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The Living Dead 2 Paperback – September 1, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Living Dead Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. You don't have to be a zombie-lover to enjoy this outstanding follow-up to 2008's The Living Dead. Anthologist extraordinaire Adams has assembled 43 stories that showcase strong writing and imagination. Unexpected settings include a lost world with surviving dinosaurs (Brian Keene's "Lost Canyon of the Dead") and a pirate ship (Amelia Beamer's "Pirates vs. Zombies"). Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due's "Danger Word" and David Wellington's "Good People" contain powerful depictions of humans facing extinction at the hands of the undead. Cherie Priest revisits the walled, zombie-infested Seattle of her Clockwork Century books in "Reluctance" and Mira Grant adds to her Newsflesh trilogy with "Everglades." For the most part, the authors convey horror through suggestion rather than graphic gore. Readers will hope for many further additions to the series even after the zombie craze passes.
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"There are tons of themes and riffs that I've never encountered before. This collection is recommended for zombiephiles of all stripes ... [I]f you're looking for a showcase for the subgenre's versatility, or proof that short-form horror is the place to find true innovation, this is it." - Rue Morgue

"Overflowing with dark and evocative stories. [...] This is the definitive collection of zombie short fiction. Or, at least, it is until John Joseph Adams unleashes volume three on an unsuspecting world." - San Francisco Book Review

"A wonderful, rotting smorgasbord. Dig in!" - Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Zombie completists need look no further than The Living Dead 2. Editor John Joseph Adams has put together an impressive collection." - The Washington Post

"'Unliving' proof that it's the tellers, not the tales, that count. [...] It's not simply an excellent zombie anthology, or a testament to stellar horror writing. What it is, simply, is an excellent book [...] runs the gamut of undead storytelling: pathos and pain, blood and guts, humor and horror. It's a sensational collection that reanimates and reinvigorates the decaying dead back to exhilarating and entertaining life." - Fangoria (Named Fangoria's Book of the Month)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597801909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597801904
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
So far I am half way through this book and it's already 100% better than the first. The first was ok but alot of the stories were repeats from another anthology style book. This one has more zombie ZOMBIE related stories and not so much the stupid voodoo style zombies. just a much better read, just wanted to put this on here for those of you like me that were put off by the first living dead, had some good stories in it just not enough this one has a lot more and by some better authors..kinda wish j.l. bourne had done one too but i'll take brooks, maberry,kirkman, keene,and moody.
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If you were to read the reviews I gave for John Joseph Adams other anthologies ("The Living Dead" and "Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse") you would understand my reluctance on purchasing yet another collection edited by him. However after other positive reviews and my growing library of zombie fiction, I caved and bought his newest: "The Living Dead 2".
And fortunately it is an entirely different monster (pun intended).
Of the 44 short stories collected in this anthology, 22 were some of the best stories of zombie horror I have read.It should come as no surprise that the well known authors in here prevailed: Brian Keene's ("Lost Canyon of the Dead"), David Welington's ("Good People"), Max Brooks's ("Steve and Fred") and Robert Kirkman's ("Alone Together") works were outstanding but to me it was some of the lesser known, obscure and new authors on the block whose stories captivated me the most. Having already read both of Joe McKinney's novels ("Dead City" and "Apocalypse of the Dead"), the fact that his short story "Dating in Dead Town" was incredibly rich and entertaining was of little surprise to me. "Who We Used to Be" by David Moody and the disgusting, yet highly enjoyable "Zombie Gigolo" by S.G. Brown (a story that won 3rd place in the annual Gross out Contest in the 2008 World Horror Convention) take the reader into the mind of the undead, answering the questions of what the undead feel, think, and do.
With so many good stories, its hard to find the best works but I believe the best piece(s) ,for me anyways, comes to a 2 way tie between Gary A. Braunbeck's "We Now Pause for a Station Identification" and the fantasticly written and original "The Rapeworm" by Charles Coleman Finlay.
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The popularity of zombies is undeniable given the raft of books, films and now an AMC television series. And my own enjoyment of the zombie genre is a bit of a mystery (more so to my wife though). That is why I like the introduction by John Joseph Adams who states these reasons for the popularity, zombies are:

- an enemy that used to be us, that we can become at any time;
- a canvas writers can use to comment on almost anything;
- a morality-free way to fulfill a world-destruction fantasy; and
- a monster that remains scary and cannot be easily romanticized.

I would add that much of my own fascination is based on how I think I would do in a zombie-infested world. Would I survive?, would I survive with honor?, would I be a leader?, and what would I gain or lost of my own humanity? Deep huh? In actuality, I just love these books as thrilling escapes. And I applaud this collection which is stronger than Volume One.

Standouts for me included: Kirkman's Alone Together which has a forlorn twist, Barnes & Due's Danger Word that explores loyalty, Wellington's Good People that provides fun formula, Keene's Lost Canyon of the Dead that could have been co-written with Douglas Preston, Brooks' Steve and Fred which explores heroism versus survival, Fingerman's The Summer Place features a lead character one can empathize with, Edelman explores an anti-terrorism angle in The Human Race, and McAuley's The Thought War will get you thinking.

The editor provides interesting information on each contributor along with a thoughtful introduction to each story. I found this helpful as it provides other titles from these authors to seek out. Definitely great entertainment overall and practically speaking a solid value for the dollar as there over forty stories. I am looking forward to Volume Three.
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Format: Paperback
The Living Dead 2 is a mammoth collection of short zombie stories compiled by John Joseph Adams and featuring a host of zombie-famous writers such as Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Max Brooks (World War Z) and Mira Grant (the Deadline trilogy).

Like most anthologies, it's a mixed bag. A few are so-so, a few are amazing (don't miss Steven Barnes' and Tananarive Due's Danger Word), and most are somewhere in between, but they're all entertaining enough to make this a worthwhile read.

With over forty stories included, themes run the gamut from aliens to teenagers to the military to viruses to cowboys and more. I sometimes found it a little jarring to move from story to story - they are in such a specific genre but at the same time vary so much from each other. A major brain reboot was required at the beginning of each new story. But some people may not have that problem, and after all, this is a collection of shorts so it's easy to take them one at a time and give yourself a break in between.
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