on 24 October 2011
I'm still reading these short stories, but I already know this is one to keep and wanted to take a moment to say so and thank the author.
For me a good writer is one who paints a scene with just a handful of words and then draws you into it. One moment you're looking at the first line - perhaps wondering if you should read this or put the TV on - and the next you are in the story and being swept along.
That's what you have here and you may need to set an alarm to remind you to stop reading and sleep - if you still can that is...
If you like Zombie fiction then you're going to have a great time with this book and if you don't then you're still going to have a great time with the skilful storytelling and the unexpected twists and turns. As the description says 'horror, action, comedy, and personal tragedy' It's got something for everyone.
on 9 October 2013
I though this was a great read. I won't spoil it by saying why this collection of short stories is different, but as you read them it slowly dawns on you why, and the last couple of stories in the book are fantastic. The minister is a truly terrifying concept and the final showdown had me turning each page with anticipation.
The writing is very good and the characterisation is brilliant. There are flashes of World War Z style brilliance, which I really enjoyed.
I would recommend this book - it will keep your interest and you can dip in and out of it when you have a spare moment.
on 5 July 2012
I hadn't read any of Pete Bevan's stories before & approached them with some caution after reading the doting and over-zealous reviews below. However, after reading this volume of short stories I have to say to this book is a fine addition to the field of zombie short stories.
It is not easy for a new author to publish short stories but this is a well-produced & put together collection. The book itself is very well done with a good cover & very pleased over-sized layout. It's a good 180 pages long with 17 stories of varying lengths. The one thing that binds them all is the theme of the walking dead...
Bevan is at his best in his contemporary stories such as the opening piece Islands, which has strong echoes of the remade Dawn of the Dead. The author throws you immediately in a battle for survival as an isolated guy holding out on a roof. Other tales of note in the collection include the twisty Cadish & The Boy - both strong tales.
For me, his period piece The Isle of the Ungodly is one of the weaker stories & I didn't feel like I was hearing the authors real voice here, it was too contrived for me. However, this is easily balanced out by other standouts such as the curiously titled Leaving Liminality & Bevan's excellent Minister series of stories.
All in all, this is a very good first collection. The author is at his best when his writing is simple, direct & razor-sharp, over the foundation of a good story - of which there are many here. Sometimes I feel Bevan struggles to escape the shadow of other writers & one senses the strong influence of other authors in the work sometimes but this is natural for a newer writer as they find their own style & doesn't detract from the value of this stories.
The Ministry series is a fine achievement in its self & I'll watch with interest to see what Pete Bevan comes up with next. I am a great lover & supporter of short stories so it's nice to see a new author put out a first collection like this.
on 30 October 2011
Thanks Pete for publishing these works as a set. I have enjoyed your previous Minister work on the internet, and now having the trilogy of ministerial works alongside a load more tales of Zombie madness makes me a happy Melvin!
on 3 November 2011
Already knowing Mr Bevan's work a bit from the internet, I was really pleased to see a collection of his short stories on Amazon. I purchased "All The Dead Are Here" without any hesitation and I haven't regretted this for even a second. Some collections in this genre tend to focus too much on one specific kind of story or suffer from inconsistend quality. Not so with this one! Mr Bevan has a very good and mature writing style, which take his stories above the 'hack & slash' level. Moreover, he doesn't limit himself to "strong silent hero on a quest for survival" kind of stories, but explores a great number of options the zombie genre offers. Another strong point of this collection, is the excellent mix between horror, humor and stories with strong emotional impact. All this makes the collection feel balanced and makes sure you don't get a "been there done that" feeling.
All in all: All The Dead Are Here is one of the finest collection of short zombie related stories I have encountered. Even if you are not a zombie fan, you won't regret reading this and if you are, this simply is a MUST have.
on 28 October 2011
This is a fine collection of disparate tales which sit together as a body of work, tied together by the final two stories. The theme throughout is mostly bleak and quite sinister but punctuated by humour and a few moments of redemption for the well described characters who lived through - and some whose lives have been lived entirely after - the Zombie apocalypse. The additional stories in this collection which have not been previously published make this a worthwhile read for both those familiar with Pete's work and new readers alike.
on 26 October 2011
This is a brilliant compilation of short zombie stories - a must for any fan of the genre. Very skilfully written especially how the stories interlink and weave together.
When I first started reading it reminded me of those anthologies of classic victorian ghost stories (of which I'm also a fan). Some genuinely spooky stories here - and a refreshingly different style than you usually get with Zombie fiction. Definitely a cut above!
on 18 January 2013
Full disclosure: I really don't like zombie stories. I've never understood the fascination. I don't even watch the popular movies or TV series. I bought an electronic version of this book over a year ago on a bit of a whim because I've met the author and I'd just bought an iPad. It was only on a recent long journey that I finally got around to reading it. Shame on me.
What a pleasant surprise it was. I quickly forgot all my prejudices about zombies and was drawn in by the excellent writing and clever story-lines, with comedy and poignancy in abundance.
There's extremely funny moments, tinged with the macabre, like in These Things Always Happen To Me On A Tuesday. There's also considerable poignancy, like in Leaving Liminality, the last line of which had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up and in Angels With Dirty Faces, both poignant and shocking. There's also nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat stuff like Kobayashis' Button. Then there's brilliantly imaginative and original ideas like those in Cadish, which I could easily see as the basis for a Christopher Nolan movie. The Minister Trilogy (his presence/influence is actually seen in more than 3 of the stories), although lauded elsewhere, wasn't really my favourite, maybe because it's a more 'classic' zombie story? Still left me wanting to know more though, which is a testament to the quality of the writing!
I'm still not a fan of zombie literature and I still won't be watching The Walking Dead, but I will be looking out for more of Mr Bevan's work.
on 4 January 2012
Got the book as my first e-read following a recommendation and it's been a revelation! Loved the genre but was genuinely impressed by the ability of the author to draw me into the scenes and characters and care more for them and want it all to be ok. . . . . but it isn't . . . at times the books has heroics, but this is spread with horrors, at times hope, at times hell. There are parts of the book you'll wish you hadn't read because it draws you in, despite being a collection of stories, and once you've read them it they won't leave your mind!
The writing itself is incredibly varied, writing in different tense and from differing perspectives. Seriously impressive for a first time author. Each tale could be a film, each tale a game. If you thought it would be cool for the zombie apocalypse to come, you won't after this, you'll fear it!!!!!
on 20 June 2012
I normally shy away from short stories, a personal hang up, however this was a superb collection of very strong and imaginative tales.
Even if you do not normally read this genre give it a go you will not be disappointed.
Many of them could and should be the subject of full length books, well done to the author, can't recommend this book highly enough.