Spotlight The End Of The World Playlist by Dan O'Brien

Monday, July 29, 2013

Welcome to the fifth 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:


When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? 

I would like to think I will have done everything I said I would do. But who can know such things? I aspire to deliver on every promise that I have made to myself.


What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? 

The way people talk to each and the level with which we think about things critically. I think that we too often denigrate another because we have not thought much about the content of their lives. I believe books offer an opportunity to create dialogues where they might not have otherwise been.


If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? 

Writing, editing, and publishing. It sounds cliché to say that I do what I love, but that is the truth. I am a very rich man indeed.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Track 5
I Am the Walrus


The sound of the engine was overwhelming, and the discussion was far from tame. Instead, it had reached a fevered pitch that bordered on accusatory. 

“Are you fucking kidding me? You think that Avenged Sevenfold has no business being on a playlist for killing zombies. Are you mental, man? Have you completely lost your marbles?” argued Will.

“Your question is: What belongs on an end-of-the-world playlist, correct? In the event of a zombie apocalypse, what would I want to be listening to?”

“Correct.”

“So you agree that the choices would be purely subjective?”

“Of course.”

“Then what exactly is the point of getting all hot and bothered because I think your little band sucks balls. I’m sorry I’m not fawning over it.”

Will threw up his hands in irritation. “What does the brilliant music critic, Kenny of Bumfuck Nowhere, believe belongs on such an auspicious playlist as one that may be the last one you listen to?”

Kenny watched the road out of the corner of his eye. 

“Anything by She Wants Revenge.”

“But you don’t want any Depeche Mode?”

“Fuck Depeche Mode, they don’t sound anything like She Wants Revenge, man.”

“You have got to be the dumbest motherfucker ever if you think that there are no similarities between their music. A fucking deaf-mute could tell the similarity.”

“So your argument is: someone who couldn’t hear the music––and couldn’t convey their opinion about said music that they couldn’t listen to––could do a better job of figuring out what good music is than I could?”

“Precisely.”

Kenny shook his head. 

“And you call me dumb.”

“Not just dumb, bordering on retarded, I swear to fucking God. Your rationale is equivalent to the guy who really believes there is a difference between hamburgers from different fucking fast food places. A Big Mac is the same anywhere, same fucking shit, different fucking day, and different fucking half-a-tard wrapping it up in crunchy paper for you.”

“I am not saying that there aren’t similarities, but I would certainly not compare them in terms of musicality.”

“Musicality? Are you a musical prodigy now? You are about as much an artist as I am a lawn gnome.”

Kenny laughed heartily. “Did I hurt the little artist’s feelings? Should we talk about those wonderfully dumb graffiti murals you plaster all over our corner of hell?”

“Fuck you. Don’t switch the subject. What makes you such a discriminatory judge of music that you can decide for everybody what constitutes good music and bad music. I don’t mock your shitty taste in music.”

“That is because I don’t have shitty taste in music.”

“What the fuck ever, man.”

“You don’t like what I got to say, then feel free to shut your fucking trap.”

“Fuck that. What about Radiohead? You wouldn’t want to have some Radiohead or Marley? You gonna sit there and look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t want some Marley?”

“I am going to do exactly that. Fucking snore-fest, man. Give me ridiculous beats or give me death.”

Will turned and looked out the window. “Ridiculous. This ain’t over yet, man. We are coming back to this. You wait and see.”

Kenny laughed and shook the wheel, jarring the Bronco one way and then the other. “I’ll be waiting, poopy pants.” 

*

The interior of the van was not a verbal ruckus. Brandon drove. Allen sat in the passenger seat, his automatic rifle across his lap. 

Dan and Jesse remained in the back. The older brother sat on the medical bed that would serve as a medic station if necessary; Jesse had been a medical resident before all of the madness went down. 

It was a useful skill now. 

“Usual run, gentlemen,” called Dan.

“Doesn’t feel usual, boss,” replied Allen.

Jesse looked at his brother. 

“All feelings aside, grab what we have to and get out of there. No fucking around, no messing with the deadheads. In and out.”

Allen nodded grimly and Brandon stared coldly from the driver’s seat. “You want me to do what we talked about? Re-situate our dead guests?” asked Allen.

“You head to the Sports Authority. Brandon, you take an eagle locale with the .50 cal and keep an eye on things,” replied Dan.

“Right, boss,” called Brandon from the driver’s seat.

“Me and Jess will hit the library while tweedle dee and tweedle dumb hit Wal-Mart to pick up the Big Box shit.”

“And deadheads?” queried Allen.

“Try to keep the noise to a minimum and add bolts to those that are previously bolted. Kill any that have gotten loose.”

“Right, boss.”

The stereo was low and the music somber. 

“Are we expecting trouble?” 

Turning and looking at Jesse, Dan’s face was grim.

“Always.”



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!


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