Review: Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh


4 stars


Oh no, not another post-apocalyptic chronicle I hear you cry. But wait, where are the lumbering zombies, floppy mutants and crazy survivalists called Huck? No, this is not the glamorous Hollywood vision with exciting weapons and deceptively good teeth (though mine are adequate), this is the husk of a world left behind after one of those pesky pandemics (rather insensitively called ‘The Shakes’ on Social Media). Join my odyssey through looted pound shops and empty supermarkets as I encounter numerous people who range from 1 to 10 on the psychotic survivor scale. Expect intrigue, betrayal, warm fuzzy feelings and references to Pot Noodles.


This is marketed as a post-apocalyptic novel, with a twist. The twist being there is no zombies, but I don’t think that’s the only thing that makes this novel stand out. Most of the time, post-apocalyptic novels are moody in tone, but this one is actually extremely witty and made light on the fact civilisation had practically come to an end so you weren’t feeling completely dreary the whole way through it.

This is a little bit slow to start, even though the narration is funny and it’s setting the scene, if does feel like not a lot happens but as soon as our narrator heads out into the world and comes across a congregation of other survivors, things pick up. It was nice to have a number of other characters become involved in the story as it fastened the pace a little. My only problem with the introduction of the new characters is that there is so many of them that I forgot who people were, too many new people and not enough time to get to know them before they were all separated out and having their own conversations with each other. It got a little confusing, but that may just be me not having the best memory.

One major flaw for this novel, which had been pointed out by several others, is the amount of spelling and grammatical errors. A proofread may need to be done for this one.

Dystopian novels aren’t my go-to reading material but I did really enjoy this book, it was nice to read something that wasn’t about people acting mysteriously, out of the blue murders or crime in general. If you are looking for a fast-paced action novel, then this isn’t going to be for you. It’s not slow, per se, it’s just relaxed. The only thrilling, heart racing part is right at the end, this is far more a novel that is filled with British humor about one man just trying to get by during the apocalypse.

Buy it here!

6 Replies to “Review: Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh”

  1. Ugh I’m sorry but I hate zombies haha I read a “post apocalyptic”novel called The Last One, I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t read maany stories in that genre but I found it super unique!

    Liked by 1 person

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