Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Spotlight: End of the World Playlist by Dan O'Brien (Giveaway)

Welcome to the fourth day of the The End of the World Playlist blog tour. It will run until August 1st and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this dystopian world:

The world as we knew it had ended. Deep in the mountains of the west coast, six men survived. In the town of River’s Bend, these six friends continued on with their lives as zombies inherited the Earth. As they navigated the world that had been left behind, the soundtrack of life played on.

A few questions for the author:

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

I feel much older than I appear. Though I am very active and have youthful features, I often feel as though I am at the end of my life as opposed to in my early thirties. My wife finds the whole idea quite silly.

Which is worse, failing or never trying? 

Definitely never trying. You won’t know what you are made of without going as far as you can and pushing your limits beyond everything you have ever known. Failure is simply a learning experience.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? 

I imagine it is because it is simpler to do those things that we are more comfortable with, even if we don’t like them, then taking the chance and failing at something we love.

Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

Track 4
Three Little Birds

Dan reclined on his bed, arms behind his head. He was already dressed, and the sun had barely risen. His room was barren except for a mattress: no box spring, no frame. There was simply a mattress on the ground. His weapons were stacked neatly against the wall with their respective rounds laid out before them. 

On the floor sat a single photograph of a woman, of his wife. She was beautiful with a fair complexion and wide brown eyes. His blue eyes watched the ceiling, his mind calm. 



The sound of gunfire filled his senses. He was up from his mattress in one quick movement. Grabbing the automatic rifle, it hit against his shoulder. He looked down the sight with a grim fix of his lips. Moving into the hallway, he peered around at the other doors. They opened slowly, sleepy faces looking back at him. 



The gunfire erupted again. 

Dan moved down the hallway with the practiced ease of someone who is well versed in the hunt. He could hear Kenny’s voice from his room. “You motherfucker! Fucking fuck motherfucker, fuck. I’m gonna fucking…”

Dan kicked the door to Kenny’s room open with a quick motion. Kenny stood, wearing only his boxers––Simpsons’ boxers with Duff written in yellow letters all across it. 

There was blood all over his bed. And a severed zombie head. In addition, a plethora of bullet holes riddled the child-sized bed in which he chose to sleep. And let us not forget the two stiff, severed zombie arms that were laid very near where Kenny would have been sleeping. 

“What the fuck is this?” demanded Dan.

Kenny looked up. “I woke up with this motherfucker in my bed. I shot it, shot fucking holes in my bed.”

Dan lowered the rifle and looked at Kenny inquisitively. “Why would there be a deadhead in your bed?”

“That rhymed.” Will stood just outside the door with a big smile painted across his face from ear to ear. 

Kenny looked at him. Rage covered his face. Pointing a heavy finger, he started forward. “You think this is funny? You did this, didn’t you? You little shit.”

Dan interceded, flashing Kenny a cold look. Turning to Will, he addressed the prankster. “Did you do this?”

Will shrugged. “Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe, fuck him for giving me shit.”

Kenny lunged forward again, but Dan pushed him back. “What the fuck is wrong with you two?”

“Gotta pass the time somehow,” reasoned Will. 

Dan shook his head and moved past Will, bumping him slightly. Pointing a thumb at Dan, he continued. “What’s his deal?”

Kenny moved in close, towering over Will, and pointed an accusing finger at him. “You fucking owe me sheets, man.”

Will made a funny face at him. 

“The fuck I do. You owe me weed.”

Kenny bumped him. “Sheets and new fucking socks, and boxers and shit, man. How the fuck am I supposed to get murky zombie goo out of everything? I want a new bedroom set and clothes, motherfucker.”

Will stood on his tiptoes to address the challenge. “They are gonna be Smurf sheets and baby tees with that kind of attitude.”

“If you are gonna go gay, then at least get Hello Kitty. I wouldn’t mind having those around.”

Will made a face like he was touched by Kenny’s words. “I wasn’t sure until now, but I am fairly certain that you are a full-blown homosexual. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but I am glad that you finally have the courage to admit it.”

Kenny pushed Will over, knocking him through the open door frame. 

“I get it, still a little sensitive about being outed and all. We’ll talk later,” continued Will.

Kenny threw up his hands and kicked the zombie head across the room, splattering brains against the far wall. He groaned as the smear oozed on to the floor. 


A Ford Econoline Van with heavy tires sat next to the Bronco. The glass was heavily tinted, and little sharpened ridges ran along the base, above the wheels. Allen loaded weapons into the back of the van as Brandon carried a .50 caliber assault rifle, its stand, and an enormous spool to the back of the van. Jesse moved around the side of the van with a box of dusty books. 

“What the fuck are you doing with those?” asked Will.

Jesse looked at him coolly. 

Will was the youngest of the group. 

The two men rarely spoke. 

“I have finished these and plan on returning them for some new reading material.”

“Why the fuck would you do that?”

“I imagine I do it for the illusion of order in all of this chaos, or perhaps the ability to create structure in an unstructured world.”

“That is a little weird, man.”

Jesse shrugged and continued on to the front of the van. Will ran forward. He wore a survival vest of sorts, but it was tagged all over with graffiti. Canisters of paint hung like weapons all about his person, leaving little room at his side for the sheathed bat wrapped in barbwire and covered in a hundred or so bent and unevenly placed nails. On his back his assault rifle was adorned with various bright stickers. The red bandanna he wore made him look more like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever than Stallone in Rambo.

Kenny loaded the Bronco. He laid a chainsaw on the seat along with his assault rifle. He carried two shotguns, crossed along his back. 

“Looks like I’m riding with you today, Gigantor,” quipped Will.

Kenny groaned mockingly. “Seriously?”

Dan walked by, nodding at Kenny. There was a glimpse of a smile on his face. “Figured you’d want to be there to pick out the sheets,” chided Dan.

Kenny shrugged his shoulders. “Fine. Keep the shit to a minimum, half-pint.”

“Whatever you say.”

Will stepped away, feigning fear. “Gojira! Gojira!”

Kenny stepped forward, waving the smaller man away.

Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.

Would you like to win a copy of The End of the World Playlist?

All you have to do is comment on a post during the tour. Two randomly drawn commenters will be awarded either a physical or digital copy of The End of the World Playlist.

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


debbie said...

I love zombie books, and this one sounds really good.

Unknown said...

Great blog!
I'm wondering: Do book lovers necessarily have to be book collectors?
I tried to get rid of my books and failed miserably
What do you think?

Love from Germany,

Howard Sherman said...

I really enjoyed the interview - especially the answer that not trying is worse than failing. So true.

Track 4 really hooked me. Great stuff.


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