Review: Duncan P Bradshaw – Chump: A collection of Zombie Stories

Review: Duncan P Bradshaw – Chump: A collection of Zombie Stories

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Genre: Horror / Zombie Collection
Publisher: Eyecue Productions
Publication Date: 12th November 2016
Pages: 180

 

REVIEWED BY NEV

 

A copy of Chump: A Collection of Zombie Stories, was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Duncan P Bradshaw in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by the Eyecue Productions.

Duncan P Bradshaw is a right laugh. If you ever meet him in person, I guarantee you will giggle till a little wee comes out. If you need to decide for yourself then check out the interview I did with him here. Keep the tissues handy though. Noooooo, not for that reason!

He is a fantastic writer, no matter what he writes, should it be sci-fi horror, zombie horror, zombie horror with humour, novels or shorts. I love it all. It was a bit of a no brainer then that I would jump at the chance to review Chump: A Collection of Zombie Stories, especially after finding out that, according to the man himself, these are light on horror but heavy on the humour. I know from experience that he writes this stuff so well, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

This is what I thought.

 

MILLIE

Millie is a prepper. She is always getting ready for the zombie apocalypse but is never sure just when it will come. It would be a shame if it happened while she was working!

This is something I never thought I would see from Mr Bradshaw.

A poem.

A funny poem about a young girl living above her expectations, but always expecting the zombies to come. She never sees it until it’s too late.

A clever take on that thing your mother always said that made you wince about having clean underwear on when you leave the house.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

CURE WHAT AILS YA

Thomas S Flowers is a doctor in the wild west. Well, he is really a con artist, peddling his wares as the greatest healer of all diseases known to man.

When he comes up against the Martins, he soon finds out he picked the wrong town this time. When one of the Martin brothers is tasked with getting rid of the evidence, along with the potion, things soon start to go very wrong.

Maybe there was something in that elixir after all!

I believe this one came from a sort of challenge from one of the named characters in this tale. A challenge to write a zombie western.

I absolutely loved this. This took me back to my childhood with similarities to Dr Terminus is Pete’s Dragon (the original you heathen) but then gave so much more with the blood and guts of a zombie horde that Disney could never write about.

As well as the zombies, Duncan Bradshaw’s humour shines through in this one as well.

Excellent stuff.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

28 SECONDS LATER

Anton Yedlin is a scientist and head honcho at a secret soviet installation, where he is tasked with developing the toughest athletes in the world, worthy of winning everything at the Olympics.

Dmitri Slutsky is an inspector sent to the facility to check on things and see what progress is being made.

His discoveries both shock and amaze him.

I quite honestly do not know what to say about this. It is hilarious and contains, quite possibly, my favourite line in a story, ever.

This is comic genius but at the same time, scary as hell. This is the sort of thing that could be happening in many countries in the world.

Just think about that as you read it.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

RED SABRE ONE

The Red Sabre One Team are on a mission. All hell has broken loose and they need to try and extract the PM from Number 10.

The only way in is through a series of tunnels. It is their only way out as well.

Totally different type of story from Mr Bradshaw both in anything I have read before and in this collection. This is the serious side of the zombie apocalypse. When lives are in danger and the most important people are at risk.

Don’t be expecting everyone to ride off into the sunset in this one.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

SENSELESS APPRENTICE

An unknown man is wandering around after being turned. You have no choice but to wander with him as you are deep inside his head, listening to his every thought.

This is very interesting. When people read about or see zombies, you just think of them as being stupid dead people. But what actually goes on their minds?

In this story, you are listening to the thoughts, memories and frustrations of someone who has recently died.

This is extremely effective. It’s scary but full of the real-life humour that Duncan Bradshaw is so good at. If you like this one you really need to check out Class Three and Those Who Survive.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

DEAD DROP

Ceepher is a courier with a difference. He now delivers packages in the dangerous post-apocalyptic world.

He never asks what is in the packages. He only wants paid. Maybe he should have asked what is in his latest package.

Isn’t it funny that we never think of normal jobs, like a postman, being needed during a zombie apocalypse?

That’s what sets us mere mortals aside from writers like Mr Bradshaw. This is an everyday job twisted on its head to fit the times. It is brutal yet heart-warming at the same time.

This one makes you think.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

Sadie is a door to door collector for a children’s charity. The only difference is that she is collecting after the apocalypse.

She has forgotten the golden rule; never enter anyone’s house. You never know what you might get.

Another one showing that life can return to normal for some people after the apocalypse.

With a little bit of humour back in it, this tale will make you laugh whilst keeping you in the edge of your seat. It’s one that would make you Scream at the telly.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

GONE FISHIN’

Adrian is fishing on Lake Shotbolt with his son, Cameron.  Cameron is so bored he asks his dad to tell him the story of how he met his mum. Again.

And so begins the telling of a magical faery tale. Or is it?

This is wonderful. A tale of a zombie attack from the depths of the lake with some olden time demons coming to life.

A fantastic tale bringing together some familiar names, legendary monsters, and of course zombies.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

WHACKOS

Slim is a radio host on a very popular show being broadcast after the apocalypse. On tonight’s show, he is out with Daryl and Adam, two Welfare Acclimatisation Care Operatives, who have been dubbed WACO’s by the public.

Tonight, is all about getting an insight into the job they do for the public.

This is hilarious. Knowing the characters that some of the names are based on makes it even more funny.

Whilst it is one of the funnier ones in the book, it is also full of the Bradshaw blood and guts but more so, this shows, again, what it could be like after the apocalypse. Life must go on and mundane jobs are needed.

Dangerous jobs.

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

BONUS STORY – TAKE-OUT

This story is made up of text messages between an unnamed man and his friend, Matty. They start in a jovial manner but all too soon it becomes clear that something is very wrong in Matty’s workplace.

This is a superb way of getting the sense of fear and the feeling that you can do nothing to help someone you know who is in danger, across to the reader in a very unique way.

It is made up of screen shots of the messages on a mobile phone screen. This is just fantastic. I cannot get across just how scary this was to read. It all seemed so real the way it was done. It’s something we all do on a daily basis and would probably do in the situation.

I have said this before about Duncan Bradshaw’s work, it is so believable, it probably actually will happen like he writes!

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

So, there it is. My take on Chump. You know what you are going to get with this collection. After all, the title tells you. You are getting a collection of zombie stories.

WRONG!

What you get in this collection is the unique style and approach of Duncan Bradshaw, to all things zombie. And trust me, it is a style that you will want to read and read and read, over and over and over.

This man’s stuff is just so fresh. It takes an old, rehashed over and over, sub-genre and gives it a complete makeover. Zombies don’t normally do a lot for me but this man is turning me into a zombie freak. And I love it.

To summarise: a collection of short zombie stories that are so fresh and original, you will think Mr Bradshaw just invented the genre. You will laugh out loud with this one whilst at the same time your skin crawls and you will look over your shoulder, a lot.

Highly recommended.

 

General rating:
★★★★★

Everything else rating:
★★★★★

 

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Chump or any other books from Duncan. This not only supports us but also lets us know how many people actually like to buy books after reading our reviews.

Thanks.

 

Book Synopsis:

A myriad of tales on the undead from the author of zombie-comedy, CLASS THREE, and the CLASS FOUR trilogy, to tickle your rotting uvula. Eight stories which take a different look at these reanimated denizens of death:

CONTENTS

CURE WHAT AILS YA – When a snake oil salesman rolls into the Wild West town of Lobo, both he and the inhabitants are unaware of what is about to crawl out of the desert, hungry for brains.

28 SECONDS LATER – Finally, after years of being subject to official censure, the true story as to why the Eastern Bloc countries boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, is revealed.

RED SABRE ONE – An SAS team are tasked with extracting a high value target from their world-famous home.

SENSELESS APPRENTICE – Step inside the mind of one of the undead, unable to do anything but watch on as his body acts on primal instinct.

DEAD DROP – A novella following a courier in the apocalypse. Ceepher’s motto is simple; never look inside the package, and always be on time. His latest delivery will put both on the line.

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME – Whilst out collecting for H.O.A.R.D. (Helping Orphans Affected by the Reanimation Disease), Sadie stumbles upon a middle age couple, who seem to have survived the apocalypse with their pristine house intact.

GONE FISHIN’ – Bored, a son pleads with his dad to tell him, again, how his parents got together…one summers day on the lake.

WHACKOS – After ‘Reclamation’, a radio host and his sound engineer, follow a clean-up team, as they confront the after-effects of the zombie apocalypse.

All of these stories are unpublished and have never seen the light of day before. A mix of humour, brutality and over-the-top mayhem, which Duncan P. Bradshaw is becoming famed for. Pick it up, and shamble inside some unique takes on the zombie genre.

“Bradshaw is obviously such a huge zombie fan himself, none of what his creatures do would seem out of place in one of the classic George Romero films such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.”

– The Rotting Zombie

“It’s not easy coming up with an original zombie theme and Bradshaw incorporated an element which sets it aside from all the rest.”

– Horror Palace

 

‘I thought she was one of the survivors I hadn’t met yet, thought my luck was in, our little sanctuary had been breached and this little stunner had come to me to be her white knight. I’d carry her off on the back of a mighty stallion, towards a horizon framed by the setting sun, to a cottage with fresh crisp bed linen and chilled champagne.

No.

Aside from the lack of equine transportation, and the fact that with all the fires, the only chance you’d get to see the sunset would be if you were on the International Space Station. She wasn’t there for my understated looks, she was there to sink her teeth into my neck.’ – SENSELESS APPRENTICE

 

There’s also a little bonus story…which will be explored further, in a brand-new novel, released in 2017.

 

CONFESSIONS REVIEWS DUNCAN P BRADSHAW




 

One day upon waking, as if from some frightful nightmare, I sat at my laptop and typed out letters, which formed words, slowly they created sentences. People read it and said, that’s okay that is, have a biscuit. And I said yes.

I live in Wiltshire, in Southern England with my wife Debbie and our two cats, Rafa and Pepe, they just miaowed a hello at you. Between bouts of prolonged washing up and bungie cord knitting, I type out the weird and wonderful things that run around my head.

My debut novel, zom-com Class Three, was released in November 2014, the first book in the follow up trilogy, Class Four: Those Who Survive is out in July 2015. I’m then going to try and get some novellas released which are on something other than the undead.

And for more about Duncan, visit his site or find him on social media:

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