Pariah

( 30 )

Overview

A frightening, darkly comedic look at people surviving a zombie onslaught, from award-winning comics sensation and novelist Bob Fingerman.

A global plague has nearly vanquished mankind; the citizenry of New York City is no exception. Eight million zombies. Shoulder to shoulder. Walking the streets, looking for their next meal of human flesh. The residents of an Upper East Side walkup have joined forces to keep themselves safe, the pageant of walking rot outside their windows a ...

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Pariah

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Overview

A frightening, darkly comedic look at people surviving a zombie onslaught, from award-winning comics sensation and novelist Bob Fingerman.

A global plague has nearly vanquished mankind; the citizenry of New York City is no exception. Eight million zombies. Shoulder to shoulder. Walking the streets, looking for their next meal of human flesh. The residents of an Upper East Side walkup have joined forces to keep themselves safe, the pageant of walking rot outside their windows a constant reminder of the their foreseeable fate. Trapped in the safety of their building, the tenants find themselves at each others’ throats. When they spy a lone teenage girl who walks unharmed among the undead, impervious, their world opens up.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Fingerman is a brilliant satirist, artist and mind.” — Trey Parker, co-creator of South Park

“It doesn’t seem fair that Bob Fingerman gets to be such a funny, savvy, cool and smart writer who can also draw.  It gives him an advantage and I may need to have him assassinated.” — Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors

“Mr. Fingerman is a deeply talent, creative, and disturbed man.” — Max Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of World War Z

“The thinking man’s zombie novel.” — Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy

“If you’re thinking: ‘Not another zombie novel,’ this is definitely the book for you. Bob Fingerman’s Pariah is a testament to the versatility of zombie fiction. It is, quite simply, a work that will remind you why you fell in love with the genre in the first place.” — Robert Kirkman, author of The Walking Dead

“If you think there are no original twists left in the zombie genre, think again. With Pariah, Bob Fingerman crafts an exciting, fresh take on it, breathing much-needed new life into the undead. Pariah is a clever, compelling read.” — Brian Keene, The Rising

“As grim as it gets. Zombie fans looking for unrelenting grue and apocalyptic mayhem need look no further. But there’s a heart to this story, too, in the immaculately crafted characters—the survivors, the last of the human race, pushing themselves well past where the struggle for survival ends and there’s nothing left but to hold on and hope. A masterpiece of the zombie genre, for its realism and its courage to embrace the darkness.” — David Wellington, author of Monster Island and Vampire Zero

Library Journal
Survivors trapped in a New York apartment building by zombie hordes are slowly starving to death when Mona appears, walking down the avenue, a ten-foot circle of empty space between herself and the undead. Her addition to the community turns privation into excess, since she can travel unmolested to get whatever the tenants want. Unfortunately, how the characters change, while interesting, is not enough to sustain the whole book. One character's armored trek to rescue Mona provides the only frightening moment, and that doesn't come until near the end. Fingerman is a noted author of graphic novels (From the Ashes) and prose fiction (Bottomfeeder). BZG The concept of someone immune to zombie attack is distinctive in the genre.
Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

When a zombie pandemic sweeps the land, a group of survivors hide out in an Upper East Side apartment building. As food supplies dwindle tensions rise, and their only salvation appears in the form of Mona, a mysterious girl who repels the zombies. Though Mona brings food to the survivors and a new sense of possibility, they wonder why she's impervious to the zombie hordes and endeavor to discover her secret. But their decision to put it to the test could shatter the safe, careful world they've built for themselves. Fingerman's latest is a spectacular entre in the zombie genre, largely due to his focus not on the undead but on the living, investigating our humanity and how easily we can turn on each other. But what truly distinguishes Pariah from other worthwhile entries is its humor in the face of bleak and extremely disturbing events (the sociopathic jock, Eddie, for instance, enjoys fishing for zombies in a manner that will turn readers' stomachs). The lack of resolution is unsettling, but what could be resolved in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by the undead? Readers should shamble to the store for this one.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765326270
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 994,809
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Fingerman is the award-winning creator of such critically acclaimed graphic novels as Beg the Question, White Like She, and Recess Pieces.  In his novel, Bottomfeeder, Fingerman tossed away the typical gothic and romantic trappings of the vampire genre in favor of portraying the down-to-earth story of a working class Queens-bred vampire. In Recess Pieces, Fingerman whipped up a bloody maelstrom of adorable moppets and the living dead set within the confines of a school. In the uneasy romantic roman à clef Beg the Question he presented anxious young love in the streets of Brooklyn long before gentrification. His most recent graphic novel is From the Ashes, a “speculative memoir” set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of New York City. He will have a short story in the eagerly anticipated zombie anthology The Living Dead 2. He lives in New York City with his wife, Michele.

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Customer Reviews

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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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • 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 September 27, 2011

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