Dredging Up Memories


DUM NEW COVER
In the best of times, loneliness is difficult. At the end of time it can be deadly. 

Hank Walker is alone and struggling not just with the undead but with depression that threatens to swallow him. Searching for the family he sent away at the beginning of the rise of the dead, Hank is left to deal with loneliness, desperation, and his own memories that haunt him.

The dead are everywhere. The few people still alive are scattered, and the ones Hank comes across may be more dangerous than the biters. 

With an unlikely traveling companion, Hank’s search takes him across the state of South Carolina and to the depths of darkness like nothing he has ever experienced before. Can Hank find his family and survive the biters? Or does he completely unravel in the world of the dead?

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In December of 2017, John Malone won the Voice Arts Awards  for Audiobook Narration (Best Voiceover for Science Fiction). You can watch his acceptance speech by clicking on the link below.

John Malone Voice Arts Awards

BREAKING YOUR HEART, ONE PAGE AT A TIME …

AJ Brown has done with his zombie apocalypse novel “Dredging Up Memories” what Shakespeare always strived to do with his plays and characters, to hold a mirror up to nature. Brown, in achieving this, has breathed new life into an often overdone premise. More often than not, the zombies in such horror novels are mindless drones that serve as nothing more than bullet cushions or slow-moving targets. Brown’s protagonist, Hank Walker, displays his human nature through trying time and time again in the novel to perceive or draw out some hint of human residue in the zombies he encounters. Who they were in life? He takes no pleasure in killing and apologizes to those he is forced to put down. He buries his dead. This, to me, is how I truly believe a good man would react to such a situation as a zombie apocalypse. He is a complex character and one worth following and sympathizing with throughout this powerful novel. Brown has written an intricately-crafted novel and his voice is authentic as it is familiar. We all know the people in Brown’s novel. And Hank Walker could be the guy on the barstool next to yours. I loved this book and didn’t want it to end. And when a book gives me this kind of charge and evokes this type of emotion, I want to read everything by that author. Brown is such an author. Great, great read!

AND I CAN SAY THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE EVER READ

I have read hundreds of zombie books, and I can say this is one of the best I have ever read. Join Hank Walker on a journey, looking for his family, and battling to not only stay alive, but to keep going. I can honestly say, that this is the first zombie book, that I felt an emotional connection to the main character. This book, leaves your struggling, and hurting, right along with Hank. Well written, amazing plot, and superb character depth, with excellent editing, and proper formatting for kindle. The only negative thing I can say.. is now I have to wait for book two in the series!

A MUST READ!!! EXCELLENT BOOK

I would say this is one of the best post apocalyptic zombie stories that I have read. I like how it explains how dark the recesses of your mind will go when under major distress and horror. It brings you to the backwoods of South Carolina with a man named Hank, who not only loses family and friends but he is brought to the brink of insanity on top of it all. It makes you wander how someone could actually handle the aftermath of the world ending. Excellent read I give it 5 Stars!

AMAZING A DEFINITE MUST READ

I read this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the BEST zombie book I have ever read! Not the typical zombie story. It has heart! It will having you crying and laughing, cheering and on the edge of your seat holding your breath. The story follows a man named Hank Walker and his quest to reunite with his family that he sent away for safety. He has a different outlook on the zombies than most do. He makes friends with someone named Humphrey along the way durning his journey. They have many close calls. He finds a few survivors along his journey. Do they live? Who is Humphrey? Does he find his family? Does he answer his question about the zombies? Well….I won’t tell you…..read this you will LOVE it. I have read everything I can get my hands on by this author and have never been disappointed. He has the give of storytelling down. Nothing I have read compares! Do yourself a favor and get this book! I have ordered this for my kindle and am buying one to keep as a book. I LOVE IT!!!!

THE BOOK IS MASTER TELLING AT ITS BEST

Dredging up Memories is the best book I have read in a long time that reflects upon the zombie apocalypse. Author A.J. Brown masterfully creates this amazing story and brings it to life in the main character of Hank Walker. I could not put this book down. This is master story telling at it’s best. To take a protagonist and put him through so much loss and devastation due to the zombie chaos and then have him try to keep himself together by finding a bear dressed up in a bunny costume which he names Humphrey’s and have him give him life by imagining the voice a a little girl to help him deal with all the tragedies he has to endure as he has to take on the part of arming himself with the task of being the executioner of all the people he cares about who are turning into zombies. How does he find solace? How does he find strength to keep going? As he fights to stay alive and work on being with his family which he hopes found safety after the contamination broke out. His only friend has become Humphries who appears to tame his sanity. I tell you this is one amazing book and the journey AJ Brown takes us into is just one that a reader should not miss.

13106731_10209260504770741_700376366_o-2I LOVE HOW A.J. WAS ABLE TO PUT A CERTAIN HUMANITY …

Just got done reading Dredging up Memories earlier today. I could hardly put the book down. I love how AJ was able to put a certain humanity into the zombies that Hank encountered throughout the book. He even managed to keep his own humanity when the world and the few living people he encountered had seemingly lost their collective minds. All except for Hank and a person he meets along the way named Hetch. He gets a teddy bear named Humphrey that keeps him from losing it for a while. All in all a great read and definitely worth the money and time spent reading it.

THIS IS TALENT

I have to admit, I’m getting a little burned out on zombie books … but this one is different. It drew me in right away and then I didn’t want to put it down. I love a story that lets me see into a character’s heart and soul. Dredging Up Memories does this very well. At times, I wondered if the main character, Walker, is crazy—his friendship with Humphrey??—but it didn’t matter. Crazy or not, he is so human…so fallible. AJ Brown’s story has more depth than most zombie apocalypse books; it’s almost philosophical in parts. Everyone the main character comes across has an impact, leaves him with new lessons learned. In this sense, it reminded me of The Little Prince—only much darker and filled with zombies. What impressed me most about Dredging Up Memories is the high level of talent Brown shows in his writing. When I finished this book, I immediately got another story by AJ Brown. I’m still reading it, but it’s proving to be just as compelling and well-written as this one. One final comment: I found it interesting that Brown was able to write a ZA story without using obscene language. I’m not a prude when it comes to language, but this was refreshing.

MEMORIES …

I read all sorts of paranormal books but have never gotten into the zombie craze. Vampires (not the sparkly ones), werewolves, witches, fae, etc… yes, zombies – well I just never got into them. I read this book because I know the author. I’ve read his other books. He’s amazing.

This read is no different. He’s done an amazing job. It’s written from a different perspective. Once you’re into it, it’s very hard to put aside. Lost quite a few hours of sleep because I had to see what was going to happen. It captures you, drags you in, and won’t let you put it down. Much like AJ’s other books. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you (ok me) tear up in places. Quite an unexpected ending too.

Get it. Read it. You won’t regret it.

RIVETING

I absolutely loved this book, because it’s not your typical zombie slasher novel. Following along with Walker through the apocalypse, his hunt for his family while he has to adapt to how things are changing just kept me on the edge of my seat literally glued to the book and emotionally tied to him and his feelings while doing it.

YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK. THEN YOU’ll WANT TO READ IT AGAIN

Zombie story that was more about the character development than about the zombies, done in the most brilliant way. A.J. Brown keeps you engrossed in the story, invested in Hank (the main character), and gripping the edge of your seat with each turn of the page.

You want to read this book. Then you’ll want to read it again.

VIVID AND POWERFUL

This book is an immersive experience. There is plenty of action, but it really puts you into the mind of a survivor. It goes heavily into the headspace and emotions of navigating a world decimated by monsters.

AN AWESOME READ!

Not your average book about Zombies. This is an epic tale, of one man’s journey into hell and Zombies of course!! Kept me reading to the very end! Couldn’t bear to put it down!!

THIS AMAZING STORY IS DEFINITELY WORTH IT

I have always been a biased Zombie fan, and I can honestly say that I am truly a fan of A.J. Brown. His main character, Hank Walker, takes you on his journey as if you were right beside him. Every turn and curve he experienced the listener experiences as well. Brown created a character that you can relate to. This story is not about the Zombies, but how Walker adapts in this new world and his struggle to survive, both physically and psychologically. Each step draws you into the world Walker experiences. Each memory brings us closer to who Walker is and what he is experiencing. This amazing story is definitely worth it! The narrator was excellent, capturing Walker’s character. He was easy to listen to and brought the character to life.

AMAZING!

Amazing! A wonderfully told story about one man’s survival with zombies.

WOW!!

I want to start of this review by saying “WOW” this book was amazing! The way this author delves into the mind of a man alone in a world that is now plagued by Zombies was perfect!

You really feel everything that Hank goes through in this book as you are reading this story. The pain of not knowing if your family has survived to the fear of this creatures that are out to eat you so you can never let your guard down at all. To the way that some people behave after the end of the world that will leave you feeling disgusted that someone would do those things.

Hank really goes through a lot in this book and the way the loneliness gets to him you could really see someone getting to that point after witnessing everything that he has. I loved the way this author wrote this story and the characters in this book. I was on the edge of my seat through most of this story wondering if Hank’s family was okay and if he was going to make it.

I would recommend this book!

DREDGING UP GREATNESS

I would never have read “Dredging Up Memories” if I’d known it was a zombie novel. That said, it’s NOT a zombie novel. At least, not in the traditional manner depicted on television and in print. It is so much more.

The main character’s name, Walker, cracks me up. He’s a “Walker,” as if the author is paying homage to “The Walking Dead” television series (they call zombies “walkers” in the TV series). But he’s not like any character in any zombie invasion I’ve ever seen. He’s more like the United Nations employee Gerry Lane played by Brad Pit in “World War Z,” a humanized and realistic character. In Author Jeff Brown’s story, Walker is an action hero humanized, tamed and brought down to Earth. He’s been neutered from all the Ash Williams type characters (The Evil Dead) and given a conscience in a world of zombies. Let’s introduce some drama, shall we? The character is alone in his hometown, feeling the need to lay the “rotters” to rest one final time.

You can read Jeff Brown’s reasons for writing the tale at the end of the book. But I’m going to give my spin on it and compare this book to Stephen King’s “Misery” for one very good reason: there’s basically only one character through most of the book, and when a ‘partner’ shows up toward the end (Hetch), then there’s only two characters.

In King’s “Misery” there are two main characters, too. Although the emphasis is on the mind of Paul Sheldon, Annie Wilkes comes in to ‘rescue’ him and help guide him through rewriting his last novel to a particularly fond series she favors.

In Jeff Brown’s story, he does pretty much the same thing with just two characters. Some might argue that there are more characters than that, but he dredges up those characters through memories the same exact way that Paul Sheldon does in King’s “Misery.” Those snapshots are memories of only one character, and the thoughts and ideas are those of only one character.

King and Brown have achieved the same results.

Some might argue that King did a better job, but I would argue that Brown did the same exact job seamlessly, realistically and accurately for the most part. There are some stylistic differences and plot twists I would have done differently, but that is aesthetic differences between one writer and another (and writing is just a hobby for me, while Brown actually puts books out).

There was only one typo in the book which is phenomenal since I find typos in bestselling author’s work all the time. This typo is an easy fix and easily missed because the author used the word “break” for the “brake” of a car. Whoever helped edit this book with Jeff Brown… Well, they all need a congratulatory party for themselves. There should be editor awards on the cleanest novels, and this should be one of them.

Critique 1: the story doesn’t start with a bang, nor do the chapters end with cliff hangers. For example, if you read anything of Author Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code), he can’t end any chapter without some sort of cliff hanger. Author Jeff Brown doesn’t insult the reader’s intelligence using this ‘gimmick’. Some preconditioned readers’ minds won’t like that. But Stephen King often uses the same technique, simply starting the story normally without writing gimmicks, the same as Author Jeff Brown does. So, if you need writing gimmicks and tricks-of-the-trade to keep you reading, then you’ve been brainwashed by the publishing industry, and you’ll miss out on an awesome story as told by Author Jeff Brown.

Critique 2: The main character comes across a group of church people and—like so many times in Hollywood—the church people are crazy. I’ve felt that zombie stories are overdone, but even more overdone are the portrayal of crazy Christians. They’re usually portrayed as two-dimensional caricatures, and this is evident in “Dredging Up Memories.” You have the narcistic Preacher White who is shouting Scriptures and trying to whip his flock up into a frenzy, but inwardly he’s a ravenous and power-hungry wolf loving his grasp of power over his brainwashed flock. Then there’s the flock themselves, not quite as zealous as the preacher, but willing to die for ‘his cause’ no matter what. And, as always, there’s one person in the group who is kind of the outsider who tends to stand alone or help the protagonist. In this case he’s called “Hairy Ears” (since the main character doesn’t know his name).

There are styles and aesthetics and plot differences I might have liked better, but what makes Author Jeff Brown’s book stand out is here is a little guy, not well known amongst the super elite mega-authors, and he sets a bloody stake in the sand and seals off his own real estate among the zombie genre. And he writes it HIS way. The author does it in such a way as making the entire tale more believable, because the more humanity you pump into any character, the more believable that story becomes. In that sense, this story becomes the first of its kind in its genre, a kind of character-driven “zombie drama.” That’s right, it becomes something that’s never existed before, bringing humanity into the zombie series, and letting instead of letting zombies drive the plot (or the need to kill the zombies drive the plot), the plot is character-driven.

Even in King’s “Misery” the plot is driven by his mad caretaker, and the main character has absolutely no control over the situation. In Author Jeff Brown’s story, the ENTIRE novel is character driven. He is NOT controlled by the zombies, nor is the story controlled by the zombies, nor the plot. The only time in which the zombies begin to control anything is when they get inside Walker’s head toward the end and he begins to self-destruct. Then “a savior is born,” and his name is Hetch. They tend to save each other in the story.

I can see Hetch and Walker in the future, a zombie-fighting duo, an ‘us against the world’ attitude, humanized characters working to lay to rest those souls trapped in rotting flesh. Dredging up more memories? It would give the author time to play around with some of the ‘dark areas’ of the Hank Walker’s story.

I’m going to have to give this body of work the highest rating possible simply because it does what Stephen King could not do in “Misery.” Although both King and Author Jeff Brown completely humanized their characters and made them realistic, Brown allowed his character to control the pace of the story instead of letting the ‘monsters’ do it for him. And that is why Hank Walker has become the strongest and most realistic character in any zombie story I’ve ever read. Although he weeps, although he has low points and gets depressed and drunk, he’s still strong enough of a character to control, to overpower and dominate the world of zombies. And that, alongside the character development of Hank Walker, is why this book simply must receive highest marks.

GREAT AUDIO BOOK

I purchased this novel on Audible as I listen more than read (fun when doing chores) and man was this a good novel! The narrator really brought the already tense situations to life, and the writing made a clear visual image in my mind. The troubled mind of the lonely survivor is a tale to tell, and I won’t add spoilers, but it is a harrowing tale that really makes you think of how yu would react to being a survivor in the apocalypse. A definite read.

BY FAR ONE OF THE BEST ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE BOOKS ON THE MARKET

By far one of THE best zombie apocalypse books on the market. Told from the first person point of view of the MC, Hank Walker, author AJ Brown makes you feel as though you are right there with Hank- seeing what he sees and feeling what he feels. The book has a lot of bite, but a lot more heart. Read it now; you won’t be disjointed.

A UNIQUE WALK INTO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

I know that all zombie stories seem to focus on brains, but in this novel, A. J. Brown takes a different approach and offers us a look into the brain of one lonely survivor named Walker (you just have to love the irony there!) and how he struggles more with his own sanity than the undead that surround him. The story drew me in from the start and made me feel comfortable with Walker; like he was someone I know or would like to know. With subtle changes the author is able to unravel Walker’s mind bit by bit through a bombardment of uncontrollable circumstances. As each layer is stripped away, I found myself in Walker’s shoes, and more often than not, agreeing with his choices. To keep from drowning in solitude and becoming a different person altogether, Walker clings to his memories to stay anchored to the man he is. The true horror here is not the living dead, but the possibility of becoming a monster of a different sort. To me, this is what separates Brown’s story from all the other zombie stories I’ve read. That’s a huge feat considering the amount of zombie fiction that is out there these days. Brown even takes the time to give each individual zombie character, instead of a nameless mass of rotting flesh. This forces Walker to wonder who each zombie was before the change and if there is still some residue of that person left behind in the walking corpse. These unique insights into the zombie apocalypse gave me a different perspective and forced me to wonder how I would behave in Walker’s world.

As for the audio, Malone is a superb reader! I’ll admit, when I first realized that Walker was southern… I groaned. I was born and raised in Arkansas, so I know what a southern voice should sound like and unfortunately, most voice actors tackle this with Larry the Cable Guy or Gomer Pyle as their source references. Thankfully, Malone did not fall into that trap and made Walker sound exactly as he should. I don’t know if he is actually from the South, but his voice fit the character spot on and added a depth to Brown’s story that gave it a whole new dimension. This book was meant for audio and there couldn’t have been a better choice than John Malone.

This was truly a unique walk into the zombie apocalypse and one that you can easily submerse yourself into. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good read and a good listen!

AWESOME STORY OF THE ZOMPOC!

The author does an amazing job at creating empathy for the characters during the zombie apocalypse. Great performance by the reader. I would highly recommend this Audible version to any zombie-book readers.

VERY GOOD

A very good zombie read. Love Humphrey. Great story keep me entertained the hole time the narrator did a good job as well. If you love zombie books this is a must read.

A WONDERFUL NEW APPROACH TO ZOMBIE READ

I beta read Dredging Up Memories and loved it. I am a huge fan of zombie and post apoc of any kind. Not only does this book have both but it has a quality of survival that seems more real. It’s one man’s struggle to survive and find his family. He goes through a lot and take it very hard. He’s not this superman who can destroy all zombies without a care in the world. He has feelings and he struggles with those feelings the entire time. I don’t think anyone would take an apocalypse very well and this book reflects that. It’s genuine and real. You sympathize with the main character more than usual. It’s a great book that still has all this and has great zombie killing and fighting. I’d recommend this to any zombie lover.

ANOTHER HIT!!!

A young boy dies of a fever and reanimates causing the apocalypse. Hank Walker is from Sipping Creek, South Carolina and has sent his family to safety or so he hopes. He stays behind to clear houses and give decent burials to family, friends and neighbours even though he’s suffered great loss. He heads out to reunite with his family with his traveling companion Humphrey who is a teddy bear in bunny pajamas. I call him the sanity bear as he helps Hank through some very intense action and stops him from going completely crazy. This is a journey through a landscape of devastation, loss, hordes of rotters and hope. We all have memories, some bring us joy and happiness while others can bring us to our knees in sadness and grief. Memories are all Hank has on his long journey, will they keep him going or totally destroy him. You’ll have to read the book to find out. I highly recommend this book and any other book written by A.J Brown as he writes from the heart and tells awesome stories.

A STORY OF LOVE, LOSS AND HOPE … OH AND ZOMBIES. LOTS OF ZOMBIES

A.J. Brown’s Dredging Up Memories is not your typical Zombie story.

Sure, it’s got enough of the shuffling, flesh eating undead to satisfy even the staunchest of Romero disciples, as many as in any book ever written on the subject in fact, but the brilliance of A.J.’s writing is in the way he focuses on his protagonist’s thoughts and emotions; the natural human reaction to the unnatural inhuman events found in his stories.

Hank Walker is one of a seeming handful of survivors of a world wide apocalyptic Zombie event. He has sent his wife and young son away with his brother in order to keep them safe while he sets about his self-appointed mission of releasing the souls of his friends and neighbors that he believes to be trapped within their rotting corpses as they shuffle aimlessly around his hometown in search of fresh meat.

Dredging Up Memories is a story of survival. A story of one man’s search for all he holds dear in a world gone hopelessly mad. It’s a story of love, of loss, of hope.

Oh…and it’s a story of Zombies. Lots and lots of creepy, bitey Zombies. And it is SO good!

AMAZING!!

A wonderfully told story about Joe man’s survival with zombies.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ

When someone recommended this book, I expected the typical zombie apocalypse story. Man against the dead. Blood, guts, gore. This was something different.

It’s the journey of a man trying to navigate this new world. It’s the story of souls still inside rotting bodies. It’s a man who’s coming to terms with who he is. Mr. Brown writes beautifully; you’re beside Hank through his ups and downs. You care about the character and where he might end up.

It was a touch slow for me in some parts – but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I believe it’s what the book was meant to be. Not full on action, quickly eat up a story and move on – but having to take your time, just as Hank did, and think about why he does the things he does. His journey was written far more realistic than the survivors we see in other books and on television that either die quick deaths, or seem to be impenetrable.

It’s worth your time for character development alone. Brown is excellent at that. Go into it knowing it’s the sweet, revelatory journey that it is. Ask yourself what you would do. Do you bury the dead, and have sympathy? Or are you just a killing machine? It’s a question not often addressed – true sympathy and empathy for zombies.

Go on that journey. Ask those questions. And while you’re there, say hello to Humphrey for me. 🙂

AN OKAY ZOMBIE TALE

This author has a wonderful style and the writing is technically beautiful. I love the empathy that is evoked right from word one. I wasn’t expecting such a deep emotional connection to a character in this genre. However, after that emotional connection things sort of fell apart. Not with the writing, that remained extraordinary. It was the story that tanked. First, we took that trip back to see where it all started, which usually bogs down the very opening of all zombie tales. I thought we were skipping it, since it is usually the same, and this one wasn’t really any different. From there I was bored, the story wasn’t gripping, it sort of meandered and I lost interest. Considering how technically wonderful it was written I will look for more by the author that will hopefully have more meat on the bones.

A ‘CAN’T MISS’ READ!

This was such a wonderful reading experience! A completely different approach to the zombie genre, and one I wholehreartedly endorse! You will experience a multitude of different emotions while reading this very ‘human’ side of the zombie plague. A ‘can’t miss’ read!

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR WORLD WAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN … LITERALLY?

I listened to the audio book on my way to and from work. It was a really long story! I had no idea what it was about before I started it. A virus has taken hold on this world that transforms people from death into zombies or rotters/biters as the main character, Hank calls them. This is a story about hope keeping the home fires burning. It’s about the length a parent would go for their child and family. It’s about having the courage to do the right thing when you have to. Besides the zombies going on in the story, I found myself rooting for Hank. Hoping he would find a way to his ultimate goal. Did he? Read the book and find out!