Read The Living Dead by John Joseph Adams Joe Hill George R.R. Martin Clive Barker Neil Gaiman Laurell K. Hamilton Joe R. Lansdale Poppy Z. Brite Online


"When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!" From White Zombie to Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil to World War Z, zombies have invaded popular culture, becoming the monsters that best express the fears and anxieties of the modern west. Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of"When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!" From White Zombie to Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil to World War Z, zombies have invaded popular culture, becoming the monsters that best express the fears and anxieties of the modern west. Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, George R. R. Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Joe R. Lansdale, The Living Dead covers the broad spectrum of zombie fiction.Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors....

Title : The Living Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781597801430
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 504 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Living Dead Reviews

  • Larry McCloskey
    2019-03-09 09:08

    A collection of zombie stories that truly does deliver more than what you'd expect. Zombie fans MUST check this book out, but what sets it apart is that there's enough here for other people as well."This Year's Class Picture" sets things up nicely, catching the reader off guard with it's ending and setting the stage for several different looks at the "life" of the undead. This is far more than stories of blood and gore, but many hinge on lost humanity (and even regained humanity in some cases) even painting the undead as sympathetic victims in some cases.Fear not, zombie fans, there are also stories of man-eating killers as well. As with any anthology, there's some good and some bad. "Meathouse Man" was the standout story for me and I defy anyone to read it and not be moved. "Dead Like Me" was another poignant tale that really stands out. "Less Than Zombie" is a rambling mess that was painful to get through, with its stream of consciousness narrative style. "Calcutta, Lord of Nerves" also failed to ever hit its stride for me. But the good far than outweighs the bad.

  • Michael Fierce
    2019-03-09 03:08

    Some major duds in this collection but the few gems pushed this up to a 4 star read.

  • Timothy Ward
    2019-03-19 03:57

    Dan Simmons's This Year's Class PictureAs the intro story to The Living Dead, I came into this read with high expectations. Dan places the reader into the life of a remarkably interesting woman, on a particularly important day. An elderly school teacher, and potentially the last teacher on Earth, impressed me with her resolve to survive. They say you have to keep your mind working or you'll lose it. Well, she does so by maintaining her teaching routine with a full class of children zombies. The school bell rings and she begins writing the day's schedule on the chalkboard – so used to the gum smacking behind her that she is no longer terrified or even threatened by their presence. I'm giving this story 5 stars because it accomplished exactly what I wanted from the set up. I slipped easily into the setting with his precise detail and fascinating scenario. This clever woman found a way to fortify a school using a man made moat dosed with gasoline, a bulldozer to clear out the kill zone, and a video monitor system complete with spotlights and alarms. Dan makes this believable by including a janitor that helped her and the local library. This is a zombie story about her love for her class that goes beyond their deformity and shows her excellent character willing to keep going despite the hardship set before her. This story is just the kind of vignette into survival that I like to see within the zombie genre.Kelly Link's Some Zombie Contingency PlansKelly writes an engaging story, with a guy people call Soap, who crashes a party, tells a girl about how he went to prison, has a flashback about crashing a museum party, and how he asks everyone what they would do if zombies came. Interesting characters. I'm still trying to figure out what the deal is with the picture and if this is magical realism. I did not get the ending. I'm curious what people think about the final action. I felt like Kelly left me hanging without an explanation about what many of the elements of the story were there. Stephen King's "Home Delivery,"I read a couple more stories that were good, but not the five-star quality I need for my Saturday Spotlight series. Mr. King's story came alive (pun I guess intended) through outstanding voice, dialogue, characterization, description, a setting that fits his standard Maine feel but also works for a unique zombie apocalypse scenario, and a character arc that I enjoyed. Those are a lot of qualities to just list off, but it's what I need to really feel satisfied and not that I've wasted my time reading. Also, I like Horror, but I prefer happy endings. At least this story offers some hope in such a bleak situation.The first thing that stood out about this story was the way Mr. King uses dialogue to take you from reading a story to feeling like you can see and hear what they're saying. Even though there is action and horror, there is still an emotional investment in the main character, who loves her husband and wants their baby to have some peace in a world turned upside down. Her husband supported her by wanting her to feel she deserved the best kind of life. I liked this line on page 240: "More than a lobsterman is what I mean to be, and more than a lobsterman's wife is what I intend for you to be. You're going to have a house on the mainland." "Yes, Jack." "And I'm not going to have any friggin Chevrolet." He drew in a deep breath and took her hands in his. "I'm going to have an Oldsmobile."Another way that Mr. King made this story come alive was in his description of the zombies. As a writer, I'm constantly trying to grasp at straws to come up with descriptions that are not cliche, and which powerfully show what I imagine to be terrifying about zombies. He has a lot of such descriptions, but one in particular was on page 244: "...women with their hair teased into dirt-clogged beehives where worms and beetles still squirmed and crawled, their faces alternately vacuous and informed with a kind of calculating, idiotic intelligence."Notice the movement in his description, of the beetles and worms squirming inside the women's hair, and how he aptly creates a living picture of them looking around--you know the look--like they're hungry, but they'll only know what for when they see it.

  • Colleen
    2019-03-10 03:02 a lot of short story collections, tons of junk and a few gems sprinkled in to keep you interested. There were three or four that redeemed this and almost makes me want to give three or four stars, but really (like most of the zombie genre) too much bad writing. Schoolteacher story was amazing though, so won't sell this back just because of that one.

  • Carol.
    2019-03-16 04:45

    Parts were very interesting, but it somehow didn't work for me. Maybe it is the sheer volume of zombies in all their various formats, both as subject and as backdrop. I made it through about a quarter of the book and gave it up. No fault of the writers, more an incompatibility between myself and zombies in short stories.

  • Brendan
    2019-02-27 07:06

    Rather than write about all 34 stories in this collection, I’ll write about my top five, in no particular order. * “Followed” by Will McIntosh is the best story in the collection. It supposes a world in which the dead rise and instead of attacking the living, they follow them. But the dead seek out and follow people who “deserve it” according to some sort of cosmic justice. The more exorbitant your lifestyle, the more zombies choose to follow you. * “How the Day Runs Down” by John Langan. A zombie version of Our Town that tells, among other vignettes, the most harrowing tale in the book, of a suburban mom who isn’t able to save her kids from the zombies. Horrifying. It reminds me a lot of the wealthy suburbanite section from World War Z, except that her story ended well. * “Death and Suffrage” by Dale Bailey. A nice little political allegory along the lines of the Masters of Horror episode, “Homecoming,” in which veterans rise from the grave to vote out the incumbent government. Closely related is “Beautiful Stuff” by Susan Palwick, but something about Bailey’s story worked a bit better for me. * “Dead Like Me” by Adam-Troy Castro tells a terrifying tale of pretending to be a zombie. * “The Song the Zombie Sang” by Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg weaves a futuristic tale in which a virtuoso musician is revived nightly in order to play his music for adoring fans. A close second to this story, for me, is “Malthusian’s Zombie” by Jeffrey Ford.Overall the collection is interesting, but an odd mix of a variety of different kinds of zombie stories. There are several of the conventional Romero-style tales. There are several stories in the vein of Tales from the Crypt, where the zombies represent revenge or other limited actions. Then there are a few that approach the issue of zombies from a philosophical or other angle. A couple are zombie stories in the same way that “Heat Death of the Universe” is a science-fiction story–namely, tangentially.

  • Marcus
    2019-03-15 05:58

    *Spolier warning* The subject matter of this collection of short stories is, of course, zombies. Zombies of all flavors. From Romero-style "hungry dead," to the classic Haitian voodoo , to metaphorical zombies (such as couch-potatoes and mindless consumers). As far as anthologies go, I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the writing was bad, most was good, and some was very, very good. In particular, "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" by Kelly Link, "Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead" by Joe Hill, and "Bitter Grounds" by Neil Gaiman were three stand-outs I truly enjoyed which don't feature actual zombies. Never fear, there are plenty of stories with hordes of living dead trying to eat your genitals. Yes, genitals. It seems that eating brains isn't as fashionable as it used to be. Probably because of the whole cholesterol thing.I'm not an avid Clive Barker or Stephen King fan (or a horror fan in general), but when you read their contributions you can see why they're so popular. The polish and pacing on their stories is professional. These guys are clearly good at what they do. It's a pretty big collection, almost 500 pages, with some stories as short as 3 pages, and others upward of 30. There's bound to be a story in there for everyone.

  • John
    2019-03-15 03:49

    When I first picked up this book, I expected to encounter a rash of stories about heroic survivors of a zombie apocalypse bravely blowing the heads off of everything they see (which, admittedly, is fun in its own way). I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is true of none of these stories. They are far more complex and creative than the video-game horror stories found elsewhere (World War Z) and many stand alone as great stories(even outside the zombie genre, whatever that entails).One story recounts the efforts of a school-teacher to try and reform a group of zombie children who show little interest in anything other than brains. A few stories are told from the point of view of the undead and still others feature not zombies per se but the living dead.Uniting these stories is a morbid appreciation for the grotesque, a perhaps defining trope of the zombie genre, but also a willingness to explore all the ambiguities and contradictions that accompany the idea of zombies. Much like the paradoxical category of the living dead, the stories in this collection do not so much exemplify zombie literature as they do trangress and challenge it.

  • Brian Steele
    2019-03-20 08:50

    This is not a collection of Zombie short stories. No, this is a brilliant collection of short stories that happen to be about Zombies. Trust me - there's a difference.You'll find very few cliches here, very few pieces of bad writing, very few "filler" stories. You will find some of the best speculative fiction writers currently out there today contributing fascinating works concerning the human condition and our preoccupation with the mysteries of death. And while Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Poppy Z. Brite, Laurell K. Hamilton and Clive Barker may get their names on the cover, you quickly find yourself fans of other, perhaps less well known names.My absolute favorite was Kelly Link's Some Zombie Contingency Plans. Also make sure you read Dan Simmons's This Year's Class Picture, Darrell Schweitzer's The Dead Kid, Susan Palwick's Beautiful Stuff,andBrian Evenson's Prarie,

  • Hybrid Creature (devours books instead of brains)
    2019-03-01 03:07

    Rated 2 star based solely on the few stories I read by my preferred authors.None of these short stories were all that great to me. Each was mediocre at best.Sex, Death and Sunshine by Clive BarkerProbably the best of the short stories that I read. The man really knows how to compare theater to blow jobs.Those Who Seek Forgiveness by Laurell K. HamiltonA peek into Anita's every day job. Interesting, but you're not missing anything in the series if you don't read it.Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead by Joe HillA love story amongst the set of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead filming. A lame love story.Meathouse Man by George RR MartinGeorgie clearly went through a rough break up during this one and maybe became interested in necrophilia in order to avoid the female race forever.

  • Michael
    2019-03-22 06:44

    A pretty solid anthology, though there were quite a few misses within. I was really hoping for more that had been commissioned for the work, because the works by many of the big names (King, Barker, Gaiman, Partridge, Hill, Hamilton) were ones I'd read before.That said, there were some stories I really liked. Joe R. Lansdale's was really good, as most of his work is. I'd like to see more stories or a novel based on Jebidiah. And Dan Simmons' "This Year's Class Picture" was outstanding.Worth a read, but I don't think I'd buy it.Edit: Turns out that Jebidiah started out in Lansdale's short novel "Dead in the West". Time to track that one down.

  • Kemper
    2019-02-28 10:00

    Lots of good zombie stories, but not all fall into the traditional George Romero type stories. For example, Joe Hill's story is about two high school sweethearts who reunite while playing extras in Romero's filming of Dawn of The Dead. A lot of great material, but someone just looking for different takes on the Romero style zombies may be disappointed.

  • Olethros
    2019-03-21 04:40

    -Extremo en sus valores, de lo muy notable a lo intrascedente.-Género. Relatos.Lo que nos cuenta. El libro Zombies (publicación original: The Living Dead, 2008) es una antología de relatos sobre zombis, seleccionados y comentados por el famoso John Joseph Adams que también firma la introducción y que nos mostrarán, entre otros, distintos tipos de fijaciones post mortem, el origen de una saga de rendimiento notable, la voluntad de una profesora por seguir enseñando aunque los niños no sean los alumnos habituales, aplicaciones comerciales de los zombis en el capitalismo más implacable, los muertos que desean votar y decirnos algo, por citar algunos ejemplos.¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

  • Roger
    2019-03-08 01:48

    I don't know what Imp of the Perverse caused me to pick The Living Dead as my next read. Does the death of a loved one plus surviving a natural disaster equal time to read Zombie fiction? Psychologists (armchair and otherwise) make of that what you will. This was an enjoyable anthology in any event. Let's name drop: there are stories here by Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg, George R R Martin, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Joe Hill, Clive Barker, Poppy Z Brite, Dan Simmons, Laurell K Hamilton, and Joe Lansdale. The Living Dead was an embarrassment of (literary) riches. However as always with a short story collection some stories are winners and some less so. So I have to give this one four stars.

  • Rachel Pieters
    2019-02-20 09:04

    3.5 stars actually. It's so hard to rate a collection of stories from different authors because some were excellent, and some I couldn't even finish. Overall, the problem I had with a fair number of these short stories was that (and one author even points this out in an introduction to her story) it seems the authors are all trying to out sex-shock each other, if that makes sense. Like, "how wild and graphic and horrid and pointless can we make this sex scene?" And the authors that didn't have one of these scenes still felt compelled to add some chick in there who is BENT on giving the male characters pleasure in some way. Come on. I'm no prude but almost EVERY story had something, when I was really just after reading about zombies. It really didn't need to be in there. On the other hand, some of these were REALLY worth reading and have stayed with me.That said, here is a rundown of my opinion on each story:1) SOME ZOMBIE CONTINGENCY PLANS by Kelly Link - 1 star - Had no idea what the F was going on within the first 10 pages and gave up reading this. Something about vampires and someone named 'Soap' of all odd things. And some pointless party. No attachment to the characters at all.2) DEATH AND SUFFRAGE by Dale Bailey - 3.5 stars - A unique story about voting zombies and some political characters. Besides all the political stuff, (just not my thing) the story was an interesting take on zombies and why they are hanging around, and it was well-written. Intriguing moral statements.3) BLOSSOM by David J. Schow - 4 stars - Regardless of the gratuitous sex in this one, it WAS the main point of the story and that made it worth it. I actually repeated this one to a few friends as one of the standouts in the compilation simply because I was cheering on the outcome. I found it funny, vivid and well-written.4) THE THIRD DEAD BODY by Nina Kiriki Hoffman - 3 stars - I would have given it 4 stars if there were any other reason, besides the main characters desiring this awful guy, for going after him. And if his reaction had been something different in the end, something more negative. His reaction seemed unrealistic and pulled me out of the story. Besides that, I thought the rest of the story was engaging and excellent and the characters well-drawn.5) THE DEAD by Michael Swanwick - 2 stars - I got further in this on than some, but ultimately didn't finish it. It wasn't that the writing was bad because it was decent. I just couldn't wrap my head around this concept - that society would welcome these zombies hanging around as a commodity. And all the business talk was boring to read, at least for me.6) THE DEAD KID by Darrel Schweitzer - 1 star - I did not finish this one because it was sick. Children taunting and doing disgusting things with a dead kid? Just too F'd up for me to read. I had a hot shower with a Brillo pad after reading several pages.7) MALTHUSIAN"S ZOMBIe by Jeffrey Ford - 4 stars - This one was quite good. I loved the main character and his voice. I enjoyed the scenes with the zombie. This story had a fun, yet mysterious tone, perfect tension, and the payoff, though I didn't quite understand it, was unique. 8) BEAUTIFUL STUFF by Susan Palwick - 4 stars - Loved this one. I loved the way the zombies were presented in this story, and I loved the moral POV. 9) SEX, DEATH and STARSHINE by Clive Barker - 4 stars - I thought this was fantastic. I wasn't sure what to expect from the creator of Hellraiser, and I do remember liking that movie eons ago. It's clear he has theatre experience from the way he wrote the story, so it was nicely immersive. The concept and the characters were unique and well-drawn and I thought the ending was surprising and fun. My only complaint was that he had to have that chick coming back to life to finish giving him a blowey. Please, sister. Story could have done without it.10) STOCKHOLM SYNDROME by David Tallerman - 2 stars - I can't say I cared much about the protagonist, he was mostly a cold, selfish jerk, so it was hard to care about the story. 11) BOBBY CONROY COMES BACK FROM THE DEAD by Joe Hill - 5 stars - I loved this story! The setting - the Day of the Dead movie set in 1977 - was perfect and unique, and the story was so, so sweet. I felt like I could relate to these characters and I enjoyed that the author left some unanswered questions about the little boy. Well done!12) THOSE WHO SEEK FORGIVENESS by Laurell K. Hamilton - 4 stars - This one was a unique concept: a woman who raises the dead for a fee, and her client. The tension was excellent.13) IN BEAUTY, LIKE THE NIGHT by Norman Partridge - 3 stars - Another protagonist I didn't care for, he really was a selfish, spoiled, rich asshole, so it was hard to enjoy the story on that level, but the setting (his private island) was interesting. The action was good, and the ending was decent - I'll give him that, but overall I could have taken it or left it.14) PRAIRIE by Brian Evenson - 1 star - I couldn't get past the first 3 pages because I had no idea what I was reading. It just made no sense to me because it jumped around in time and place and I couldn't gain enough words to figure out what was going on, who was talking, or where we were in time and space.15) EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH ZOMBIES by Hannah Wolf Bowen - 1 star - Another one I didn't finish. It felt pointless. I didn't care for the main character and felt kept at an arm's length for the handful of pages I read. The story just didn't seem to go anywhere and with an unlikable and unreliable narrator, I just couldn't get into it.16) HOME DELIVERY by Stephen King - 2 stars - The protagonist, Maddie, was just a sad wet paper bag and I really didn't care if she failed or succeeded because it's hard for me to get behind such a weak female character. That's not to say it wasn't well-written, because it was, but the story wasn't that great. It just sort of rambled. And the strange interjection with the worm-aliens just really didn't work for me, or for the story, at all. How is this related?17) SPARKS FLY UPWARD by Lisa Morton - 4 stars - This was an interesting concept, the abortion debate in a zombie story, and I think the author did a fine job of dropping us into this tiny world in so few words. I quite enjoyed it even though it was so sad.18) MEATHOUSE MAN by George R. R. Martin - 4 stars - I almost gave up on this one at the beginning and I'm glad I stuck with it. I've never read George Martin, but of course there's all the hype for Game of Thrones, so I was eager to see his writing style. Meathouse Man takes place on another planet in a dystopian world filled with corpses controlled by 'corpse handler' of which our main character is one. He's a sad, lonely guy, eager for approval from his coworkers. He changes throughout the story, and it's really vivid and well-told, as you can see - my review is extensive because I was fully immersed in the story and it was well told. Although this one was more of a tragedy in it's style and content, it's one of the best ones in the anthology, in my opinion. Going to give Game of Thrones a try based on the quality of what I've read here.19) DEADMAN'S ROAD by Joe R. Landsdale - 4 stars - Another excellent story! Sort of a zombie mid-west story, I loved that each character was unique and had a distinct voice, and I was transported right into this world immediately within the first few paragraphs, no easy feat for a short story. Loved the anti-hero and the concept was unique. Excellent tension throughout. Although his description of the beast did get a little repetitive, I highly recommend this story and will be seeking out novels from this author.20) THE SKULL-FACED BOY by David Barr Kirtley - 1 star - Never finished this one. I got a few pages in and just didn't care about the main character at all. Or the point. Why would these strangers come with a note? A highly bizarre coincidence. That's where I was lost and put it down. I just wasn't drawn in by what I read, nor did it make much sense. What was the protagonist's motivation? Why should I care about him? Meh. Didn't do anything for me. 21) THE AGE OF SORROW by Nancy Kilpatrick - 3.5 stars - I loved the way the small world in which this woman was a part of was presented, the backstory, and the details were well done (although the bits about her period could have been left out - I mean, who really thinks that much about it?) Overall, I quite liked it.22) BITTER GROUNDS by Neil Gaiman - 1 star - Maybe I was expecting more from this, but I was disappointed and never finished this story. I made it maybe 2/3 through? I just had no compassion for the main character. Was he dead? He sure didn't seem to be. And why is he bothering to do what he's doing, going through the motions of pretending to be this other boring guy? I mean, why does he care? I just didn't care and gave up reading it.23) SHE'S TAKING HER TITS TO THE GRAVE by Catherine Cheek - 3.5 stars - This one was really cheeky and fun. I'm sure I can think of some women like the main character, I liked her arc, and I loved her reasoning throughout and the reactions of the other characters she encounters. Excellent visceral detail without being gratuitous. The ending was unexpected and well done, I thought. 24) DEAD LIKE ME by Adam-Troy Castro - 2 stars - Written in 'the Second Person', which is highly unusual and a little hard to get into, what with the word "you" constantly repeated (very distracting). The main character was quite unlikable as well, which was another notch in the 'hard to get into' category. And if you say 'they catch you when you're thinking, so don't think', well, telling the story in this POV is thinking, so how is it he's not being eaten right now just by telling the story? Just didn't jive for me. The only reason it got 2 stars instead of 1 was that I was able to finish it.25) ZORA AND THE ZOMBIE by Andy Duncan - 1 star - Never made it past page 2 because I had no idea what was going on.26) CALCUTTA, LORD OF NERVES by Poppy Z. Brite - 1 star - Another one I didn't finish. Another unlikable protagonist, and more unnecessary sex stuff (with statues this time), even if it was just in thought, that was thrown in for no reason, it seemed. That's where I stopped reading.27) FOLLOWED by Will McIntosh - 5 stars - My favorite story in this compilation! Even though it didn't answer all the questions it presented, the author hinted enough at it for me to get what I needed from the story. I loved the moral questions and the concept and really related to the main character and enjoyed his story. Lovingly written. I will definitely seek out more work from Will McIntosh.28) THE SONG THE ZOMBIE SANG by Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg - 1 star - Never made it past the third page. I couldn't relate to these characters and had no idea what they were talking about. 29) PASSION PLAY by Nancy Holder - 3 stars - Wasn't sure I was going to finish this based on the description in the intro, but it wasn't bad. Takes place in a church (?) in a small German town where tradition runs deep, to the detriment of everything else, it seems. Excellent moral questions, and the ending was unexpected, but I hated most of the characters, those selfish, stupid bastards. That made me not want to read it in some ways, because I hated reading about them. I wanted to punch them. 30) ALMOST THE LAST STORY BY ALMOST THE LAST MAN by Scott Edelman - 3 stars. This one had potential, as in, the writer can tell a story. The problem I had with it is that he kept ripping me out of the narrative so that I no longer trusted him and was reading with my guard up. The main character was mostly unlikable with only one good deed to his name, which he ended up ruining anyway. I enjoyed the setting and the action of the main narrative, mostly, I mean, who wouldn't want to live out the apocalypse in a library? But, I had some major issues with the continuity and flow. 31) HOW THE DAY RUNS DOWN by John Langan - 1 star - I was so lost in this story and gave up around page 10. I just couldn't picture it for the most part or understand why these characters were doing what they were doing, and if it has something to do with Our Town, I've never seen it and so cannot relate to that either, if I had even made it far enough to make that connection.*After reading some of the other reviews, I see my ebook is missing a story about a teacher and a class of students that a lot of readers enjoyed. Not sure what happened there...* :(

  • Vlad
    2019-03-03 06:00

    Литература веками искала универсальное зеркало, в котором человек отразился бы весь, без купюр и фиговых листиков. В начале двадцать первого века оно было найдено… и пахнет от него гнилью.Ни один образ не дает писателю такой творческой свободы, как зомби, живой мертвец. Это первый вывод, который напрашивается после чтения «Нежити». Тут же и второй: составитель антологии, Джон Джозеф Адамс, не зря ест свой хлеб. Подборка получилась без малого образцовой.Разумеется, ударную группу образуют произведения, так или иначе следующие канонам «зомбокалипсиса», заложил которые еще Джордж Ромеро (кстати, мэтр лично появляется на страницах антологии – в рассказе умницы Джо Хилла, на котором природа, всем поговоркам наперекор, и не думала отдыхать). Но общность декораций не порождает сюжетного однообразия: каждый автор в заданной ситуации находит какую-то неповторимую грань. У Дэна Симмонса учительница из школы для умственно отсталых детей не оставляет миссии педагога и после конца света – только азы математики и географии она теперь преподает маленьким зомби, ею же самой закованным в кандалы… без надежды на успех. Нэнси Килпатрик справедливо подмечает, что все истории «о последнем человеке на Земле» в сущности повествуют о последних мужчинах, и закрывает этот пробел глубокой психологической драмой «Время печалей». «Стокгольмский синдром» Дэвида Таллермана ярко описывает процессы, которые запускаются в человеческой психике под гнетом одиночества и постоянного страха. Адам Трой-Кастро идет еще дальше, оставляя своему герою единственный способ выжить – мимикрию. Завораживает «Почти последний рассказ» Скотта Эдельмана – жемчужина антологии, портрет художника в ужасе; увлекательная, нетривиальная форма сочетается в нем с целой гаммой смыслов, скрытых и явных. То же касается и Джона Лэнгана, ухитрившегося вместить все грани зомби-хоррора в одну оригинальную пьесу «Закат».Создателей остальных рассказов – как и настоящих зомби – никакие рамки уже не сдерживают. Для звезд и новобранцев научной фантастики (Майкл Суэнвик, Харлан Эллисон, Джордж Мартин, Уилл Макинтош, Дейл Бейли) оживленные мертвецы – полезная метафора, вносящая в раздумья на философские и социальные темы мощный разряд эмоциональности. Маргиналы вроде Келли Линк видят в зомби отличный повод повалять дурака, классики хоррора и смежных жанров (Лорел Гамильтон, Дэвид Дж. Шоу, Джо Лансдейл) – затопить кровавую баньку. Кто-то воскрешает убитых проституток, кто-то порномоделей – с разными результатами, само собой. «Мертвый мальчик» Даррелла Швейцера топает по дорожке, которую проторил когда-то Стивен Кинг в повести «Тело», а лукавый Джеффри Форд в «Зомби доктора Мальтузиана» разыгрывает классическую историю с двойным дном и великолепным финалом, достойным Эдгара По. Поппи Брайт и Брайан Эвенсон устраивают читателю экскурсию по аду; в первом случае он замаскирован под Калькутту, заполоненную кровожадными покойниками, будто вшами, во втором – под бескрайнюю прерию, по которой бредет отряд обреченных конкистадоров.Особняком стоят «Горькие зерна» Нила Геймана, где сочетание «живой мертвец» фактически переворачивается с ног на голову, и жуткая притча Нэнси Холдер «Страсти Господни» – ответ истинной веры на религию, забывшую о человеке.За вычетом детсадовской страшилки Дэвида Барра Киртли и пары наивных басенок о «мести из могилы», очевидно слабых звеньев в антологии Адамса нет. Даже те, кого от имени Ромеро перекашивает в пародию на его излюбленных героев, должны что-то для себя найти. Ведь глаза мертвецов – зеркало. Было бы кому смотреться…

  • Charles
    2019-03-16 04:02

    Stuff I Read - The Living Dead ed. John Joseph Adams ReviewWhat to say about a HUGE anthology of zombie stories? Really, a lot of it comes down to the fact that zombies are a bit of a harder sell to me. I just don't get as into zombies as I could for a number of reasons, but that was probably why I picked up the book, to challenge myself to try out some stories that I would otherwise probably not read. And the table of contents definitely has some big and interesting names in it. And I will admit that there are many good stories in this collection. Some great stories. But most of them hit me a bit soft and some I did not care for at all. At all. So it all evened out to a rather enjoyable experience, if not a particularly great one.Probably one of the great things about the collection is that the authors go in so many different directions when it comes to zombies. It's not just the mindless walkers, or just anything. There are all sorts of flavors, with perhaps more of an emphasis on apocalyptic stories, but that has to be anticipated. Zombies. But there are also a lot of science fiction stories and some where the zombies might not be literal zombies. And most of the time the zombies are handled quite well. Most of the time zombies seem to stand for something. They are a walking, moaning metaphor for consumerism or racism or justice or something. Many of the stories use this technique to good effect. There's also a good amount of diversity in the characters in the stories, straight and queer, white and not-white, affluent and poor. So hurrah for that.So in some ways this is an atypical zombie anthology. It meanders about and I can say that there's enough variety that I never was bored, exactly. I was tired by the end of all the death, because zombies don't exactly lend themselves to happy stories. And I might be back off zombie stories for some time, because damn this book is big and by the end I was rather sick of the shambling devils. Not that it was bad. Again, most of the stories are all right. Some are very good, and cover ground that I've never seen before or, at least, provide an interesting look at some aspect of zombiedom (zombiehood?). Some, though...some were not so good. Perhaps there is just something about zombies that sometimes plays into some rather troubling tropes. Luckily those stories that I really didn't like were spaced out and didn't completely turn me off to the collection.And in the end I think fans of zombies should give this a try, because it does a lot that I haven't seen as much of in other zombie-flavored tomes. On a similar level, people who don't really like zombies can find a few things to like here, and for some people on the fence maybe this would sway them into giving more space for the sub-genre. For me, it didn't really bring me any closer to really liking zombie stories, but it did do a good job of showing that I can like stories with zombies in them. So for that I'm giving this collection a 6.5/10.

  • trishtrash
    2019-03-10 05:41

    I thoroughly enjoyed (and by thoroughly I mean every single selected story) Wastelands, a similar collection by the same editor, wherein the theme was more broadly apocalyptic. The Living Dead was not quite that strong a grouping, but there were some real gems. Zombies, as much as any other end-of-the-world scenario, provide plenty of material for the philosophical, for levels of human interest, and for terrifying situations. Right up front I was interested to read the Poppy Z. Brite story, because I’ve always wanted to see if she’s as good a writer of chilling material as her fan base proclaims. Her contribution Calcutta, Lord of Nerves was exceptionally rich and lurid, and I now have a strong basis for picking up one of her novels.I had read both the Stephen King story [Home Delivery] and the Joe Hill story [Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead] in their own short story collections, the former being an example of one of King’s less memorable stories (and thus only of a slightly higher calibre than everything else in the book) and the Joe Hill story, while only about zombies in a cultural sort of way, is readable (there are far better examples of his storytelling in his collection 20th Century Ghosts, too).Two of my favourite stories were, in my opinion, also the sweetest stories. Followed by Will McIntosh in which people are acquiring unshakeable zombie corpses in seemingly direct relation to moral degeneration in their lives, and the narrator is shocked and righteously indignant to find himself followed by a child’s corpse… the other, This Year’s Class Picture is by Dan Simmons. Having read The Terror by that author, I was expecting something much more brutal than a class teacher’s refusal to give up on the children in her care, even after their deaths. I was also quite chilled by Stockholm Syndrome by David Tallerman. And yet the story I found the most frightening was one that has been decried by other reviewers as not really being about zombies at all… except that the principal character wants to discuss Some Zombie Contingency Plans with a girl whose house-party he crashes. The ending of that one was so unexpected it literally gave me goose bumps, despite (or perhaps because) the bulk of the story was rather repetitive and fell (quite cleverly, I suspect) only a little short of boring. There were plenty of others I enjoyed; 34 stories are a lot for me to remember individually, and I only shrugged my way through a couple. My favourite story from the collection, though, was Sparks Fly Upward by Lisa Morton who used the zombie scenario to explore the incredibly cruel actions of people who besiege abortion clinics and harass the women who enter, while still telling a good zombie story. When I finished this story I had the strongest urge to applaud.

  • H. Anne Stoj
    2019-03-08 03:52

    I love this time of year. October is coming and a girl's fancy turns to the undead. Or at least this girl's does and in the idea of zombies (or vampires that ash out in sunlight rather than sparkle like lip-gloss from Bonnie Bell.)So, what does that mean? It's time to brush off the zombie collections and novels (the few that I have thanks to being fussy) and prepare for Halloween spookiness where I will, no doubt, freak myself out as I've rediscovered all the gore and whatnot that didn't bother me a decade ago bothers me now. Not so much in books (but sometimes), but movies. Yet, this isn't about movies. It's about Adams's The Living Dead.Really, for someone that loves zombies (what could be cuter? Have you seen Fido? It's know, aww.) it's marvelous to come across a well done anthology. I know there are other anthologies out there, both decided to our brain eating friends as well as tucked into horror collections or author specific anthologies, but this one, I think, is one of the best anthologies dealing with a wide variety of what it would mean either to be a zombie or to have survived an influx of them.What I like best about anthologies is the chance to read authors I've never read or heard of and finding stories that I've never read by authors I really like. A few of my favorites in this are:The Song the Zombie Sang - Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg: What I love about this story is that it's atypically. It's not slobbering, I want to eat your brains. It's keeping flesh animated for the sake of music and how that music will never change or create something new because the musician is dead. It's a really thoughtful piece.Almost the Last Story by Almost the Last Man - Scott Edelman: The draw of this is the main character being a writer trapped in a library who feels the need to write (as many of us do, I'd imagine, under difficult circumstances). It's just an interesting take as he moves through various beginnings and dialog trying to set things up while not wanting to deal with what's actually happened.There's one other, but I can't remember the title about a lone woman surviving in a small camp on the outskirts, I believe, of a New Zealand town. While there are zombies and they would like to have her for dinner, the main focus of the story is the utter loneliness she has and what that's like. That even though the zombies are dangerous to her, she might be willing to be physically close to them because they're as near to human contact as she'll get.So, some of the stories are really funny, others more thought provoking. Some traditional and others not. It's a great collection to get different takes of what seems to be a very popular thing. But, to me, the zombie's always been popular. Just in the wow let's run away from that, not take a picture with way. Times change, I suppose.

  • Kate Lansky
    2019-03-19 07:46

    There are some amazing stories in here, and a few that, to be honest, I didn't much care for. First off, don't go in to this expecting every story to be a standard zombie tale. Don't go in expecting everything to be scary, either. Go in to this expecting a very, very wide spectrum of tales, and an equally wide definition of what it means to be living dead. In some stories you do see classic zombies (the very first is a good example), or are only mild departures from the classic, devastating undead (Calcutta, Lord of Nerves, strikes me as an example of this small deviation), and a few, well - they don't really have zombies in them at all, not really (one is on the set of Romero's movie... so technically there both are and aren't zombies, take your pick). Many stories deal with the human, emotional, psychological side of things - and one or two have a political bent to them. And let me reiterate, not all of them are creepy, not all of them are scary. That doesn't mean they aren't interesting.By and large, this is a strong collection of short stories. I have one or two favorites that I'll read again, a few that I really wish had been longer (Followed - I would have read another 20 pages of this one... or possibly even a full novel), and a few I could have done without. But that's the way most collections of short stories run, and all in all, I think this was a great one.I was, I admit, a bit disappointed by the big names in here - Stephen King's story was okay, but nothing truly great, and Neil Gaiman just left me going "meh" - George R. R. Martin's was probably the most interesting of the authors I knew going in, but it's a very dark and gritty (but not scary) story that may not be to everyone's liking. Some of my favorites in the book were by an author I wasn't familiar with at all - so don't skip a story just because you don't know the author! I particularly loved one story that posed the question "how far would you go to survive" - and by this they take the idea of losing your humanity in the opposite direction most zombie stories do. The focus of this story isn't whether you would give in to violence or baser instinct, but rather whether you would let it all go - would you become like them. It's a really interesting read, in large part because of the examination of what it is to be human.I will say this - it's a thick book. It took me a while to work my way through this one, in part because I'd only read maybe a story or two a day. Don't expect to just sit down and plow through this thing - take your time, and let the stories really sink in.

  • Jen
    2019-03-04 09:51

    Some stories are excellent and some thoroughly suck so I have rated the book overall 3. Below I have graded each story separately with a brief comment. This year's class picture (Dan Simmons) **** unique and interesting idea. I only wish the behaviour management plans were allowed for y9s be so much easier to keep them sitting still if you could chain them up without having to spend months on operant conditioning them.Some Zombie Contingency Plans (Kelly Link) * truly dreadful. Not much story just a nasty piece of work and a selfish teen and some lists.Death and Suffrage (Dale Bailey) *** Truly sad. If the dead had come back for Brexit and Trump's election would the outcome have been better? Do the dead have more common sense than the living?Ghost Dance (Sherman Alexie) ** unpleasant to the core. A nasty racist cop got what karma gave him.Blossom (David J. Schow) *** Zombie Vagina? Different method of transfer hence the points but odd. A flower eating zombie....might smell better?The Third Dead Body (Nina Kiriki Hoffman) **** From the zombie's perspective. Zombie whore takes down a serial killer and rapist. Good Zombie! A Zombie you can care about.The Dead (Michael Swanwick) *** Zombie as manual workers. Wouldn't people be upset at loss of jobs and you wouldn't want rotters making any food or clothes surely? Bits falling off on the assembly line as they rot= havoc. Getting new materials from Africa, isn't that just the slave trade again but deliberately killing them. Society learns nothing and is always evil. Business has no ethics or morals.The Dead Kid (Darrell Schweitzer) *** sad. Kids do tend to focus on the thrill and lack morals due to their underdeveloped frontal cortex. Would have scored lower if it had been adults. Kids do compete to gross each other out and the lead character does show some kindness in the end.Malthusian's Zombie (Jeffrey Ford) *** Truly horrible. Sadly if there were such things as zombies you could imagine a government leading a project like this and an experimental zombie wanting to see family before he dies properly.Beautiful Stuff (Susan Palwick) **** probably not what I was meant to take from this story but it reminded me to be grateful for the simple things in life and to recognise their beauty.Sex, Death and Starshine (Clive Barker) ** Very slow to start and very shallow character development.Stockholm Syndrome (David Tallerman) *** Would you be able to kill a zombie who looked like your child even if you knew it was a risk to strangers?Bobby Conroy Comes Back From the Dead (Joe Hill) *** So life didn't go to plan. You are not a star and didn't get the girl. No need to be such a spiteful piece of work. The girl was worth fighting for and keeps forgiving even if you are an idiot. Harriet is the nicest character and totally out of Bobby's league.Those Who Seek Forgiveness (Laurell K. Hamilton) **** Good job we can't bring back the dead at a price. You would have really stupid rich people behaving like the idiot in this story and leaving others to clean up their mess.In Beauty, Like The Night (Norman Partridge) ** More rich morons thinking their money can get them out of trouble. Zombie Porn Stars.Prairie (Brian Evenson) * seriously awful on all levels. No real story just attempts to show the true depravity of humans. Rape of Zombies. Cannibalising any living (and trying Zombies). Mutilating Zombies. Eating your horses. Just one unpleasantness after the other so my only thought was "how much more of this is there to go?"Everything is Better With Zombies (Hannah Wolf Bowen) ** not quite as awful as the last one but really what was the point of this one? Home Delivery (Stephen King) ***** Perfectly illustrates why King has had a long career with multiple bestsellers. Yes the horror is in your face but it is not introduced until you care about the character. There is enough background to develop some empathy for the lead character before you get to any gore so you care about the actual outcome. Too many stories in this book are unsatisfying because you don't get to invest just be grossed out. Well done Mr King you have proved you are the master yet again.Less than Zombie (Douglas E. Winter) ** may be harshly marked coming after Mr King. Not really a story just a snapshot of drug addled debauchery. Sparks Fly Upward (Lisa Morton) **** Anti-abortion zombies, novel idea. Having to have an abortion because of lack or resources and lack of ability to keep baby from being zombie dinner would be an awful decision but possibly kinder in the long run. Religious people and pro-lifers should either prepare to be confronted or not read this story.Meathouse Man (George R. R. Martin) ** very depressing story which suggests that we should just give up and not bother trying to find love. Also suggests that it is better to rape corpses that try to have a relationship with a live woman. Hmmmmmm Deadman's Road (Joe R. Lansdale) *** a curse on a bad dude makes him a zombie. Not much new.The Skull-Faced Boy (David Barr Kirtley) **** A zombie with a soul gets rejected by those he loves and still tries to do the right thing. The only one who takes him in is unfortunately diabolical. The Age of Sorrow (Nancy Kilpatrick) **** How would it feel to be the last woman alive? How long could you go on before you gave up? Could you kill the zombies of people you had known in life especially if they are all the company you have?Bitter Grounds (Neil Gaiman) *** more voodoo/santeria in New Orleans of courseShe's Taking Her Tits to The Grave (Catherine Cheek) **** so you rise from the dead and discover that everything which was important to you in life is not really important. Those you tried to impress are shallow and don't care at all really, your looks you spent a fortune on are not lasting, but you feel more at peace and discover who really does care.Dead Like Me (Adam-Troy Castro) *** to survive you pretend to be a zombie.Zora and the Zombie (Andy Duncan) *** more voodoo/santeria zombies at work this time in Haiti.Calcutta, Lord of Nerves (Poppy Z. Brite) *** Goddess Kali is worshipped by Zombies and young man wanders the city looking at stuff.Followed (Will McIntosh) **** Don't jump to conclusions on this one. Was she just trying to return his button or did she catch the scent and imprint on him from the button.....guess we will never know for sure.The Song The Zombie Sang (Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg) **** brilliant musician resurrected and forced to continue playing because his corpse is owned by a company. Do we lose rights when we die?Passion Play (Nancy Holder) * yet another example of how organised religion does awful things when in the hands of greedy people. Possibly I am just over the evil of organised religion and have judged this harshly.Almost the Last Story by Almost the Last Man (Scott Edelman) * the 1 star is for the bloke with the stick who seems to be the only point in this story. Lots of waffle. Possibly more artsy than my brain can handle so may appeal to those of a more artsy mindset.How The Day Runs Down (John Langan) ***** Really interesting new way to tell the story. Never read anything quite like it and I read at least a book per week. Not really a new story as such just presented in a very new way. Enjoyable way to end the book especially after almost giving up due to the last two awful ones.

  • J. McClain
    2019-03-07 10:03

    This was a very satisfying read. I went in thinking I'd be reading all things zombie, when in point of fact the title of the collection suggests a wider meaning. This is borne out in the stories. Numerous aspects of the idea of a reanimated human is explored here, from science-fiction-focused works such as Michael Swanwick's "The Dead" and George R. R. Martin's "Meathouse Man," to those that reference Haitian vodou such as "Bitter Grounds by Neil Gaiman and "Zora and the Zombie" by Andy Duncan.This should be enough to clarify that this is not a collection of stories that reference George A. Romero's zombie films, but I'm going to keep going. I've noticed a number of Amazon reviews that express disappointment that many are not "real" zombie stories. Guess what? The title is The Living Dead, not Short Story Z. If you're looking for something focused on the Max Brooks/Romero zombie, you won't find many of the stories to your liking. That being said, if you're looking for a collection of short stories on the topic of the dead coming back to life--in multiple contexts--that include genre fiction as well as literary fiction, this one is for you. If Stephen King's "Home Delivery" provide the flavor of the classic Romero-type zombie, Poppy Z. Brite's "Calcutta, Lord of Nerves," "Blossom" by David J. Schow and the astonishing meta-narrative finisher-- "How the Day Runs Down" by John Langan--succeed in showing how effective characters and story transcend genre.

  • Doug
    2019-02-22 02:08

    Many excellent stories, and a wonderfully wide variety of perspectives on zombies. I particularly liked the stories by Dan Simmons, George R.R. Martin, Stephen King,Catherine Cheek,Dale Bailey, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Michael Swanwick,Susan Palwick,Joe Lansdale,Nancy Kilpatrick,Neil Gaiman, andWill McIntosh

  • Ярослава
    2019-02-26 10:09

    A sad cautionary tale about how even the best roster (basically, everybody who's anybody in sf/f) does not guarantee that the anthology won't fail: and this one fails SO HARD. The stories are either way too predictable (say, Stephen King's short story reads like a grocery list of all his recurring motifs, and almost veers off into the realms of unconscious self-parody), while others are naive political ramblings about the current geopolitical doings. They are clearly about their times and of their times, and they won't age gracefully. Hell, if I wanted to know more about these authros' stances on the current social or political debates, I would have turned to their blogs; turning such ramblings into lit is not conducive to good lit, is all I mean. I liked only two stories: a wonderfully weird and casually cruel tale by Kelly Link (which, technically, does not even feature zombies), and Will McIntosh's parable about personal responsibility.(What is it with the zombies being politisized over and over and over again? Vampires don't get politicized, and neither do werewolves or whatever.)

  • Fantasy Literature
    2019-02-28 05:46

    I never knew there were so many ways to tell a zombie story. I pretty much thought that the George Romero version was it — dead people wandering around holding their arms out in front of them and calling out “braaaaaaains,” looking to munch on the living. I never did know why they had to hold their arms that way, but they all did — I thought.John Joseph Adams has chosen his material wisely in The Living Dead, a collection of short stories about zombies by some of the biggest and best names in the horror business, as well as the newest and hottest. I resisted this book for a long time because I’ve never been fond of zombies, but upon diving in, I discovered that the zombies aren’t really the point; the point is to tell a good story. And these authors do that, with a vengeance.My favorite story is “Almost the Last St... Read More

  • Cameron
    2019-03-19 09:58

    I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point a very large portion of the horror fiction writer community decided that to write a good zombie story, some person in the story needs to have sex with a zombie. Or a zombie has to have sex with a person. Or the zombies need to have sex with each other.About 1/3 of the way through this book I was starting to roll my eyes and say to myself, "Oh god, not ANOTHER person getting it on with a walking corpse..."This phenomena is present in about 60-70% of the short stories in this collection. If I'd been thinking I would have kept a pen nearby and crossed out the titles of the stories that exhibit necrophilia as an integral part of the story line. Despite the strange corpse-humping trend, there are some short stories in this book that live up to the classic zombie tale, and those redeemers will keep this book on my shelf.

  • Ralph Wark
    2019-02-23 07:42

    Better than most anthologies....The problems with anthologies is, by telling time you finish that, you have trouble remembering all the bloody stories. And this is no different, save for the quality of stories, which was better than average, and the nicely done introductions for the authors, a bit of background on them and the tale. With authors like George R.R.Martin, Laurell Hamilton, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Clive Barker, it's hard to miss. There are some nice variations here, especially King's story, although I found the last story, "Our Town" with zombies (yes, you read that correctly) was a bit long and disjointed. As a whole, very recommended and entertaining.

  • Corey
    2019-02-24 06:51

    I’ll admit that zombies can be tiresome; not much personality, kind of slow, easily defeated on a one-to-one basis. Certain liberties must be taken with the mythos to make such creatures interesting over the course of 400+ pages, but Adams puts in just the right mix of classic monster mayhem and mythological experimentation to make the whole of The Living Dead an absolutely spectacular collection. There is everything a zombiphile could want; gore, satire; parody, gore, emotion, comedy, gore, sex, nostalgia, and gore.Read the rest of the review here.

  • Jenny
    2019-03-02 06:55

    A really good compilation of zombie-related short stories. Many of them are very clever, and not your typical undead plotline.I especially enjoyed the following stories:- This Year's Class Picture by Dan Simmons- Death and Suffrage by Dale Bailey- The Third Dead Body by Nina Kiriki Hoffman- The Dead Kid by Darrell Schweitzer- Malthusian's Zombie by Jeffrey Ford- Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead by Joe Hill- Home Delivery by Stephen King- Bitter Grounds by Neil Gaiman- Stockholm Syndrome by David Tallerman

  • Eric
    2019-03-23 05:42

    I really really really wanted to like this collection of short stories. I mean, I really wanted to. I love zombies and zombie stories and movies but, in the end I only found a few to be enjoyable and the rest to be mediocre or just plain boring. A couple of the stories such as "Almost the Last Story by Almost the Last Man" and "This Year's Class Picture" are definitely worth checking out but, they are so few and far between that it would be hard to justify a purchase.....even if you are a zombie lover like me.