Review: Soundtrack to the End of the World by Anthony Rapino

Okay, yeah, it’s another zombie book, but, you know what? It is a fun, quality read. I love the fact that one of the main characters is a comedian. And problems result from going to a kind of techno club. This book avoids all the typical zombie stereotypes and takes us in entirely new directions. The writing is top notch and the story is inventive. I wish I could read it for the first time again. Kudos to Mr. Rapino on a terrific debut! I can’t wait to see where he goes next.

An Interview with Anthony Rapino


Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Anthony Rapino, author of Soundtrack to the End of the World. Ten questions, let’s go!

1.) Soundtrack to the End of the World is your first novel. How long did it take you to write it? What inspired you?

It took me about two years, 1,257 pots of coffee, 2.3 million uttered curses, and a single tube of anti-itch cream to finish Soundtrack to the End of the World.  That’s not so bad when you consider the first draft was completed in less than a year.  The rest of the time was dedicated to editing and sacrificial offerings.

Inspiration is a funny thing; it comes in all forms.  My inspiration was a tiny wadded up piece of lint that I couldn’t manage to dislodge from my belly button.  I named it Bartleby.

2.) I sometimes meet people and think they’d make excellent characters, then I proceed to write them into my stories without their knowledge. Are any of your characters based on real-life people that you know? If so, do they know you’re ripping off their character traits?

Oh, I’m sure I’ve done this before, but I can’t remember if that was the case for anyone in Soundtrack.  More often than not my characters are an amalgamation of many different real life people, imagined people, and me.  I just scrape it all together into a ten gallon stockpot, simmer for 5 hours, and pour into a soup bowl.  One good for instance of this is the character Dr. Pepper.  Some readers have asked if he was a real professor that I had in college.  The answer is I wish!

3.) One of my idols, Keith Moon, used to do this thing where he’d dress up in a horse costume and hide behind bushes and jump out at people or try to get on the bus wearing said costume, stuff like that. If you were to choose a costume to wear around town for one day, just to do errands (such as go to the post office, put gas in the car, etc.), what kind of costume would you choose?

Sam from Trick R’ Treat of course.

4.) You are the most organized writer I’ve ever “met.” You’ve got all your guest blog pictures and guest post stuff – not to mention a game! – all set up and ready to go, weeks in advance. How do you do that? Do you have a job that requires you to be so organized?

Medication and coffee.

When I’m not writing I’m an adjunct college professor (of English), so that definitely keeps me organized.  I need to prepare lesson plans (often for three different classes) weeks in advance, prep the syllabi, grade, and so much more.  If I lose track of anything, it can throw the whole semester out of whack.

Tossing the blog tour into the mix, I knew I’d have to get things ready early or suffer the backlash of angry readers.

5.) I know you’re a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan, so, tell us, if you were in a fight club, whom would you most want to fight?

I’d fight Chuck.  I’m curious to see if he’s as badass as his characters.  Plus, if I whooped him, I’d demand he write the forward for my next book.

6.) What’s the one book you could not live without?

That’s a very hard question because honestly, there aren’t many books that I read over.  There are so many new ones always coming out that I tend to want to read those instead.  Having said that, one of the few I have reread many times is Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.  I absolutely love that novel, and I’ve even written school essays about it.

7.) Global warming: real danger or made-up hoax?

Oh, it’s real.  Then again, I believe in monsters, aliens, ghosts, and alternate realities, so it doesn’t say much.

8.) Do you listen to music when you write? Does Soundtrack to the End of the World have a soundtrack of its own?

I usually listen to music, and most of the time it actually has to be instrumental for me to not be distracted.  Lyrics (especially in songs I love), make me want to sing along, and of course then I stop writing entirely.

For Soundtrack that wasn’t the case.  I mostly listened to music with lyrics, and in fact, many of the songs mentioned in the novel are the songs I was listening to.  I put Tool’s entire discography on repeat most days.  I also mixed in some Rage Against the Machine, Dr. Steel, and Primus.  All fairly heavy stuff, but more important were the themes within the music.  Tool especially covers many of the same themes I use in the novel.  You also might notice a variety of allusions to specific songs if you read carefully.

9.) Running: you’re one of those sick, avid runners or you’d never dream of doing such a thing unless zombies were chasing you? 

Just the thought of running makes me feel ill.  A few years ago I tried getting into a jogging routine, but it never took.  I like to sprint now and then, just for that little burst of energy, but anything farther than a few hundred yards, and I’m toast.  I do need to get in shape for the end of the world though.  Being a lazy lump like me simply won’t do.

10.) What’s your next project?

I’m always trying to work on short stories, so there’s that.  But I’m also dead set on finally finishing my second novel.  It’s currently untitled, but I did offer a short preview of it at the end of my short story collection Welcome to Moon Hill.  The reason I did that is because the novel will take place in Moon Hill too.

You’ll see some familiar faces there, but it’s a completely new story, and not at all connected to Soundtrack in any way.

Thank you, Anthony, for playing along! Best of luck to you!

Thanks so much for having me, Shannon!


Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Collect all twelve game pieces (available from blog stops during my tour), put the pieces together, and decipher the code.  It will lead you to a secret website.  If you’re the first person to comment on the site, you win!

Join us in the Insanity Rocket to discuss the contest.

Stop by the blog tour page for all upcoming dates and more contest info.


I am very proud to announce the launch of my debut novel, Soundtrack to the End of the World, currently available in signed limited hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook editions.

Who knew the end could sound so good.

A suicidal nudist strolls into traffic.  An eccentric Buddhist claims he can occupy other people’s bodies.  All the while, whispers of a new form of entertainment blow through town.  Prompted by these strange occurrences, Marty Raft, a not-so-gentle giant, investigates and discovers underground clubs peddling music that induces an out-of-body experience.   Marty and a wannabe comedian, Corey, set out to prove these special frequencies are nothing more than a hoax, or at worst, a mass-drugging.  Instead, they uncover a secret with world-ending possibilities.

If you can hear the music, it’s already too late.

Author bio

Anthony J. Rapino resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, somewhere between the concrete of the city and the trees of the forest.  On occasion, you’ll find him moderating the feverish battles between the creatures of these two arenas.  Whose side he’s on is anyone’s guess.

His newest fiction can be found in Black Ink Horror, On Spec, Arcane Anthology, Electric Spec, A cappella Zoo, Space Squid, TQR Stories, and carved inside a variety of autumn gourds.  His short story collection, Welcome to Moon Hill, is currently available, as is his first novel Soundtrack to the End of the World.  Proof of his psychosis can be found on his website:


From Omnium Gatherum Media, my spin on a zombie novel! Available today, in paperback and Kindle formats:

Ghoulish Savannah funeral parlor heir Caleb Exley lusts after the untouchable art student Scarlet, who dreams of blowing town and heading to Hollywood. Caleb and his best friend, Grainger Mercer IV, liven up the dying Exley & Sons funeral business with a touch of modern day memento mori. But Scarlet remains dead-set on leaving until Avery, Caleb’s old friend from a prestigious medical research center, comes to town and catches her eye. Avery barely notices her, he’s got bigger more important plans. When caleb’s passion escapes his control and causes a horrific accident, Avery steps in and resurrects the business of dying.

Slush Pile Hero

you can still view interviews with Peter Straub, Jeremy C. Shipp, S. G. Browne, Jeremy Wagner, and more by visiting my old website – just be sure to come back here for the latest news!

Hello world!

So, because I could not reach anyone at WordPress support, I had to start a new blog and Slush Pile Hero will be in limbo forever.

Since I last posted at Slush Pile Hero, I’ve gone through some changes. I sold a few books and I lost, among other things, my muse. I continue to work on Revival House, but in my current state of writer’s block (I know, it doesn’t exist), I’m terrified of making any changes to it for fear of ruining the whole story. But, my publisher is anxious for me to get another book out (she is so understanding and doesn’t pressure me at all), so I have to find the courage to forge ahead.

I plan on doing some interviews here, mostly with writers who awe me with their words.

So, with that, let’s get started. I’m looking for someone to interview now.