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The Living Dead (The Living Dead #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  6,856 ratings  ·  284 reviews

"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

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Kindle Edition, 487 pages
Published (first published September 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Larry McCloskey
A collection of zombie stories that truly does deliver more than what you'd expect. Zombie fans MUST check this book out, but what sets it apart is that there's enough here for other people as well.

"This Year's Class Picture" sets things up nicely, catching the reader off guard with it's ending and setting the stage for several different looks at the "life" of the undead. This is far more than stories of blood and gore, but many hinge on lost humanity (and even regained humanity in some cases) e
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Timothy Ward
Dan Simmons's This Year's Class Picture

As the intro story to The Living Dead, I came into this read with high expectations. Dan places the reader into the life of a remarkably interesting woman, on a particularly important day. An elderly school teacher, and potentially the last teacher on Earth, impressed me with her resolve to survive. They say you have to keep your mind working or you'll lose it. Well, she does so by maintaining her teaching routine with a full class of children zombies. The
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trishtrash
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, beca ...more
Marcus
*Spolier warning* The subject matter of this collection of short stories is, of course, zombies. Zombies of all flavors. From Romero-style "hungry dead," to the classic Haitian voodoo , to metaphorical zombies (such as couch-potatoes and mindless consumers). As far as anthologies go, I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the writing was bad, most was good, and some was very, very good.

In particular, "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" by Kelly Link, "Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead" by Joe Hill
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Brendan
Rather than write about all 34 stories in this collection, I’ll write about my top five, in no particular order.

* “Followed” by Will McIntosh is the best story in the collection. It supposes a world in which the dead rise and instead of attacking the living, they follow them. But the dead seek out and follow people who “deserve it” according to some sort of cosmic justice. The more exorbitant your lifestyle, the more zombies choose to follow you.
* “How the Day Runs Down” by John Langan. A zomb
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John
When I first picked up this book, I expected to encounter a rash of stories about heroic survivors of a zombie apocalypse bravely blowing the heads off of everything they see (which, admittedly, is fun in its own way). I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is true of none of these stories. They are far more complex and creative than the video-game horror stories found elsewhere (World War Z) and many stand alone as great stories(even outside the zombie genre, whatever that entails).

One st
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Brian Steele
This is not a collection of Zombie short stories. No, this is a brilliant collection of short stories that happen to be about Zombies. Trust me - there's a difference.

You'll find very few cliches here, very few pieces of bad writing, very few "filler" stories. You will find some of the best speculative fiction writers currently out there today contributing fascinating works concerning the human condition and our preoccupation with the mysteries of death. And while Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Popp
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Michael
A pretty solid anthology, though there were quite a few misses within. I was really hoping for more that had been commissioned for the work, because the works by many of the big names (King, Barker, Gaiman, Partridge, Hill, Hamilton) were ones I'd read before.

That said, there were some stories I really liked. Joe R. Lansdale's was really good, as most of his work is. I'd like to see more stories or a novel based on Jebidiah. And Dan Simmons' "This Year's Class Picture" was outstanding.

Worth a re
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Colleen
Well....like a lot of short story collections, tons of junk and a few gems sprinkled in to keep you interested. There were three or four that redeemed this and almost makes me want to give three or four stars, but really (like most of the zombie genre) too much bad writing. Schoolteacher story was amazing though, so won't sell this back just because of that one.
Kemper
Lots of good zombie stories, but not all fall into the traditional George Romero type stories. For example, Joe Hill's story is about two high school sweethearts who reunite while playing extras in Romero's filming of Dawn of The Dead. A lot of great material, but someone just looking for different takes on the Romero style zombies may be disappointed.
Ярослава
A sad cautionary tale about how even the best roster (basically, everybody who's anybody in sf/f) does not guarantee that the anthology won't fail: and this one fails SO HARD. The stories are either way too predictable (say, Stephen King's short story reads like a grocery list of all his recurring motifs, and almost veers off into the realms of unconscious self-parody), while others are naive political ramblings about the current geopolitical doings. They are clearly about their times and of the ...more
Vlad Zhenevsky
Литература веками искала универсальное зеркало, в котором человек отразился бы весь, без купюр и фиговых листиков. В начале двадцать первого века оно было найдено… и пахнет от него гнилью.
Ни один образ не дает писателю такой творческой свободы, как зомби, живой мертвец. Это первый вывод, который напрашивается после чтения «Нежити». Тут же и второй: составитель антологии, Джон Джозеф Адамс, не зря ест свой хлеб. Подборка получилась без малого образцовой.
Разумеется, ударную группу образуют произве
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Kate Lansky
There are some amazing stories in here, and a few that, to be honest, I didn't much care for.

First off, don't go in to this expecting every story to be a standard zombie tale. Don't go in expecting everything to be scary, either. Go in to this expecting a very, very wide spectrum of tales, and an equally wide definition of what it means to be living dead. In some stories you do see classic zombies (the very first is a good example), or are only mild departures from the classic, devastating unde
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J. McClain
This was a very satisfying read. I went in thinking I'd be reading all things zombie, when in point of fact the title of the collection suggests a wider meaning. This is borne out in the stories. Numerous aspects of the idea of a reanimated human is explored here, from science-fiction-focused works such as Michael Swanwick's "The Dead" and George R. R. Martin's "Meathouse Man," to those that reference Haitian vodou such as "Bitter Grounds by Neil Gaiman and "Zora and the Zombie" by Andy Duncan.

T
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Doug
Many excellent stories, and a wonderfully wide variety of perspectives on zombies. I particularly liked the stories by
Dan Simmons,
George R.R. Martin,
Stephen King,
Catherine Cheek,
Dale Bailey,
Nina Kiriki Hoffman,
Michael Swanwick,
Susan Palwick,
Joe Lansdale,
Nancy Kilpatrick,
Neil Gaiman, and
Will McIntosh
H. Anne Stoj
I love this time of year. October is coming and a girl's fancy turns to the undead. Or at least this girl's does and in the idea of zombies (or vampires that ash out in sunlight rather than sparkle like lip-gloss from Bonnie Bell.)

So, what does that mean? It's time to brush off the zombie collections and novels (the few that I have thanks to being fussy) and prepare for Halloween spookiness where I will, no doubt, freak myself out as I've rediscovered all the gore and whatnot that didn't bother
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Cameron
I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point a very large portion of the horror fiction writer community decided that to write a good zombie story, some person in the story needs to have sex with a zombie. Or a zombie has to have sex with a person. Or the zombies need to have sex with each other.

About 1/3 of the way through this book I was starting to roll my eyes and say to myself, "Oh god, not ANOTHER person getting it on with a walking corpse..."

This phenomena is present in about 60-70% o
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Corey
I’ll admit that zombies can be tiresome; not much personality, kind of slow, easily defeated on a one-to-one basis. Certain liberties must be taken with the mythos to make such creatures interesting over the course of 400+ pages, but Adams puts in just the right mix of classic monster mayhem and mythological experimentation to make the whole of The Living Dead an absolutely spectacular collection. There is everything a zombiphile could want; gore, satire; parody, gore, emotion, comedy, gore, sex ...more
Cristen
I was expecting good ol' fashioned zombie stories. But what I got instead was a bunch of overly creative garbage with barely any gore in it. Aside from the first story and a few in the middle, there was very little worthwhile in this collection. Most of the zombies didn't even eat people! One story didn't even contain zombies, but rather, took place on the set of a zombie movie. YAWN. A lot of the zombie stories had the zombies talking and thinking and being very unzombie-like. They seemed to mi ...more
Jenny
A really good compilation of zombie-related short stories. Many of them are very clever, and not your typical undead plotline.

I especially enjoyed the following stories:

- This Year's Class Picture by Dan Simmons
- Death and Suffrage by Dale Bailey
- The Third Dead Body by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
- The Dead Kid by Darrell Schweitzer
- Malthusian's Zombie by Jeffrey Ford
- Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead by Joe Hill
- Home Delivery by Stephen King
- Bitter Grounds by Neil Gaiman
- Stockholm Syndrome by
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Eric
I really really really wanted to like this collection of short stories. I mean, I really wanted to. I love zombies and zombie stories and movies but, in the end I only found a few to be enjoyable and the rest to be mediocre or just plain boring. A couple of the stories such as "Almost the Last Story by Almost the Last Man" and "This Year's Class Picture" are definitely worth checking out but, they are so few and far between that it would be hard to justify a purchase.....even if you are a zombie ...more
Minutepapillon
Foison de lectures zombies en un recueil de nouvelles pour fouetter l'imagination sous la toile de tente. Le thème se prête vraiment très bien au genre.
Mes préférées:
The Dead Kid, Darrell Schweitzer
Entre surnaturel, bullying adolescent et rites initiatiques, une nouvelle qui n'est pas sans évoquer les enfants et adolescents sous la plume de Stephen King dans des histoires telles que It et Stand by Me

Malthusian's Zombie, Jeffrey Ford Une nouvelle qui explore les "et si" du potentiel insondable
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Caryn
For me the stand-outs in this collection were This Year's Class Picture by Dan Simmons, Deadman's Road by Joe R. Lansdale, Calcutta, Lord of Nerves by Poppy Z. Brite, and How the Day Runs Down by John Langan...I liked some of the others (George R.R. Martin's short stories are usually great, as are Stephen King's) but I ended up not even finishing quite a few of the selections...
Kathleen
Turns out that I've read this already, I thought maybe I hadn't read all of the stories yet, no joy. Excellent stuff in here, some tasty gems and a nice overview of different approaches and theories regarding the walking dead. You may come across a writer to follow up on, and not just for more zombie stories.
Robert
An excellent mix of pure zombie chew-em-up stories and more cerebral fare; of particular interest were the stories in which the titular horrors were only tangentially addressed - especially the romantic story set on the set of George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead".
William
Excellent collection of things zombie. There should be a zombie story here to fit anyone.

Outstanding were works by Brite, Schow and Lansdale but the entire book is impressive with no real duds.
Shaun Cole
The stories are good. The collection is good. So why did I give it 2 stars? Well, when I want to read about zombies or "The Living Dead" I want to read about zombie apocalypse, flesh, brains, tough survivalist characters not stories that have them metaphorically used. There are some actual zombie stories in the collection but for the most part the zombies are either nice characters coming to share the truth of the world to an enraged living public, or they are government psychological testing go ...more
Shanon
I've started this and have read several stories. I wasn't impressed enough to sit down and read it all the way through but maybe I'll read it all story by story over time.
Cameron Casey
A few good stories, but mostly not. Disappointing.
Anne M
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
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John Joseph Adams—called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble.com—is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS: NEW ADVENTURES ON BARSOOM, ARMORED, LIGHTSPEED: YEAR ONE, BRAVE NEW WORLDS, WASTELANDS, THE LIVING DEAD, THE LIVING DEAD 2, BY BLOOD WE LIVE, FEDERATIONS, THE IMPROBABLE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, and THE WAY OF THE WIZARD ...more
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The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse The Living Dead, Volume 2 (The Living Dead, #2) Epic: Legends of Fantasy Brave New Worlds

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“There was something about clowns that was worse than zombies. (Or maybe something that was the same. When you see a zombie, you want to laugh at first. When you see a clown, most people get a little nervous. There's the pallor and the cakey mortician-style makeup, the shuffling and the untidy hair. But clowns were probably malicious, and they moved fast on those little bicycles and in those little crammed cars. Zombies weren't much of anything. They didn't carry musical instruments and they didn't care whether or not you laughed at them. You always knew what zombies wanted.)” 11 likes
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