Customer Review

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A large collection of well written stories, 18 April 2009
This review is from: The Living Dead (Paperback)
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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