing character description or unfocused information leakage; in other words, it is purposeful. I offer special praise for the character of Allison herself. I am always cautious about stories that are defined by a hero or heroine because so many of these characters are two dimensional or not true to life. Roux's character of Allison is the best kind of heroine: thoughtfully developed in a three dimensional manner. Allison is proud, strong, scarred, unsure, supportive, needy, quirky, determined and all the other sometimes contradictory traits that make us human. In the end, she is a decision maker whose choices and actions always remain true to herself. The subtleties of the book's ending help to illustrate this point well. The plot of Allison Hewitt is Trapped also rolls along well. Roux provides a good balance of action, reflection, and dialogue. I now also appreciate the differences between the blog and book formats. Obviously, the blog format was more suspenseful as you were literally awaiting an unknown time when the next portion of the story would be revealed. You could choose to read a chapter of the book every couple days to recreate this, though I did not. I did find the book appropriately suspenseful anyway and found a new appreciation for other parts of the story in book form. Unfortunately, when most of your energy is used for anticipation and then devouring the next segment, you miss some of the finer points of the actual writing. Reading it in its entirety as a book allowed me to slow my mind and actually get into Allison's world. Roux, like all truly gifted writers, writes about human psychology and relationships. This isn't zombie fiction any m
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
In this novel, written as a blog complete with comments, we join a huddled mass, mid-zombie-apocalypse, hiding out in the employee break room of a bookstore. The blog device is well used and the book is liberally sprinkled with humor. A military wifi called sNet has survived The Outbreak, even though military personnel seem not to have, and, across the globe, whenever laptop owners can get recharged, they hang onto this tenuous thread to keep up each other's spirits. Allison Hewitt, book lover and employee of Brooks & Peabody bookstore, is the blogger who keeps them all together. She also assumes leadership of the other employees when the manager holes up in his adjacent office. The others, at the start, are two assistant managers, Janette and Matt, and two customers, Holly and Ted, who have a relationship that earns them the nickname Hollianted. The closed-circuit cameras that keep running on emergency power unlike the heat (it's late September and getting cold out), enable the band to keep track of where the zombies are and to make forays for vending machine junk food and diet sodas. Allison, back at the first invasion, remembered the axe from the glass, fire alarm case and this weapon serves her well as she battles the two types of zombies, floaters and groaners. The group eventually has to leave the bookstore and make their way cross-country on a quest for a place they can settle in relative safety. Some of the original band don't survive, but they pick up others, becoming a fluid group hacking their way through zombies, splattered with zombie juice and ever in danger of infection. This manuscript, consisting of the blog entries, is submitted in 2018, one hundred years later, for inclusion in a volume commemorating the event. The book begins with the query letter, followed by the blogs. The ending is excellent! Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of "A Patchwork of Stories", for Suspense Magazine
harstan More than 1 year ago
The workers at Brooks and Peabody Bookstore are trapped inside as outside suddenly are a horde of zombies. None of those locked inside the store has the slightest idea what happened not just here but seemingly everywhere. Still the military manages to maintain the Internet. One of the trapped employers Allison Hewitt begins to write a blog on what is happening to her and the others. She connects with other human survivors in her small town and elsewhere as the scope of the disaster proves pandemic. At the nearby community center Allison meets Collin, a married astronomy professor with an estranged wife who the zombies would fear. Dining on Doritos, they begin to plan a means of retaking the village back from the zombies. This is a fun entry in the expanding Zombie universe as heroine Allison Hewitt Is Trapped in a world gone Undead insane. The story line is character driven mostly by the most famous (perhaps only) SNet blogger. Although a trip into zombie animal-infested woods seems more like a picnic than blood scary escapades, readers will enjoy blogging with Allison as the gore and guts vividly keep on coming. Harriet Klausner
rsxwing More than 1 year ago
What can I say -- this book is incredible! I've never laughed so much while reading a zombie apocalypse survival story -- reading this book is exciting, fun, and a little nerve-wracking! Roux's characters draw you in, and there is a great balance between fighting action and all those in-between and quiet moments that most adventure stories leave out. When this book started as a blog, you had to wait days (sometimes more!) for each post to come, and since you didn't know when the next one would be, it made it all the more real and unexpected. The preservation of the blog format in this novel maintains that feeling -- and the comments at the end of each post/chapter help you experience (or re-live) what reading the blog felt like. My advice: force yourself to only read a chapter a day, and you'll be dying to know what happens next! You get caught up in Allison's struggle, and you feel like you're right there with her, swinging that axe. Bottom Line: Read this book. Prepare for zombie apocalypse. Repeat.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
Written as a blog, this “zombie” book doesn’t actually have much in the way of zombies but is entertaining none the less. The story takes you through the early days of the outbreak and beyond as a small group of survivors as they make their way through this word and try to survive. The voice of its young author come through loud and clear in this one and I think anyone from 20-40 will find this book right up their alley. It’s got plenty of action as the group finds itself in trouble more often than not but it’s mostly from other survivors with the undead making an appearance every so often. Other than some blood lust every once and a while the characters are likable and quickly form a bond that makes you feel as if you’re right in there with them. My only real complaint about the story would have to be that since its told through a blog and the way it’s written (the emotions mentioned) tells you that you’re reading a firsthand account not an observation or retelling so you know that she made it out of that alive. I know that comment is probably bit nit-picky since the hero escapes in 95% of books anyways, it’s really the journey that brings the suspense and this one does a good job.
Booklover0080 More than 1 year ago
Once I started this book I couldn't put it down. You won't be disappointed. I liked it so much that about 3/4 way through I ordered two more of her books; Sadie Walker is Stranded and Asylum.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very unique!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutly LOVE this book for its sense survivability buts also the whitty comical parts
shadedshadow More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the characters very much. A fair amount of the storyline takes place in small enclosed areas and the characters are still intriguing. I found myself holding my breath a good deal through this book, hoping out loud or even fussing at the characters. This was a very easy and enjoyable read. I hope the author continues to write, as I am half way through her 2nd book and I appreciate her writing style very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it from beginning to end. Read her second book first, they are both awesome,hoping for a third!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the paper book edition of this prior to getting my Nook. So, my experience is a little different than it might have been with an ebook. I have noticed that there are some formatting issues in ebooks. Sometimes they do not present as the author intended. If you had read this book, then you will have noticed the author's intentional blog style format. It did get a little old after a few chapters, but I carried on in spite of it. You should, too. This is a good book, but requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. This book is worth your time and attention. Firstly, Allison Hewitt is just another girl working at some bookstore. Then, her world changes suddenly. It takes Allison some time to adapt, but when she does...watch out! She is something special. She becomes the leader of a few different groups resulting in different effects. Allison seems to get the short end of the stick, repeatedly. But, because of her strong survival instinct and her ability to adapt or die, she transforms fundamentally. In that way, Allison is such an interesting character to me. I enjoyed the psychology of a girl who was a follower, to begin with. But, post zombie apocalypse, Allison turns into a strong and brave woman who leads others. She is an interesting and exciting character to read about. At times, I was on the edge my seat, while I read late into the night to finish this one. It was worthwhile. The conclusion was satisfactory, even though, there were a few things that I wanted to know more about. I finally read a zombie book that did not include everybody dying in the end. That conclusion made this a different and good book. I really love happy endings. I am a sap. I know. But I am an enthusiatic zombie loving sap. The zombies are prevalent, and there is gore. This is a book for older teens and up because it is a violent post apocalytic zombie novel. I recommend it to zombie fans. Some non-zombie-lovers may like it because most of the books is about Allison's psychological transformation and adaptation to a radically different world. -AvidReader
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BeadQueen More than 1 year ago
Just got finished listening to the audiobook and Allison Rocks! Definitely recommend this one!
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illiall More than 1 year ago
I must have missed something ... I in no way see this as a 5-star story. The novelty of the blogging wore off after two or three chapters, and at no point was i able to suspend my disbelief. I only distantly cared about Allison, and didn't give one whit about any of her companions. The plot was ... something, just not gripping. I did finish it, but at the end it was more a "eh, so what?" book than anything else. 3 stars is generous, but being a zombie novel virgin (my first zombie read), i have nothing else from the genre with which to compare it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago