BOOK REVIEW: Zombies: A Compendium of the Living Dead

Do you love the stories of the undead, watch zombie movies and think how cool it would be to attend the zombie apocalypse then this book could be for you. A huge collection of tales of the undead from lots of famous authors.

I enjoy a good zombie movie as much as the next person and even some recent TV shows but have never really been into reading about them. Now I ask myself why not, as this book has literally opened my eyes to the stories out there. With just under 60 tales of the undead there really is something for everyone in this anthology. The selection of authors is impressive including Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson, Harlan Ellison and Kevin J Anderson. Each author is given a small intro and there are also some nice visuals in the book as well.

The stories range across time and themes with some interesting results on what a Zombie is and how each author uses them. The tales were written across the last 83 years with Edgar Allan Poe’s The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar (1845) being the oldest and actually shows how our fascination with the Zombie has grown and changed from being lifeless husks to flesh-eating monsters.

Some of my favourite entries were W.B. Seabrook’s ‘Dead Men Working in the Cane Fields’ for originality, how it is told and opens the whole anthology. Robert E. Howard ‘Pigeons From Hell’ just for the great craziness of it all and ‘The Dead’ by Michael Swanwick for a vision of the future that you could see happening in some sick twisted future. However there are so many stories here that it covers just about all aspects of the Zombie culture.

Some of authors and tales within Zombies: A Compendium of the Living Dead include:

  • W. B. Seabrook – Dead Men Working In The Cane Fields
  • David A. Riley – After Nightfall
  • Dale Bailey – Death And Sufferage
  • H. P. Lovecraft – Pickman’s Model
  • Robert Bloch – Maternal Instinct
  • Kevin J. Anderson – Bringing The Family
  • Henry S. Whitehead – Jumbee
  • Peter Tremayne – Marbh Bheo
  • Thomas Burke – The Hollow Man
  • Anthony Boucher – They Bite
  • Gahan Wilson – Come One, Come All
  • Ramsey Campbell – It Helps If You Sing
  • R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Ghouls
  • Theodore Roscoe – Z Is For Zombie

And many more. This is the type of book to take your time over and digest over many weeks and then revisit certain tales later on. Just do not read it late at night!

Source: Corvus Books
GS Rating: 
GS Reporter: Montoya

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