Book Review & Giveaway: Working Stiffs by Lucy Leitner

Posted: 2012/10/19 in Giveaway, Zombie fiction
Tags: , , ,

Used by permission as posted on Tim’s Book Reviews.

Working StiffsPremise: Pro-Well Pharmaceuticals is Pittsburgh’s premiere pharmaceutical company, led by the former meth dealer Marshall Owens, developing drugs that treat diseases and ailments such as erectile dysfunction. When a terrible accident stops production, however, their dirty little secret is revealed: the factory workforce is actually full of zombies who only need payment in human flesh.

The office employees quickly go into survival mode, banding together or falling victim to undead hunger. They gather makeshift weapons of paper cutters and staplers in order to fight off zombie hordes as they try to escape the building before it’s time to clock out. Marshall Owens has barricaded himself in his fourth floor office, but his surviving employees might have plans of making him pay for his crimes against nature.

The zombie horde amassing outside the building makes their escape plans even more of a challenge, especially with no contact with the outside world. The outbreak has spread to other parts of the city, but the surrounded building isn’t enough to make these employees work overtime.

Themes: Survival is the key in any zombie outbreak, and that is no different in Working Stiffs. Improvisation is essential, especially when trying to find food, water, and weapons. Knowing your enemy is important as you make a plan for survival. The employees search for office supplies that can double as weapons and do their best to plan for escape from the Pro-Well building. We are given insight into the creativity needed for survival situations.

Romance sort of plays a role in the story, though a small part, even if it is unrequited or hidden between unlikely characters. Two employees make their secret romance known, while the goth girl on her first day of work longs for the gay pessimist who becomes the appointed leader of the survivors.

Pros: The dialogue is pretty funny if you aren’t offended by obscenity. The unique characters are probably the best part of Working Stiffs, being thoughtfully characterized without becoming too much of a caricaturization. I liked the fast pace of the action and the funny conversations, especially of the boorish O’Brien. And the loveable General will surprise everyone with his leadership. I also liked that no one is safe when it comes to becoming a zombie meal.

Cons: One of the problems I had with Working Stiffs was that I wasn’t convinced the improvised weapons would have been quite as effective as they were. I don’t think reams of paper and telephones with cords attached would smash a skull as well as they did in the story. A minor gripe considering the humorous nature of the book, I feel like it ended with a few loose ends unresolved while other things tied up too quickly. Perhaps it needed a bigger climactic event to have more payoff. I thought some of the content was offensive for the sake of being offensive, such as with the self-depreciating homosexual or the comments about obese people.

Recommendations: If there is such a thing as a lighthearted zombie gore fest, this falls into that category. Working Stiffs is humorous, full of violence, gore, profanity, and indiscriminately offensive toward all social groups, from geek to goth, including religion, race, age, sexual preference, weight, et al. Some people will be offended by these things while others will greatly enjoy the book because of them. I have a feeling after reading this review you will know which camp you fall into. Think of Working Stiffs as a cross between Office Space and Shaun of the Dead.

– Tim
Working Stiffs on Goodreads
Lucy Leitner on Twitter
Working Stiffs on Facebook
Buy Working Stiffs on Amazon
Necro Publishing


And now for the giveaway!
We will pick two US/Canada winners to receive a signed copy and one international winner to receive an ebook. All you have to do is answer the question in the comments below:

“What would be your weapon of choice if you were stuck in an office building during a zombie outbreak?”

You can also get extra entries in the contest, but you must answer the question for them to count:
+1 Follow Lucy on Twitter @TheLucyLeitner
+1 Follow ZAI on Twitter @zpoc_awareness
+1 Tweet about the giveaway & post a link to your tweet
+1 Like Working Stiffs on Facebook
+1 Like Zombie Awareness International on Facebook

Make sure you post extra entries in your comment. Also let us know if you are a US/Canada or international entry. You have until 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday, October 26 to enter. Winners will be chosen from entries and contacted by email within 48 hours to get your shipping information. Good luck to everyone!

  1. Rebecca Bechan says:

    I would break about some metal furniture and use the legs to hit the zombies in the head

  2. Griff Griffith says:

    Broom handle, with an improvised weighted end

  3. Tonika Clark says:

    Fire axe!

  4. Joseph says:

    Fireaxe. Should be readily available, and easily accessible in an office building setting.

  5. Tyler Gingery says:

    Kick in the soda machine in the break room, triple up some garbage bags, load the bag with the full cans of soda, then go around busting some zombie skulls.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    The blade off a papper cutter. It might need a handle added to it because the one it has doesn’t lend itself to swinging.

  7. I would go thru everyones desk to get whatever i could! Hairspray and lighters, chair legs with pens on the end for a homemade brain scrambler, and a fireaxe. And maybe someone has a firearm in their desks. Toilet paper soaked in booze and then lit on fire!

  8. Oh im a Us citizen! Sorry i forgot!

  9. U could break a pane of glass and attach it to a broom handle, perfect Decapitator!

  10. One more time! I would take a mop- take off the head of it and either attach the arm of a paper cutter, piece of glass, or a screw driver, that way u get leverage when u swing for the head! Us citizen still!

  11. ron says:

    I would take apart the old paper cutter and sharpen it up a lil and use it as a machete and decapitate some zombies!!!!

  12. Tyler Gingery says:

    Forgot U.S. Citizen

  13. Cody says:

    I would use the paper cutter arm. And broom handle made into a spike. Im in good ol usa

  14. Tom Maliwauki says:

    I Am a US Citizen, I would first take the fuse from the microwave oven in the break room and hard wire it, that way I can put a flamible substance, and one will do, and use it as an improvised elposive. I would also put paperclips and scissors within it for srap metal. I would back myself up with a broom handle with scissors tied to the end to stab them in the head!

  15. Jeremy Chookas says:


  16. Jim Gauthier says:

    i would use a garbage pail lid as a shield and use the paper cutter as a mid range sword,,, though the weight would be off so i may lean torwards using a mop with the head taken off….. and btw im from the usa

  17. Broom and mop handles tend to break when used for bashing. Fire axes and extinguishers could be hard to find specially when half of that stuff is usually missing or expired. What I would do is fashion a weapon out of a pipe, break it from the bathroom of some place else, some rope, some tape and a big paper cutter arm. It would resemble a naginata or a sword-spear. That combined with a shield from a metal trash can lid or a piece of cubicle wall would be great to keep the zombies at a distance where they belong.

  18. What about a nail gun? U know that a maintenance man has a nail gun! Shoot em in the noggin, and theyre down for the count! That way u wont have to get too close and risk gettin bit or scratched! Us citizen! Love to win this book! I follow u both on twitter and all the xtra ones too? Thank you!

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