Jake Colangelo Letter Essay 2

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dear Reader,

I recently read a book called Hell on Earth by Tony Urban. It is a science fiction thriller and is the first book of a three part ongoing series (the fourth book is supposed to be released  late fall of this year). Tony Urban is mainly a Horror genre writer and he does his job very well. He is always sure to describe the reanimated corpses in great detail, always giving them some form of grotesque injury. Before his current career as a writer, he worked in the film industry. He often travels thousands of miles to visit haunted sites, and loves paranormal and just odd things in general. I read this book because I was looking for a scary short story to read. But the moment I came across this dystopian plot I couldn’t resist downloading it and taking a peak. And within seconds I was on the edge of my seat, with a cliffhanger coming with the first chapter, before the book leaps to a whole other time, before leaping to a new character. It was insanely captivating and fun, despite it’s bloody demeanor. It was addicting growing close to characters watching them grow close to friends and escape impossible situations through wit, weapons, and explosives (lots of explosives). You watch their fate play out and you know you can do nothing but pray that they survive.

 

The book perfectly illustrated a zombie apocalypse with detailed gore and heavy internal character moral dilemma (if you cannot tolerate carnage, do not read this book). You can never grow too attached to the twelve main characters in this series, because before you know it your favorite character is cut loose from the plot, usually through a bloody death, occasionally heroic, sometimes through betrayal. There are romantic struggles and moral ones too. Nobody knows the origin of the virus, or if it was an act of biological terrorism or an act of God, but it soon decimates the population. The book itself says that the population of america was 300 million before the virus, but was quickly destroyed and only 5000 remained. That means from a week of the first outbreak, only one in every sixty thousand is still alive. You had a 0.0016666666% chance of surviving for a week. You have a better chance of getting struck by lighting 20 times before you survive this apocalypse for a week. FOR JUST ONE WEEK! BEst of all, the characters aren’t perfect. In fact they are far from it. But Mr.Urban did that on purpose. He knew that instead of a perfect main character, a cast of a hermit farmer, the daughter of a drug addict, the daughter of an abusive father, a rich man, the son of a US senator, a poor man, a rich man, a slacker, the religious father of an autistic son, two soldiers, and a man who collects guns like an eight year old collects baseball cards. It puts imperfect characters in impossible situations that require mental and physical strength, and not everyone can survive.

 

The genre of this book is a dystopian horror science fiction thriller, and was very bloody. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this book is not for those who cannot tolerate disembowelment. I noticed how the author focused on these small unimportant details such as individual zombies being deformed and he always provided very graphic descriptions just to mess with the reader, making you want to look over your shoulder out of fear. You could never get comfortable while reading this series whether it was a badly injured undead corpse or a flesh eating child, there was something to upset your sense of safety. It was fantastic. You couldn’t fall asleep without finishing your page, your chapter, or even the book itself. It was captivating in a nightmarish sort of way. Absolutely amazing. If I were the author I would have spent more time focusing on one piece of the plot, rather than treating all characters so perfectly equal. No, we haven’t seen So-and-So in ten chapters but that guy is about to die. Sometimes it felt like he wouldn’t allow himself more than 7 pages with one character, because there were eleven others who needed attention. Even though gradually people meet and interact most of the book is spent solo or in a very small short lived team. Of course this issue gradually gets better as characters either die or team up, it is quite an annoying quirk of this book.

 

One of my favorite passages of the book takes place on the first page,“The bodies of over four dozen men and women littered the small grid of streets which made up his hometown. He’d killed them all. After the first few, much of the shock wore off and it was little different than plowing the fields or harvesting the crops. Just another job, albeit a bloody one. It was time to return to the farm. He could finish this messy work tomorrow or the day after that. He had a feeling time didn’t matter much anymore. Still, the day had been long and hot, and he’d worked up quite a thirst. All he had at the farm was prune juice, spoiled milk, and whatever water still remained in the holding tank. Wim felt it best to gather a few supplies before heading home, and Bender’s store was the only choice in town. He knew Old Man Bender wouldn’t mind if he raided his little market. He knew Old Man Bender wouldn’t mind because he’d put a bullet through his liver-spotted bald head three hours ago. Or was it four?” (Page 1). This passage shows so much about our character. Keep in mind that this takes place only days after the outbreak. He was completely desensitized in a matter of days, killing people he previously knew, leaviing their bodies to rot. Not only that, but it is said he is running out of resourses, and he refers to his killing as just another job, and says that after the first few, it became easy to kill. He has no problem stealing, and he knows how lucky he is to be immune to the airborne strand of this virus. He is willing to survive at virtually any cost. I would rate this book 8/10. Absolutely fantastic and would recommend to virtually anybody.

 

Signed,

Jake Colangelo

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36 thoughts on “Jake Colangelo Letter Essay 2

  1. Your essay was really well written. I love your use of words and description of the book. I think this is a really good skill to have because if you describe the book really well, then you’ll tend to get the readers attention quite fast. I really like the part in your essay when you said, you have 0.0016666666% chance of surviving for a week. That really got my attention because having it be that percentage out of 100 is crazy. I think I might want to read this book somewhere in the future.
    -Maye Stichter

  2. Dear Jake,

    This book sounds really cool! it is a very disturbing book by nature but it does sound really cool. I liked the part when you said, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this book is not for those who cannot tolerate disembowelment.” That line made me laugh a little bit but at the same time it gave me a good view of what I was to be expecting in this book. it was a good way of putting something very gory and grotesque in somewhat of lighter terms. One thing that i would point out that you could do better on, is try to just go into a little more description of what you thought of the book, just so i can get your opinion. But i think this was very good!

    Nice Job,
    Isabel Petron

  3. I really like the way that in the first two paragraphs, you gave a really good description. You went into a lot of detail and gave a good backstory to everything that happened. I enjoyed your Letter Essay alot.

  4. Sounds like a very good book, I think you did a really good job with making sure you included everything, you also have a very nice vocabulary. I didn’t see anything you should fix so overall I think it was very good.

  5. Hi Jake, I really liked your letter essay because you gave so much great details about the book you read without spoiling the main plot. I also like how you said surviving the apocalypse is a 0.0016666666% chance of surviving a week and followed up by saying that you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning 20 times.

  6. Jake,
    I really enjoyed reading your Letter Essay! I thought it was entertaining and informative. Something you do very well as a writer is description. I loved the way you wrote, “such as individual zombies being deformed and he always provided very graphic descriptions just to mess with the reader, making you want to look over your shoulder out of fear.” I think you did a good job of analyzing the author’s craft while also adding your own thoughts and painting a picture of the book in the reader’s mind. I can clearly understand what the book is about from your descriptions. One thing you can do to improve as a writer is read over your piece and check for any spelling errors or typos.

    Devin Triano

  7. I really liked how you used lots of big, complicated words. Another thing i enjoyed was how detailed you were. I also liked how you included warnings if you were to read this book, like, “(if you cannot tolerate carnage, do not read this book)”. I enjoyed this very munch!

  8. I really liked how you used unique and different vocabulary words. This made me want to learn more about your book. You did a great job using description to explain the characters and plot. Overall you did a great job!

  9. Hi Jake,

    I really liked your Letter Essay. Thank you for sharing it. I really liked how you wrote the essay. You were passionate about the book and were interested in the plot line and the characters. I also like your word choice. I, specifically, was wowed by “grotesque injury” and “detailed gore and heavy internal character moral dilemma”. These words really gave me a sense of the book’s tone. An author’s word choice leaves a big impact on the reader and demonstrates the complexity of the piece. One thing that you can work on is possibly checking for typos. Also, besides the passage, you should use more quotes and make sue that they are cited the correct way.

    Jason Viani

  10. Dear Jake,

    First things first, Tony Urban’s lust for paranormal activity sounds a lot like Gravity Falls. It seems that he does enjoy writing horror stories and it sounds like he also does an amazing job at his career. I actually want to read this book because of the sentence that you inscribed; “You can never grow too attached to the twelve main characters in this series, because before you know it your favorite character is cut loose from the plot, usually through a bloody death, occasionally heroic, sometimes through betrayal.” This line right here attracts the reader and I’m really glad you put it in. I also enjoyed how you said, “It’s captivating in a nightmarish sort of way.” This just makes me look at all the books I have read and how I can not described how you just described Hell on Earth. I shall think of reading this book after your description. Thank you. A way you can grow more in this area of writing is too… not describe or talk about he death that much, it may unnerve others.

    Signing off,
    Elisabeth Berg

  11. I like your analysis of the book. I especially enjoyed reading about how the author treats and focuses on characters, it was a nice touch, and shows a more critical side. This is useful, because it shows you can find flaws in books and step into an author’s shoes. All in all, it was a strong piece.

  12. Jake,
    I really liked your letter essay. You added great description that gave me a sense of what you were talking about. I loved the line where you talked about it being a nightmarish story. I would recommend adding more quotes and pages from the text to back up your information instead of all your thoughts. This give it the extra push it needs.
    Mia Larkin

  13. Howdy Jake

    I bet your getting tons of responses but that’s because you have an awesome essay. I am very happy you pushed the main characters carelessness and will to survive. There were a few spelling errors here and a couple grammatical errors there but your storytelling ability overpowered that

    Happy reading, Conor

  14. I really liked the way you described the plot of the story and how you used very different vocabulary words when describing the novel. I even liked how you described the sense of the book and how when you have one favorite character he or she could be the leader in one chapter and get get scraped of the book in the next.

  15. Jake,

    I loved your letter essay! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. Your letter essay gave me a lot of insight on the science fiction book, H̲e̲l̲l̲ ̲O̲n̲ ̲E̲a̲r̲t̲h̲. I really liked how you were speaking directly to the reader in your essay. For example, in your summary paragraph you said: “You can never grow too attached to the twelve main characters in this series, because before you know it your favorite character is cut loose from the plot, usually through a bloody death, occasionally heroic, sometimes through betrayal.” I thought that I could connect to this book more than I would another book because you are speaking to me. Also, from this passage I can really detect your love for this book. Also I know you loved this book because you rated it an eight out of ten. Eight’s are reserved specifically for very good books, and I now have gathered that it is a book worth reading. A piece of constructive criticism I have is to use commas when they are needed because some sentences seemed like they don’t have the right punctuation. That you for sharing your letter essay with me!

    From,

    Reed

  16. Dear Jake,

    First off, thank you for sharing your Letter Essay with us. It sounds like a spooky book! It was a great piece, and I loved the way you write as well. It is very mature, and includes many key components such as complex vocabulary, and detailed, juicy description. One of my favorite lines is in your introduction when you said, “He is always sure to describe the reanimated corpses in great detail, always giving them some form of grotesque injury.” Some great detail, along with great vocab. Nice job! The way you portray the author as a pristine writer, is making me want to pick up one of his books, as being a fan of horror novels as well. I will make sure to look him up, and maybe pick up a copy of Hell on Earth as well! Along with an astonishing passage, it was an overall amazing job, very enjoyable to read.

    From,

    Peter Martinich

  17. Hey there Jake,

    Thanks for sharing your letter essay with me and the rest of the blog. I really liked the part in your essay where you said, “You could never get comfortable while reading this series whether it was a badly injured undead corpse or a flesh eating child, there was something to upset your sense of safety.” This is illustrating the type of story that this book has. It shows the reader that it will be a spooky, gruesome story. Just from reading your essay, it makes me want to read the book. Something that you could do next time is pay more attention the grammar component like spelling and punctuation. I really enjoyed reading your essay. Thanks for sharing!

    From,

    Paul Flaherty

  18. Hi Jake, I am going to start by saying that I think you did good by including how it is part of a three book series, this shows that not only is this a good book, but you recommend the others too. And as Luke said, I thought it was a really cool fact that only one in sixty thousand were still alive. Overall I thought you did a great job on this assignment, and would recommend this to a friend!

  19. hi Jake

    I liked how you had written your essay. It was simply sublime. I will consider reading this book soon. You had a lot of details about the story that really spoke to me. Grate moves Jake keep it up.

  20. Hi Jake,
    You had really good letter essay. You had some great description like in paragraph 1. I see you worked hard on this. I like how you said there’s only a 0.0016666666% of surviving a week and having a more likely chance by getting struck by lightning by a lot. Keep up the good work Jake.

  21. Jake,

    I liked your essay a lot and I can see that you put tons of effort and time into making it good. This is a great reflection on your work ethic and ability. I loved the in-text example, but maybe next time you could shorten it up to the most important parts so the reader can better grasp your idea. I loved how you included some background because it helps the reader better understand the tone of the book in your summary.

  22. Hi Jake,

    Thank you for sharing your letter essay with me and my peers. I thought that it was fun and entertaining to read. I really liked the way you added a lot of detail in your story and then went and backed it up with quotes and evidence from the text. Since this book sounded good I would have loved to see more quotes, but it’s OK because the quality of the text was amazing.

  23. I really enjoyed how throughout the letter essay you went into depth on the characters a lot of the time while somehow managing to still hold back so much of the information about them. After reading this I still don’t even know the characters’ names! I really like how you put the essay together because you really tell all the readers a lot about the book without releasing much information. All of this is clearly shown in the paragraph about the quoted passage. You tell me a brief little picture of the character and nothing else.

    Oh yeah, you can’t really recommend a horror story to “virtually anybody”.

    Just saying…

    I’d replace that with something like: I’d recommend this book to virtually anybody in love with dystopian, sci-fi or horror books.

  24. Dear Jake,

    I loved your summary paragraph. It gave me a solid idea about the book and allowed me to image the scenery. I think that you are a great writer and that you really understand what you’re reading. My favorite line was when you said, “You had a 0.0016666666% chance of surviving for a week. You have a better chance of getting struck by lighting 20 times before you survive this apocalypse for a week. FOR JUST ONE WEEK!” Thanks for sharing.

    From,
    Weston

  25. It sound like a great book and you did a great job summarizing to book and that you got strait to the point.

  26. Dear Jake,

    Wow, that sounds like a great book and very action packed too! The way you wrote and put all of the literary pieces made me want to read the book. The bits included in the essay reflected the tone of the book and therefore the theme as well. The way you described the author’s word choices was on point. I could imagine all of the “bodies littering the streets”, sadly. It seems pretty dark for me but go you, haha. But make sure to watch for some occasional typos next time! Overall good job Jake!

    From,
    Isabel Prentice

  27. Dear Jake,

    Wow, that is A LOT to take in. With in the very first sentence of your Letter Essay, you had it go from a normal book to a crazy, quite insane one. Just like your previous Letter Essay, it shows your love of Science Fiction, horror-like books. Your letter essay was also really good! It showed your thinking, and your feelings on the book. Though it is a book I wouldn’t normally read, it sounds really good. Anyway, good job. It was really well written, and it shows your work and passion for this book. Good Job!

    1. Dear Jake,

      Wow, that is A LOT to take in. With in the very first sentence of your Letter Essay, you had it go from a normal book to a crazy, quite insane one. Just like your previous Letter Essay, it shows your love of Science Fiction, horror-like books. Your letter essay was also really good! It showed your thinking, and your feelings on the book. Though it is a book I wouldn’t normally read, it sounds really good. Anyway, good job. It was really well written, and it shows your work and passion for this book. Good Job!
      Sincerely,
      Amber Borofsky

  28. Dear Jake,

    Thank you for sharing your letter essay with me. Even though this book sounds very disturbing, I have to say that I’d want to read this book. I’ll just have to find a hard copy since I know you read it on the kindle. My favorite genre besides fantasy is science fiction. This genre is the best. I really like the fact that you included, “You had a 0.0016666666% chance of surviving for a week. You have a better chance of getting struck by lighting 20 times before you survive this apocalypse for a week.” There’s nothing better than being struck by lightning! “The bodies of over four dozen men and women littered the small grid of streets which made up his hometown. He’d killed them all. ” That’s just scary. The book that I’m reading right now is also sci-fic, but the assassin has better control. Anyways, I really think that your letter essay is very well written and well planned.

    Sincerly,

    Renee Kwok

  29. Hey Jake! Well for someone who hasn’t read this book or heard of it you really did a good job at describing the novel. One thing I did like about your letter essay was your passage. While I was reading it I didn’t understand why you decided to pick that passage, but then you really showed me that it was all about the point of change for the character. I can totally agree. Well done Jake. I do have one question why did you rate it a 8 out of 10?

  30. Dear Jake,

    This book sounds so compelling to read. It seems like a very suspenseful type of book, that’s a great cliff hanger. I think that your letter essay was very well written in terms of portraying main characters, the theme, plot, and more. One of my favorite things about your essay is that you emphasized every detail, and was sure not to miss out on any key info, that may help the reader understand the book better. I also wanted to mention that I’m not very big into dystopian horror science fiction, but this helped me have better understanding of how interesting this genre can really be. Keep up the great work!

    From,
    Ashley Salvatore

  31. Dear Jake,

    Although it would scare me to death to read this book, you made Hell on Earth sound pretty good. I like how you described the book. The words you wrote in your essay make the story enticing to read. I also enjoyed the passage you chose. This gives the reader a good idea of what they would be expecting to read and also demonstrates the author’s writing style. The passage is a fantastic example and shows a disturbing transformation of the character (I can’t imagine any instance of living on a farm and then slaughtering half the town as though I was plowing a field). Your overall description of this horror story tells me that the author has a very good writing technique, which makes the book seem very much alive and exciting. You did a really great job, and I enjoyed reading your letter essay. One thing that you could do to make your writing stronger is to use some more text to support your thoughts and ideas.

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth A.

  32. Dear Jake,

    I very much enjoyed reading this summary, you described the book so well and made it fun to read. I found it very amusing that you used statistics that were not related to the book or author, but some how made it related, the chance of surviving statistic. This letter essay was done very well and you should keep up the good work.

    Sincerely,
    John Wojenski

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