Vacation

( 9 )

Overview

In Matthew Costello's Vacation, Jack Murphy and his family need a vacation. This one might just kill them. . .

In the near future after a global crisis causes crops to fail and species to disappear . . .  something even more deadly happens. Groups of humans around the world suddenly become predators, feeding off their own kind. These “Can Heads” grow to such a threat that fences, gated compounds, and SWAT–style police protection become ...

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Vacation

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Overview

In Matthew Costello's Vacation, Jack Murphy and his family need a vacation. This one might just kill them. . .

In the near future after a global crisis causes crops to fail and species to disappear . . .  something even more deadly happens. Groups of humans around the world suddenly become predators, feeding off their own kind. These “Can Heads” grow to such a threat that fences, gated compounds, and SWAT–style police protection become absolutely necessary in order to live.

After one Can Head attack leaves NYPD cop Jack Murphy wounded, Jack takes his wife and kids on a much-needed vacation. Far up north, to a camp where families can still swim and take boats out on a lake, and pretend that the world isn’t going to hell.

But the Can Heads are never far away, and nothing is quite what it seems in Paterville. . .

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“I absolutely devoured Vacation by Matthew Costello. It’s dark, subversive, deeply disturbing and absolutely compelling.” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of The King of Plagues and Dead of Night

“Costello takes a typical family and throws them headfirst into a situation that's anything but. What would you do to protect those you love at the end of the world? A thrilling, fast-paced story of priorities, secrets, and survival.” —David Moody, author of the HATER and AUTUMN series

"Costello is a master at lean, swift pacing.  I read this book in three big gulps.  And had life not intruded I'd have swallowed it whole..." —Jack Ketchum, award-winning horror author

"Unstoppable... undeniable... un-put-down-able... Matthew Costello's Vacation is a hybrid horror/action/SF classic!  Working at the height of his powers, Costello crafts a lean, terse, terrifying juggernaut of a book, which blends the minimalist punch of James Ellroy with the ravenous blitzkrieg of Danny Boyle's fleet-footed zombies in 28 Days Later.  Set aside several uninterrupted hours, because once you crack this open you're going to be sprinting breathlessly to the last page.  Highest recommendation! Jay Bonansinga, National Best-selling co-author of The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, Frozen, and The Sinking of Eastland

“Matt Costello’s work has always been impressive, but Vacation is just flat-out amazing. Truly epic in scope, this astounding science-fiction/horror hybrid has ‘Soon to be a Major Motion Picture’ written all over it.” —Bentley Little, Stoker Award-winning author of The Store

"Not since Matheson’s I Am Legend has there been such a cool twist on the horror/thriller genre.  Matt Costello gives us a fast paced and violent glimpse of a terrifying near-future through the eyes of an ordinary family.  Just when I thought it was safe to go on Vacation…" —Brian Yuzna, writer/director of Bride of Re-Animator

"Vacation is a tense, visceral trip through a violent, unraveling world, and a portrait of hope in a hopeless time.  Matthew Costello has painted a breathless nightmare that is slick, compelling, and impossible to put down." —Christopher Golden

"Costello offers a terrifying view into a dystopian future and a perhaps even more frightening look at the baser side of humanity. The cracking pace makes this a perfect choice for horror fans who want to be kept up late reading." —ALA’s Booklist

“Patrolman Jack Murphy, forced to leave a besieged New York City where he battles feral cannibals, gathers his family and heads for the hills in this tense apocalyptic thriller." —Publisher’s Weekly

“Who could have guessed that the author of Vacation is best known as a video-game writer? Well, duh. Once you’re plugged into Matthew Costello’s apocalyptic novel, there’s no friggin’ way to get off this ride. The unrelenting, staccato rhythm of the narrative perfectly matches the enervating effects of video gaming. So, like, survivors of a global agricultural plague in the near future try to avoid being eaten by the zombie “Can Heads” unleashed by the government’s nefarious genetic testing (dude!). Each horrific confrontation works along a jagged crescendo of unpredictability. The hero isn’t only saving his beloved wife and kids, he’s saving civilization (OK, maybe). If this novel doesn’t appear soon in software format, I’ll eat the next NYPD officer whose car breaks down in my neighborhood.” —Bookpage

Vacation is a gripping post-apocalyptic horror thriller.” —Harriet Klausner

I loved the book. I read the entire thing in one day. Vacation —I just couldn’t put down. It’s a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish.” —http://www.hippiesbeautyandbooksohmy.com/

“It's dark and dirty fun in a semi post-apocalyptic setting. The only thing that would have made this a more perfect read would be if I'd read it in a cabin in the woods!” —nomoregrumpybookseller.blogspot.com

Publishers Weekly
Patrolman Jack Murphy, forced to leave a besieged New York City where he battles feral cannibals, gathers his family and heads for the hills in this tense apocalyptic thriller expanded from a short story by video game writer and novelist Costello (Doom 3: Maelstrom). Following worldwide drought and crop failures, society is reduced to enclaves like the fortified Paterville Family Camp, where city folks can frolic, watch fireworks, and eat real food. However, the oily owner and his shifty staff make it clear that you can check out any time you like but you can never leave. Costello sets up a world simultaneously threatened with constant surveillance and complete societal breakdowns, foreshadowing the camp scenes nicely with a suspenseful and frightening "rest" stop on an electric fence–enclosed highway. However, the quick discovery of Paterville's darker side leads to an equally quick, if heroic, resolution that curtails the suspense and horror. (Oct.)
Library Journal
NYPD cop Jack Murphy spends his days protecting his city from "Can Heads"—cannibalistic creatures who feed on other humans. It's not long before Jack suffers a near-fatal Can Head attack that leaves his partner dead. With his family living behind barbed wire fences in increasingly smaller protected areas of the city, Jack longs to take them to a safe place and get away from the chaos that has become their daily routine. Sounding like the ideal vacation spot is the Paterville Family Camp, which touts itself as a heavily protected and isolated compound in the mountains with plenty of "real food," swimming, hiking, and outdoor family fun. But all is not what it seems in Paterville, and it soon becomes a race against time for Jack to get his family out alive. VERDICT Video games writer and novelist Costello (Rage) is an expert at transforming mundane scenes into nail-biting suspense. His solid, fast-paced storytelling, laced with just the right amount of violence and gore, will appeal to zombie fiction aficionados as well as other fans of horror. [Library marketing.]—Amy M. Davis, Kent State Univ., Columbus, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250008374
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,409,401
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Costello’s writing includes groundbreaking and innovative games, books, and television. His bestselling and award-winning computer and video games include The 7th Guest, Doom 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean. His early horror novel, Beneath Still Waters, was filmed by Lionsgate. Rage, a novel based on the recently released game that he worked on, was published this August. His children's books include The Kids of Einstein Elementary and Magic Everywhere. Matt has also written episodes and created TV formats for PBS, Disney, Syfy, and the BBC, and he consults on media around the world. Visit Matt online at www.mattcostello.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Love the story and frightening situations. Read like a movie. Ho

    Love the story and frightening situations. Read like a movie. Hope they take Vacation, Home, and Day one and turn in into a blockbuster movie. Can't wait for the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Pretty good

    Fairly engaging throughout. I enjoyed the twist at the end. Overall a good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2012

    Good

    This book wasn't at all what i expected. When I get a zombie book I like for it to be a bit more about the zombies. The zombies in this were basically just put there to set up the actual plot of the book. And cannibalism...you'd think it wouldn't bother me since I like zombies, but it does. It's just not my thing. The last few chapters were very "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Maybe not quite as gruesome though. It was still a good book just not exactly what i was expecting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Great read

    Wow! This is one heck of a book. Great story, great characters and great writing. Fast paced, fast reading and very original. Hoping for a sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended

    I simply loved this book it was full of action and lot of close calls. However the end left me handing that being said i would read it and i would recommended it to all those Horror fans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a gripping post apocalyptic horror thriller.

    NYPD police officers Jack Murphy and David Rodriguez work a Brooklyn beat. The global drought and food shortages left the planet on the brink of pandemic disaster; that was until a miraculous manna was distributed. However, soon afterward the feral cannibalistic Can Heads began appearing. Politicians, refusing to accept blame, insisted to the human masses that a survival war between us and them requires patriotic measures. This night the Can Heads attack the two patrol cops; leaving David dead and Jack injured.

    Needing to heal, Jack, his wife Christie and their two kids (Kate and Simon) go on Vacation to the Upstate fortified Paterville Family Camp where people eat old fashion real food, drink pure water, and have fun. When Jack helps with preventing a Can Head assault, he is rewardeed with a job offer and a permanent move into Paterville with his family, who all vote yes. However, Jack will soon learn the truth about the miracle of Paterville.

    In an already bleak world in which the Yankees are no longer in the Bronx as the Can Heads own the borough, the atmosphere turns brighter in Paterville when soon afterward it drops to its darkest. Readers will think trice about vacationing in idyllic rural areas as Jack and his family learns that Paterville has a nasty side under the glitter of a Vacation oasis as it is the Eagles Hotel California with a gruesome addition. This is a gripping post apocalyptic horror thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    I always travel

    To new zealand for 2 weeks and my mum and dad are busy this year so not this time.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Vacation

    Every year we try to travel to Milwaukee wisconsin to go visit my dads aunt and we live in chippewa falls wisconsin so its about a 4 hour drive! Get so bored!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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