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The Living Dead Paperback – September 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for a college course (Zombies in Literature and Film). The short stories are short enough for a quick read, and they fit well within the anthology. Read morePublished 5 months ago by MBone
Great collection of stories here! The first story alone is worth the price of the book to me. "This Year's Class Picture" by Dan Simmons is such a good story. Read morePublished 7 months ago by trish
Haven't finished it yet - laid it aside for a while. Hoping it gets better.Published 8 months ago by Sharie B
Filled with awesome short stories really love the one by Stephen King the rest are great tooPublished 8 months ago by Nichole Postell
I just ordered this book in paperback after being lured over by the offer of the Kindle edition (which I prefer) for $1.99. Read morePublished 10 months ago by bonnybedlam
Beware if you buy the kindle edition for school, etc, the story Death and Suffrage by Dale Bailey is not included. Bummer.Published 11 months ago by enuffodis
I was going to get the Kindle version but there were stories left out of it. I'm glad I got the book version. Very good stories.Published 12 months ago by shigui
Oh, wow. JJA is the premier anthologist of fantasy and SF publishing today, and a heck of a nice guy. You want the best zombie stories, look no further.Published 16 months ago by S. Joseph