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3.4 out of 5 stars18
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 20 May 2009
Unlike the previous reviewer I understood all the stories in this book. I didnt like all of them but nobody likes everything. Less than Zombie is actually about a group of "friends" who attend an evening of "zombie porn" at a cinema and then go and act out their fantasies on one of their own. This is a good book to pick up & put down when you just want to lose yourself in a short story but not commit to reading a full book.
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on 18 April 2009
I bought this book as I've worked my way through a lot of full length zombie stories that are commonly available, and I was looking for some fresh ideas within the genre. In that sense I succeeded as this collection of short stories features some great ideas and fresh views of zombie fiction. However, I found that only two or three were the sorts of thing I was expecting, as hardly any of the stories feature the usual survivors gunning down hordes of shambling zombies. While that's ok in itself, I found the collection to be a bit too clever for its own good, and the inclusion of a few more 'typical' stories of people being ripped to pieces by swarms of the undead wouldn't have hurt.

It's very hard to summarise the book as it contains so many separate stories that everyone will find something they like and something they don't. I'll list the titles, authors and a very brief description of each story, and leave it for the reader to discover the rest.

1) This Year's Class Picture - Dan Simmons - A teacher continues to teach her class of primary school pupils, even though they're all zombies

2) Some Zombie Contingency Plans - Kelly Link - Someone who thinks about zombies a lot goes to a party

3) Death and Suffrage - Dale Bailey - A political campaign is affected by a peaceful zombie epidemic

4) Ghost Dance - Sherman Alexie - General Custer and his calvary regiment are raised from the dead

5) Blossom - David J Schow - A dinner date doesn't quite go as expected

6) The Third Dead Body - Nina Kiriki Hoffman - A woman comes back from the dead to find her murderer

7) The Dead - Michael Swanwick - Zombies are a common part of society, traded like other commodities

8) The Dead Kid - Darrell Schweitzer - A group of youths keep a zombie boy in their gang's club house

9) Malthusian's Zombie - Jeffrey Ford - A man befriends a strange old neighbour with a secret

10) Beautiful Stuff - Susan Palwick - A politician attempts to use revived victims of terrorism as a way to win votes

11) Sex, Death and Starshine - Clive Barker - A production of Twelfth Night is scheduled to be the last play performed before a theatre is closed

12) Stockholm Syndrome - David Tallerman - A man boarded up in a house watches zombies beseige the family opposite

13) Bobby Conroy Comes Back From The Dead - Joe Hill - Two ex-lovers are reunited on the set of Dawn Of The Dead

14) Those Who Seek Forgiveness - Laurell K Hamilton - A woman is paid to revive the recently dead for their families

15) In Beauty, Like The Night - Norman Partridge - I didn't really understand this one, but it's something to do with undead glamour models

16) Prairie - Brian Evenson - A sort-of diary of a 16th Century crossing of North America

17) Everything Is Better With Zombies - Hannah Wolf Bowen - Not really a zombie story at all

18) Home Delivery - Stephen King - A small community survives the zombie apocalype on an island off the coast of Maine

19) Less Than Zombie - Douglas E Winter - Another story that had very little to do with zombies

20) Sparks Fly Upward - Lisa Morton - A couple leave their fortified town to travel through zombie-infested country in order to have an abortion

21) Meathouse Man - George R R Martin - A sci-fi type tale in which zombies are used as beasts of burden under a sort of mind control

22) Deadman's Road - Joe R Lansdale - Zombie fiction meets the Wild West

23) The Skull-Faced Boy - David Barr Kirtley - A pair of friends are (sort of) killed in a car crash

24) The Age Of Sorrow - Nancy Kilpatrick - This one reminded me of I Am Legend (the book) a bit, but with zombies rather than intelligent vampires

25) Bitter Grounds - Neil Gaiman - An anthropology professor goes to a conference (really)

26) She's Taking Her T*ts To The Grave - Catherine Cheek - A trophy wife returns from the dead but finds that her body isn't as attractive as it used to be

27) Dead Like Me - Adam-Troy Castro - Very clever 'instruction manual' about how to survive a zombie uprising by acting like a zombie yourself

28) Zora And The Zombie - Andy Duncan - A fictional story about the real write Zora Neale Hurston, that I didn't really understand but is probably very clever

29) Calcutta, Lord Of Nerves - Poppy Z Brite - A man wanders through Calcutta where zombies are common but generally not a severe threat

30) Followed - Will McIntosh - Great story about the dead coming back to life in other to physically follow around the people that they blame for their death

31) The Song The Zombie Sang - Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg - A famous dead musician is revived for a few hours at a time in order to perform

32) Passion Play - Nancy Holder - Features the real Oberammergau Passion Play where villagers act out the crucifixion of Christ once every twn years

33) Almost The Last Story By Almost The Last Man - Scott Edelman - A writer is trapped in a library during a large scale zombie uprising

34) How The Day Runs Down - John Langan - A bit of an odd story told from the perspective of a stage manager in Thornton Wilder's play Our Town (which, yet again, passed me by completely)
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on 11 August 2011
Well you imagine a book with a collection of short stories about zombies, how could you go wrong? Well you can, the second story (I believe it was or maybe the third) didn't even have zombies in it. It was people reunited through playing zombies in a zombie movie *sigh*. It would probably have been quite enjoyable in any other setting but the fact you pick up a book expecting it to be all zombie stories and its not does lead to dissapoitment.

On a positive note there was some great new zombie ideas in there and I mostly enjoyed the stories just a select few annoyed me and that is always enough to pull a scoring down on the book.

I was delighted to find a Stephen King addition in there (one of my fav horror authors as a child and still enjoy as an adult).

The start or each story gives you a little about the author (and some books they have written, briefly) and a small bit of info about the story that follows.

Had the stories all been 100% zombies I would have probably given it a 5 but the few sneaky not proper flesh tearing ones dragged it down a little for me. Overall though any zombies fans should give it a go and you will pick up a few new authors and zombie titles in there. 3 of 5 for me.
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on 23 May 2009
From the very first story, a touching tale by Dan Simmons, I realised that this was not your normal collection of zombie fiction. The Living Dead has contributions from some of the most talented horror writers of modern times and every one of them is original and outstanding. If you are a fan of zombies, horror or simply good writing then I highly recommend this anthology to you.
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on 28 October 2014
I love this anthology in paperback. However, the Kindle edition leaves out the first story, 'Last Year's Class Picture'. Written by Dan Simmons, it is the finest entry in this collection. Avoid the e-book at all costs!
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on 17 November 2013
Although some are stories straight from Romero's heart, others give a twist to the familiar theme, and there is even one which, if it had not been in a zombie anthology, I would have struggled to call a zombie short story.
Having said that, they are pretty much all good reads. Recommended
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on 1 March 2014
some good stories, entertaining but not riveting. some of the concepts of zombie survival are interesting but not much thought given to the reason why they have become zombies in the first place.
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on 6 January 2010
A must have book for any fan of zombies! the stories are varied and interesting, changing styles and pacing throughout. its a really fantastic compilation!
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on 5 April 2014
Great zombie stories! Well selected anthology. Most stories excellent. Only one or two stinkers! Plenty of psychological terror & little cheap gore.
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on 24 September 2013
FANTASTIC collection of zombie stories a must read for any fan of the unread !!......... just don't read in the dark ...... or alone
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