Saturday, 24 April 2010

Zombie, an Anthology of the Undead - Book Review part 1

Today I'll make a start in reviewing 'Zombie, an Anthology of the Undead'. As it has about 20 stories and I want to tell a bit about each one I'll tackle 10 of them today.

Zombie, an Anthology of the Undead edited by Christopher Golden

What is it about:
RESURRECTION! The hungry dead have risen. They shamble down the street. They hide in backyards, car parks, shopping centres. They devour our neighbours, dogs and policemen. And they are here to stay. The real question is: what are you going to do about it? How will you survive? How will the world change when the dead begin to rise? Bram Stoker-award-winning author Christopher Golden has assembled an original anthology of never-before-published zombie stories from an eclectic array of today's most popular horror, fantasy, thriller and literary writers.

What did I think of it:
Some of you may know by now I love zombies! So this book with lots of different zombie stories is right up my alley. I will list the first 10 and tell you my thoughts about each one.

'Lazarus' by John Connolly - A short, melancholic tale about the biblical Lazarus. Well written and beautiful in my opinion.

'What Maisie Knew' by David Liss - A suspenseful story set in a world where the dead have gotten a new function as brainless lackeys. But are all of them as brainless as it seems? I thought this one was very cool and original.

'Copper' by Stephen R. Bissette - I must confess this one didn't grab me, so I skipped it after the first few pages. (Yes, I know: I'm bad.)

'In the Dust' by Tim Lebbon - Three survivors of a viral outbreak that turns people into zombies try to stay alive and find their missing loved ones while dealing with the military who're investigating the outbreak. A well written and enjoyable story.

'Life Sentence' by Kelley Armstrong - A corporate bigshot uses his money and power to try to cheat death and doesn't mind if there are some casualties along the line. I really enjoyed this story, as I have all of Armstrong's stories sofar. I do wonder if people unfamiliar with Armstrong's other books won't miss out on some details.

'Delice' by Holly Newstein - A Mambo (priest of the Voudou) creates a zombie to let her have her revenge. As you might guess this story is about the original sort of zombies. It's a decent story, but I'm more for the brain eating kind of zombies myself.

'The Wind Cries Mary' by Brian Keene - Another beautiful, short, melancholic story. This one set in a post apocalyptic world.

'Family Business' by Jonathan Maberry - Ok, I got still 6 stories to read, but sofar this story is my favourite. It's the story of how a teenage boy (Benny) tries to find a job in a post apocalyptic world full of zombies, only to finally be accepted by his older brother (who is a bountyhunter who kills zombies) as an apprentice. It's beautiful, well written, the jobs Benny tries are bizarre, but original and I loved how the two brothers get to know each other while trying to work together. My one objection was that it was much too short, but luckily Maberry wrote a whole book about Benny that will be released in october this year called 'Rot and Ruin'. Something to look forward to.

'The Zombie Who Fell from the Sky' by M.B. Homler - As the title may give away: a town is surprised one day by a zombie falling out of the sky. Cool concept, not so cool story. It's chaotic in the way it's written and I didn't really care for it.

'My Dolly' by Derek Nikitas - Another story that didn't make much sense to me. A guy tries to revive a dead girl to ehm.... do something I'm sure, but this story lost me after the first couple of pages.

That's for the first 10 stories. All in all 6 stories I really liked if not loved, 1 that was ok and 3 I didn't care for. Not a bad score at all.

Part 2 of this review will come as soon as I've read the last 6 stories.


Marlowe said...

The bookstore that Mom works at sells that anthology. She says that the oddest part is that David Liss writes historical fiction-- so the zombie story is totally new for him!

Sullivan McPig said...

Hmmm, i will check his other books. He did a great job on the zombie story in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed "Family Business". Even though it's a long tale, everyone seems to want more. I agree, and not only with ROT & RUIN be novel length, it's the first of a series of adventures featuring Benny Imura and his friends.

And I also have a zombie novel out now, PATIENT ZERO (available from Gollancz).

Sullivan McPig said...

Thanks for the info. That is good news!
And I'll go check out 'Patient Zero'. I'm always on the lookout for a good zombie story.