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Product Details

  • Paperback: 487 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597801437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597801430
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Recently prolific anthologist Adams (Seeds of Change) delivers a superb reprint anthology that runs the gamut of zombie stories. There's plenty of gore, highlighted by Stephen King's Home Delivery and David Schow's classic Blossom. Less traditional but equally satisfying are Lisa Morton's Sparks Fly Upward, which analyzes abortion politics in a zombified world, and Douglas Winter's literary pastiche Less than Zombie. Also outstanding, Kelly Link's Some Zombie Contingency Plans and Hannah Wolf Bowen's Everything Is Better with Zombies take similar themes in wildly different directions. Neil Gaiman's impeccably crafted Bitter Grounds offers a change of pace with traditional Caribbean zombies. The sole original contribution, John Langan's How the Day Runs Down, is a darkly amusing twist on Thornton Wilder's Our Town. There's some great storytelling for zombie fans as well as newcomers. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"The best collection of zombie fiction stories ever." --Paul Goat Allen, Barnes & Noble.com

"Believe the hype. The Living Dead is absolutely the best zombie anthology I've ever read (and I've read many)... If you have even a vague interest in zombie fiction, you MUST buy this book." --HorrorScope

"The Living Dead contains stories of heartbreak, drama, and man's eternal struggle against himself. The focus doesn't fall squarely on violence and horror, which earns it a place among the best of zombie fiction. The Living Dead is not a book to be ignored; it demands a read through--maybe a couple."--Robert Kirkman, writer of The Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies

I just finished letting my rotted fingers turn the pages of the best zombie anthology ever. If I was told to think of one word to sum up all the greatness that is this anthology, that one word would be PERFECTION, and yet, that might not give it justice. THE LIVING DEAD, Edited by John Joseph Adams, is bursting at it binding with 34 wonderful zombie stories from the best horror authors in the world." --The Walking Dead Fan Club blog

"This superb anthology, which assembles some of the best zombie short fiction from the past 30 years, is noteworthy for going beyond the typical undead apocalypse scenario so common in horror today. Instead, editor Adams has chosen works covering the full gamut of zombie fiction. [...] Named one of Publishers Weekly's 2008 Best Books of the Year, this collection contains a story for every zombie fan." --Library Journal

Starred Review. The shambling animated corpses of George Romero's films have lurched into the bookstores in droves in recent months, headlined by high-profile titles like World War Z and Monster Island. In this anthology, editor Adams (Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse) does a remarkable job of collecting a sampling of variations on this theme. These stories range from the truly disgusting (Poppy Z. Brite's 'Calcutta: Lord of Nerves') to the nearly wistful ('Followed' by Will McIntosh) and even one with no supernatural elements at all (Joe Hill's 'Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead'). Included are pieces by big names in horror like Stephen King and Clive Barker but also contributions by less obvious suspects like Harlan Ellison, Sherman Alexie, and George R.R. Martin. The final treat is John Langan's 'How the Day Runs Down' a nasty little play best described as Our Town with zombies. Highly recommended for all horror fiction collections.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --Library Journal

To call this volume anything other than must have would be selling it short, the stories range a great number of years and capture many unique voices on one of the seminal images and iconic characters of Horror fiction and is something I know I'll be pulling down every Halloween. This impressive, massive anthology would make a great gift to give by the light of the Jack o' Lantern. --SFF World

Customer Reviews

Buy this book for the one-fifth of stories that won't waste your time.
Crisanto J. Jorda
More than half of the stories I've read thus far would fit into a horror anthology very well, but they do not belong in a book ostensibly devoted to zombies.
Robert B. Steely
At least one of the "Zombie" stories doesn't even involve actual zombies, but just an ex-con running around talking about zombies.
Jeff J. Watts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By sweethoney on April 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Do not buy this book on your kindle!!! It is missing many stories from the actual paperback book. And most of the stories missing are the best ones. It is a rip off and I wish I could get my money back. Especially since the book is about the same price as the kindle edition.
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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Larry Ketchersid on October 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
What could be more enjoyable than a Zombie story anthology? How about enjoying one during and after Hurricane Ike, with no power and candlelight?? How about one that includes three of my all-time fav authors (Dan Simmons, George R. R. Martin and Stephen King)? How about one nearly 500 pages long (at least the ARC is)? How about one edited by John Joseph Adams, who also brought us the anthologies Seeds of Change and Wastelands (which, yes, I need to finish).

Many of these stories have been previously published, but almost all were new to me. One obvious component: sex angles and zombies seem to mix. Not all include that perspective, but this is certainly not PG-13.

My favorites from this LARGE collection were Ghost Dance by Sherman Alexie, The Third Dead Body by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Malthusian's Zombie by Jeffrey Ford, Home Delivery by Stephen King, Deadman's Road by Joe R. Lansdale, The Song the Zombie Sang by Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg.

This review originally appeared on duskbeforethedawn.net.Thoughts on each story:

* This Year's Class Picture by Dan Simmons: the author of the Hyperion series plus the Illiad/Olympus duology tells the tale of Ms. Geiss, teacher extraordinaire, continuing to teach her class and recruit new students even though they and most of the rest in the city are dead and zombies. The repetition of the lessons and Ms. Geiss persistence are well told.
* Some Zombie Contingency Plans by Kelly Link: interestingly written and well paced story of Soap the ex-con with a painting, who always has a contingency plan against zombies and several other possibilities; the ending threw me (re-read the final paragraph until my eyes hurt), but the journey to the end was enjoyable, as Soap crashes Carly's party and cons her.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. Eagle on January 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's missing the one story I bought the book for: Dan Simmon's The Year's Class Picture. Thanks, Publisher. Thanks, Amazon. Unreal.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Game Master on January 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is definitely hit or miss. As other reviewers have stated, it starts off with "This Year's Class Picture" by Dan Simmons, which is a fantastic short story. It won the Stoker, the World Fantasy, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the japanese version won the Seiun award.

However, after that the book is all down hill. All of it. No other story comes close to the first one, except perhaps "Sex, Death, and Starshine" by Clive Barker which was nearly as good.
The George R.R. Martin piece, and the Stephen King piece are mostly in there to sell the book, not for any great impact or memorable story-telling. I can't even remember the plot of the Stephen King piece as I write this, and I just finished the book last week!

I love zombies. I love zombie stories. This book, though, isn't what I had hoped it would be. As many reviewers have pointed out, "zombies" aren't even in all of the short stories, some just have the word "zombie" in the title, and somehow they got included. Yes, yes, it is a 'play on words' that living people can be 'dead to the world'. haha. Jokes on me I guess, for purchasing a book I thought would be about the undead.

Overall I am glad I read the 2 or three pieces that were great, I actually skipped one or two after the first paragraphs, and the rest were just ho-hum time-fillers to help me drift off to sleep in boredom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jim on August 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
The title of the book is a bit decpetive if you are a zombie genre fan. Many of the short stories in the book are only related to that topic in the most obscure way. In one story, about an art thief, the main character dwells on the idea of zombies along with other catastrophies, natural and supernatural. Nary an undead ever enters the tale. In another the two main characters are playing extras in a George Romero film, acting as zombies. That is it. Some of the stories were actually quite good, others....not so much. For the price it is definitely not worth it if you are looking for a good zombie read.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael on April 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ok, this book is completely inane.
I read story after story, some of which don't even contain zombies. Often these short stories are very pretentious and pseudo-artistic, most are unreadable.

Do you like zombies that rise from the grave to vote?
Do you like teachers trying to educate zombie children and rewarding them w/ chicken nuggets made of humans?
Do you like ex-cons who patter on for pages about nothing?
Do you like zombies who eat flowers and piddle around in apartments?

If so, this book is for you.

If not, avoid at all costs! Reading this book made me wish for a zombie apocalypse to put me out of my misery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Quakenbush on January 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this anthology when I borrowed a copy from a friend, I bought the second volume and thought it was OK. I missed some of the stories in the first volume and picked up the kindle edition- big mistake. The best stories are left out of the kindle version with no indication that anything was different between the two media. I hope this isn't a trend. Amazon, to their credit, handled my complaint right away and refunded the $3.
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