Review: Autumn by David Moody

March 28, 2011 - 9:33 pm 5 Comments

Front cover of Autumn by David Moony
Title: Autumn

Author: David Moody

Publisher:  Orion Books

Price:  £12.99 (Hardback)

Page count:  246pp

Reviewer:  Theresa Derwin

Like the dead themselves, I did little last weekend. I shambled; read; shambled; ate; shambled; growled – and devoured my copy of Autumn. For just a short space of two days, the world that is Autumn ruled mine, the addiction that is David Moody flowing through my veins.

Visceral from the outset, Moody quickly summarises the virus that wipes out 99% of humanity in just a few pages, instead focusing on the plight of the remaining 1% left alive.  Before the survivor’s metaphorical journeys begin, we are treated to a number of choking, gasping deaths and an unhealthy dose of sputum and blood.  If the novel doesn’t explain why some people live whilst others die, it is because it doesn’t need to.  The virus is something of a MacGuffin; a means to an end so that Moody can entertain the reader and also explore the varied behaviour of those left behind as they realise that Civilization has gone. The scene has been set for the ongoing struggle and the horror that will ensue. 

Moody does a tremendous job of exploring human nature. Displaying stark realism, Autumn shows a society falling apart at the seams, as he focuses on a trio of survivors fleeing the decaying city looking for some semblance of protection and home in the country. What they find is disappointment.

At first, our heroes Michael, Emma and Carl are not too concerned about the threat of the undead which rise Romero shambling style from their proverbial graves (the streets of the city).  However, complacency soon sets in and it is here that tensions rise as the characters face the grim reality of their world without mod cons and basic comforts.  As they start to settle into their new home, the dead begin to change; developing new senses, self awareness and speed, swiftly transforming in to the 28 Day’s Later style zombie we have come to know and love.

Autumn works because it is a slow burner, building up the reader’s anticipation and fear, a dread which saturates the novel, making it first-class horror. It is no surprise that Moody has developed from a self-published horror author to a genuine talent, recognised internationally as a superior writer. Such is his talent, that rumour has it Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy) bailed on The Hobbit to film Moody’s other novel Hater. Now that’s a film I would love to see.   

If you want to know more about David Moody’s latest projects and the sequel Autumn: The City, take a look at his website for free fiction and other offers which can be found at Last of the Living.

5 Responses to “Review: Autumn by David Moody”

  1. Karith Says:

    Perfect description!
    I’m reading it right now, want to check out the film version soon.

  2. Theresa Derwin Says:

    Hi Karith. The film isn’t too bad. If you’ve read the book, it is actually quite a good version and captures the slow burning pace and characterisation. I believe some viewers didn’t get it because of this very fact. Enjoy!

  3. David Moody Says:

    Theresa – thanks for the great review (I’ve linked to it from the reviews page of http://www.lastoftheliving.net).

    Glad you enjoyed the book. I’d be interested to hear more of your thoughts about the movie. The film-makers struggled with a very low budget, and the reactions have ranged from good to very, very bad!

  4. Amanda Norman Says:

    Hi Theresa, I have now read this book and I loved it! Thank you so much for lending this to me, I now can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

  5. Theresa Derwin Says:

    My pleasure! I knew you would love it. That’s what this site is about: helping readers to find enjoyment and quality books.

Leave a Reply