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The Living Dead by John Joseph Adams

The Living Dead

by John Joseph Adams (Editor)

Other authors: Clive Barker (Contributor), Neil Gaiman (Contributor), Laurell K. Hamilton (Contributor), Joe Hill (Contributor), Stephen King (Contributor)1 more, George R. R. Martin (Contributor)

Series: The Living Dead (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Really enjoyable anthology that delivered on zombies of all zombie-walks. As with all anthologies, there were a few misses but overall this was a great anthology and I came out of this with a few favourites:

"This Year's Class Picture" - the first story of the anthology is a great set-up. A teacher continues her life's work even after the world goes to Hell.

"The Dead Kid" - A heart-breaking little story about a child zombie that stuck with me for a week.

"Prairie" - Short, believable, and gruesome.

"Home Delivery" - Stephen King's story combines my penchant for his Little Tall Island as a setting and also a female protagonist.

"Deadman's Road" - This old west story was just plain chilling. Compact cast of characters, backstory that evokes disgust for the zombie even before we meet him. I'm sorry that the author's "Dead In The West" isn't more widely available.

"Followed" - Original. I don't particularly enjoy stories in which the monster is implicitly a symbol for some human flaw, but the zombie taking the place of our conscience is effective. ( )
  sweetzombieducky | Nov 28, 2015 |
Took a few days, but i loved every story it contained. There are definitely some strange tales inside, with unique plots. Must-read for a zombie fan! ( )
  darkonelh3730 | Dec 27, 2013 |
Ordinarily, this book would have gotten only two stars because of the ratio of stories that made me glad I'd bought the book to stories I hated or stories which I won't remember in a week.

The first story in the book, Dan Simmons's This Year's Class Picture set the bar high. It's got your basic McGuyver-like adaptations to a broken society, high-tension moments and of course a zombie battle, but it's also got pathos and a bittersweet, heartstring-tugging ending.

In Death and Suffrage, Dale Bailey gives us one look at politics and the dead, and in Beautiful Stuff, Susan Palwick has a different take on the same subject. Both stories are evocative and moving.

Lisa Morton's Sparks Fly Upward has a heroine in a heart-rending situation who nevertheless gets a measure of revenge that a lot of readers might have wanted.

Catherine Cheek's She's Taking Her Tits to the Grave is an artful combination of gore, black humor and pathos.

And it should come as no surprise that The Last Song the Zombie Sang is brilliant in language, character and development, considering that it was written by Harlan Ellison and Roger Zelazny.
( )
  Jammies | Mar 31, 2013 |
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. ( )
  eleanor_eader | Jun 4, 2012 |
I was rather looking forward to this anthology given that I have 2 other anthologies compiled by John Joseph Jackson, Wastelands and Brave New Worlds and absolutely adored both of those. This one, while it was okay, did not similarly blow my socks off. That may be in part because I have never been all that enamored with the zombie genre. It's only been with it's recent resurgence that I've been giving it another try. So, while it may be an awesome selection of short stories in the genre and I just don't "get it", I think it's more likely the genre simply hasn't had the time to develop the larger selection of classics that the post-apocalyptic and dystopian genres have developed. ( )
  SpongeBobFishpants | May 20, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
The shambling animated corpses of George Romero's films have lurched into the bookstores in droves in recent months, headlined by high-profile titles like World War Z and Monster Island. In this anthology, editor Adams (Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse) does a remarkable job of collecting a sampling of variations on this theme. These stories range from the truly disgusting (Poppy Z. Brite's 'Calcutta: Lord of Nerves') to the nearly wistful ('Followed' by Will McIntosh) and even one with no supernatural elements at all (Joe Hill's 'Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead'). Included are pieces by big names in horror like Stephen King and Clive Barker but also contributions by less obvious suspects like Harlan Ellison, Sherman Alexie, and George R.R. Martin. The final treat is John Langan's 'How the Day Runs Down' a nasty little play best described as Our Town with zombies. Highly recommended for all horror fiction collections.
added by cmwilson101 | editLibrary Journal
Recently prolific anthologist Adams (Seeds of Change) delivers a superb reprint anthology that runs the gamut of zombie stories. There's plenty of gore, highlighted by Stephen King's Home Delivery and David Schow's classic Blossom. Less traditional but equally satisfying are Lisa Morton's Sparks Fly Upward, which analyzes abortion politics in a zombified world, and Douglas Winter's literary pastiche Less than Zombie. Also outstanding, Kelly Link's Some Zombie Contingency Plans and Hannah Wolf Bowen's Everything Is Better with Zombies take similar themes in wildly different directions. Neil Gaiman's impeccably crafted Bitter Grounds offers a change of pace with traditional Caribbean zombies. The sole original contribution, John Langan's How the Day Runs Down, is a darkly amusing twist on Thornton Wilder's Our Town. There's some great storytelling for zombie fans as well as newcomers.
added by cmwilson101 | editPublisher's Weekly

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, John JosephEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barker, CliveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, Laurell K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hill, JoeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martin, George R. R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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"You know Macumba? Voodoo. My granddad was a priest in Trinidad. He used to tell us, 'When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.'"

-- Ken Foree as "Peter" in George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead
First words
(Introduction): When I first started assembling this anthology, I thought to myself: This is not going to be the sort of book that begins with an origin of the word zombie.
Ms. Geiss watched her new student coming across the first-graders' playground from her vantage point on the balcony of the old school's belfry.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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.
Collects these stories:
Introduction by John Joseph Adams
"This Year's Class Picture" by Dan Simmons
"Some Zombie Contingency Plans" by Kelly Link
"Death and Suffrage" by Dale Bailey
"Ghost Dance" by Sherman Alexie
"Blossom" by David J. Schow
"The Third Dead Body" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
"The Dead" by Michael Swanwick
"The Dead Kid" by Darrell Schweitzer
"Malthusian's Zombie" by Jeffrey Ford
"Beautiful Stuff" by Susan Palwick
"Sex, Death, and Starshine" by Clive Barker
"Stockholm Syndrome" by David Tallerman
"Bobby Conroy Comes Back From the Dead" by Joe Hill
"Those Who Seek Forgiveness" by Laurell K. Hamilton
"In Beauty, Like the Night" by Norman Partridge
"Prairie" by Brian Evenson
"Everything is Better With Zombies" by Hannah Wolf Bowen
"Home Delivery" by Stephen King
"Less than Zombie" by Douglas E. Winter
"Sparks Fly Upward" by Lisa Morton
"Meathouse Man" by George R. R. Martin
"Deadmans' Road" by Joe R. Lansdale
"The Skull-Faced Boy" by David Barr Kirtley
"The Age of Sorrow" by Nancy Kilpatrick
"Bitter Grounds" by Neil Gaiman
"She's Taking Her Tits to the Grave" by Catherine Cheek
"Dead Like Me" by Adam-Troy Castro
"Zora and the Zombie" by Andy Duncan
"Calcutta, Lord of Nerves" by Poppy Z. Brite
"Followed" by Will McIntosh
"The Song the Zombie Sang" by Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg
"Passion Play" by Nancy Holder
"Almost the Last Story by ALmost the Last Man" by Scott Edelman
"How the Day Runs Down" by John Langan
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A collection of short stories about zombies includes contributions by Clive Barker, Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman.

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