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The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology Paperback – Feb 16 2010
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“This powerful anthology shines a bright and unflinching light on the fears of death, decay, and loss that underpin America's longstanding obsession with the undead.” ―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Christopher Golden is the award-winning author of many bestselling books including Waking Nightmares, Of Saints and Shadows, Of Masques and Martyrs, and The Myth Hunters. He has also written books for teens and young adults, including Soulless and Poison Ink. His novels have been published in fourteen languages. Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he continues to live with his family.
Top Customer Reviews
This book wasn't like that. I can honestly say that I found almost all of the stories good and some were great. Of course it's not going to be for everyone and I will warn that there is a certain gore and ick factor that some may not be able to handle but if you are a fan of zombies then I think it's worth the read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The anthology kicks off with John Connolly's "Lazarus", one of the best tales in the volume and a different take on the biblical tale of the resurrected Lazarus. Fans of urban fantasy writer supreme, Kelley Armstrong will no doubt enjoy her story "Life Sentence" that contains all of the elements that have made her an enormously popular writer in recent years. Hear a magician devises a way to become immortal while beating cancer.
I love Brian Keene, and his tale "The Wind Cries Mary" was a moving tale of a zombie outbreak but its only four pages long. Keene's work was one of the ones I was looking forward to the most and for it to be such a minor contribution was disappointing. Balancing this disappointment was Tad Williams' "The Storm Door". Known best for fantasy, Williams delivers a story about a supernatural investigator's horrific discovery. Other standout stories include "Among Us" by Aimee Bender, "Family Business" by Jonathan Maberry, "Weaponized" by David Wellington, and "What Maisie Knew" by David Liss.
More disappointing than the Keene entry was Joe R. Landsdale's "Shooting Pool". It's a fine enough story but, um...there's no zombies in it. It's the strangest and most out of place inclusion in the book and if you are scoring at home, that means that two of the biggest names contributed two of the most disappointing stories. Still most of the nineteen stories are above average and should satisfy the tastes of most zombie fans.
However, some of the stories are very terrible. For example, the Zombie Who Fell From the Sky is poorly written and half the time doesn't even make sense. Among Us is another story which makes me wonder if Golden even read some of these entries. Among Us is pretentious and dull. Family Business starts out interesting but quickly becomes boring.
***Warning, Minor Spoilers ****
However, the worst stories have nothing to do with zombies. For example,The storm door is not about zombies, but rather spirit possession. The worst offender though is Shooting Pool. Not only does it not have a zombie it the story, but it contains zero elements of the supernatural, it is just a story about a guy getting shot in a pool hall. Seriously...
I wouldn't mind the inclusion of such stories, but the book makes it clear the stories are about zombies, the word "zombie" is used several times on the back cover. The front of the book have what most people would call "zombies." I found including nonzombie stories to be somewhat dishonest. Call me crazy, but when I buy a book about zombies I want all of the stories to include...guess what? Zombies!
However, the zombie stories that are included are pretty good, I just would wait until the book becomes on sale, or you can find it used.
In The Dust by Tim Lebbon
This short story brings you into a secured city where officials have quarantined the entire city - there are three remaining people alive inside the barricades - Jamie, Bindi and Toby. They have been hauling zombie bodies to the scientists for them to examine and burn. Little did they know that another outbreak would occur trapping them inside the walls longer than they anticipated. This story is intriguing to me because it actually seems like a possibility of what could happen if this ever rang true - being trapped inside the hub of action and not being able to get out - then once you think things are going to be okay, you find out that you might be safer inside your secluded little area.
Life Sentence by Kelley Armstrong
In life sentence we see a rich man who wants to take advantage of being able to live after he dies. It's an interesting theory that someone could mess around with the DNA of a person so that when they come back as a zombie they would have free will and not rot to pieces. I don't know if I'd ever want to live that way, but I am sure there are many out there who would love to live forever (I just think I'd rather be a vampire than a rotting corpse any day).
Delice by Holly Newstein
This story captured me because it used voodoo to create a beautiful little girl zombie and then lay her to rest once they were done using the body to take their revenge. I liked that it was set in New Orleans and that black magic was involved. You don't really read many zombie books lately that deal with necromancy and voodoo - so it was nice to read about for a change.
Family Business by Jonathan Maberry
This was probably my favourite of the stories - I think that has to do with the fact that there are lots of emotions involved in this story. Benny is trying to find a job in his new world - after First Night happened everyone has new jobs that somehow deal with Zombies, like Fence Tester and Erosion Artist. Benny doesn't find a specific job that he is good at or feels comfortable with. He then asks his older brother Tom to teach him how to kill the Zoms. Tom takes Benny on a life changing journey to learn what Tom does for a living - he doesn't just kill zombies, he searches out specific living dead to release from their horrible undead lives. This one is quite emotional at on part, where Benny finally realizes that what his brother does is help others find solace and peace.
Twittering From the Circus of the Dead by Joe Hill
This was an interesting short story as it is all told by Twitter posts from one person - you do not get to see responses or interactions. And everything is posted in 140 character postings. It's an interesting concept for storytelling, but what is even better is the idea of the Circus of the Dead - where live people are believing they are watching a great circus act of people being chased and attacked by zombie clowns etc. Little do they know they are in for a big treat.
I would also add that this book is definitely for adults - there is coarse language, scenes of major violence and also some sexual content that I would rate R.
The worst stories in the book, by far, are the tales by Homler, Bender, and Hautala. The tale by Homler (The Zombie Who Fell From the Sky) is, honestly, one of the worst things I've ever seen make it to print. That story was so amateurishly written that most semi-literate people with no writing experience could pen a better zombie story.
I almost one-starred this, but the collection is redeemed somewhat by the two fantastic stories which close out the collection (by David Wellington and Joe Hill, respectively). LOVED the Twitter tale.
Borrow this one from the library, or better yet, don't borrow it and just read the last two short stories before you put it back on the shelf.
I've slowly read through each of them and some are definitely more successful than others. If you are interested in my ratings on each one, check out my Goodreads status updates.
My favorites were:
- Life Sentence by Kelley Armstrong: gotta love it when an egomaniac gets his comeuppance.
- Family Business by Jonathan Maberry: the beginning of the story of Benny and Tom Imura. I liked this one so much that I immediately ordered two books by the author (including Rot and Ruin featuring Benny and Tom).
- Weaponized by David Wellington: zombie soldiers. What's not to like?
- Twittering from the Circus of the Dead by Joe Jill: funny yet scary at the same time. It really does sound like a real twitter feed.
A few that I didn't like:
- Copper by Stephen Bissette: no emotion.
- The Zombie Who Fell From The Sky by M.B. Homler: this is honestly one of the worst things I've ever read.
- Among Us by Aimee Bender: a complete and utter waste of time. Made no sense.
Overall, I'd give it 3.5/5 stars. If you love zombies, it's definitely worth picking up.