Book Review: The Living Dead Anthology

480 pages of short stories all about zombies. What’s not to like? Who among us hasn’t wondered if we would personally survive a zombie apocalypse, or what the news coverage would be like. Maybe Anthrax Island would be the perfect place to hide out.

Edited by John Joseph Adams this is an absolutely huge collection, with some of the really big hitters from the horror and sci-fi genres, including Stephen King, George R R Martin, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. While these are some of the better stories, often with anthologies the best tales are from previously unknown authors, of which for me there were many.

No two stories are the same, and they all tackle the subject matter in differing ways. There are a couple of regular tales, although very well written, it is the the more unusual ones that really grab your attention. It is hard to describe the stories individually as I took my time with this anthology, often reading a couple of them each week. There was only one story in the whole book which I struggled with and gave up on, which is a testament to how good this collection is.

Over the years I’ve read many zombie books and watched many zombie films, notably the George Romero series of films (and the book which I haven’t got round to reading yet), or the book World War Z (apart from the title the film bares no resemblance to the book in the slightest). I loved the Dawn of the Dead, the original, but felt that the science behind the remake didn’t hold up. Zombies can’t run. Obviously the whole science behind zombies doesn’t hold up at all, but you do need some realism. This is one of the reasons why I love a good horror book or film, they are pure fantasy, make believe, while crime novels purport to be real.

Anyway, I gave this anthology 5 out of 5 on Goodreads and I have been looking out for some of the authors who I hadn’t come across before.

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