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The Living Dead 2

(The Living Dead #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,377 ratings  ·  110 reviews
The Living Dead 2 has more of what zombie fans hunger for: more scares, more action, more... brains! Experience the indispensable series that defines the very best in zombie literature with a shambling, ravenous herd of original stories. The Living Dead 2 also features a slavering horde of reprint zombie stories. All this adds up to a landmark volume that helps define what ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Night Shade
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Amanda Lyons
Nov 07, 2010 rated it liked it
While reading this one I was forced to acknowledge a sad truth about anthologies today: They just don't make em like they used to.

While there were some really great stories in this antho (largely by proven authors like Gary A Braunbeck, David J Schow, Brian Keene, Sarah Langan and Jonathan Maberry) most of them just weren't all that stellar and came off more as tales you could easily forget shortly after finishing the book. Maybe I'm a bit spoiled having gotten hooked on horror in the 90s when
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Speaking from the perspective of a long-time zombie fan who has been carrying the torch for George Romero since the early 70s (when i got a glimpse of Night of The Living Dead at far too young an age for it), I am starting to run toward zombie overload. I love this stuff, but the way it has been coming out recently? We are getting almost as bad as Stephanie Meyer fans and her teenage lust-struck vampires. Thank goodness zombie apocalypse tales tend to be a bit more literate and a bit more varied ...more
The reviews of the stories that could not fit into this review are in the comment section starting at comment #10. Sorry but GR only allows reviews of less than 20,000 characters. :(

Alone, Together by Robert Kirkman (3 stars) - I would read a full length book if this story was/is expanded on. It's not the best one I've read so far, IMO, but it's definitely good. I'm not so into the whole 'love story in the middle of zombie territory' but some people can pull it off.

Danger Word by Steven Barnes &
Deborah Sheldon
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding anthology. The stories range from heart-breaking to nerve-wracking, and feature every type of zombie you could imagine and then some. The writing is top-notch. Recommended not just for horror fans, but for lovers of beautifully crafted stories.
Aug 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
I was going to do a story-by-story analysis of the book, but I ended up skipping or skimming so many stories it would be pointless. They all sucked, and the ones that didn't suck sucked harder. There was definitely one about a zombie gigolo that almost made me throw up after a couple paragraphs. Mostly the stories were unremarkable. Especially the one by Robert Kirkman. Is anyone but me willing to acknowledge that while Walking Dead is awesome, Kirkman's writing style is cringe-worthy? I guess m ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
I confess that I started reading GR reviews for this anthology only a few stories in. Most of the reviews were describing the stories as terrible, which surprised me. Terrible? Not really. They were mediocre, but not the bottom-of-the-bargain-bin-at-the-second-hand-book-fair terrible like some of the books I've sampled. These people, I mused, were clearly soft.

But they're not. There are some stories in here that are truly terrible. They need to be removed from reality. Potentially even the auth
Christine Paiva Stewart
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Amazing collection of short stories about Zombies! A few of my faves were"The Other Side","When the Zombies Win", "Category 5", "Skull faced City", "He said, laughing, "Zombie Gigolo" and "the Rapeworm". "The Rapeworm" was so disturbing it will stay with me in the wee smalls for the rest of my life!
Amazing, 5 stars, a keeper.
Overall, i enjoyed this book very much. It had grossery (is that a word?) horror, humor, sadness, and some downright terrible stories that i couldn't make it through. I'm an avid fan of a good zombie story and i couldn't help picking this book up at the library. So here is an individual analysis of each story:

5 Stars*****
Obviously, my favorites

The Anteroom by Adam-Troy Castro
This was some good 2nd person prose. It was different, and i liked the twist on the afterlife and the possibility that zom
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
The zombie theme has never been more actual as it is these days, with literature and both screens – the big and the small one – often employing it for stories, although it’s difficult to find tales that try to look beyond the far-too-easy shock of blood and gore, focusing rather on the psychology of characters and their reaction to the apocalypse they are desperately trying to survive.
Recently I discovered a sampler of this book through the Baen Free Library showcasing some of the stories conta
Steven Lee
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
As I've previously written writing a review for an anthology is always a struggle. What I will say is that the anthology does a great job in putting new perspectives and ideas into the classic zombie format. Many different kinds of zombie fiction are represented.

From my recollection there was little in this book that I found disturbing or made me feel uneasy. I don't like gross-out horror, which is not in evidence here. I don't need vivid descriptions of teeth biting into rotten flesh, thanks.
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
"Is it necrophilia if you're both dead?"

Reading this now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, makes me think how it could be worse! 😀 Reading some of these on the day that celebrates Jesus rising from the dead makes me think that it could be better too! The undead on these pages are not so forgiving!

Lots of short stories in here! Some hits, some misses, but all zombies! You have stories from "The Walking Dead"'s Robert Kirkman and "World War Z"'s Max Brooks, among many others. My favorite in this coll
Sara Gilliland
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The things I love about anthologies, is that it is filled with unique insights into a theme, rather then just following the same hero till the end, you get to see different hero’s, some you will love like the Amish story for me, some you will hate, some will totally gross you out like one story did, some will really make you laugh, especially if your like me and some heroes die by doing something silly that you know you just should not do in a zombie outbreak, ha ha, some make you cheer for the ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anthologies can be a really hit or miss affair but The Living Dead 2 was a fantastic collection. Each story had a different take on the zombie apocalypse. They ranged from the personal ("Are You Trying To Tell Me This Is Heaven", "The Anteroom") to the action packed ("Zero Tolerance", "Lost Canyon of the Dead") to the simply gross ("Zombie Gigolo") There is literally something for every one in this collection. I look forward to reading more of John Joseph Adam's collections.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like short stories and zombies you'll like this book

I enjoyed all the stories except the last two. Really great read before bed. Not all the stories are your typical zombie stories so I enjoyed that.
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another book filled with zombies. Count me in. An amazing collection of zombie books.
Kai Charles(Fiction State Of Mind)
Anthologies are always a mixed bag, this one unfortuately wasnt stellar.


I bought this Anthology for one reason only: Robert Kirkman. I'm a huge fan of his comic The Walking Dead so I was excited to see his very first published prose story:


This story is about a couple trying to stay alive after a zombie apocalypse. The narraton focuses on the reminiscence of Timothy about his former love and his current relationship. I really enjoyed this story,what it lacks in zombie viole
Following a blogpost by Chuck Wending suggesting that people mix-and-match various classics, I've been thinking about zombies, both as monster and as symbol/trope; and since I happened to have a Selection of stories from this anthology and no other zombie fiction, this is what I read. (Also, is it true that there's no zombie fiction that occurs with the people stuck in a bank?) Here are the stories I read:

Matt London, "Mouja": Zombies invade The Seven Samurai. Doesn't quite get beyond the premis
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: just-have-it
From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. You don't have to be a zombie-lover to enjoy this outstanding follow-up to 2008's The Living Dead. Anthologist extraordinaire Adams has assembled 43 stories that showcase strong writing and imagination. Unexpected settings include a lost world with surviving dinosaurs (Brian Keene's "Lost Canyon of the Dead") and a pirate ship (Amelia Beamer's "Pirates vs. Zombies"). Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due's "Danger Word" and David Wellington's "Good People" cont

Alex Telander
Oct 27, 2010 rated it liked it
After the runaway success of The Living Dead, editor John Joseph Adams is back with a follow up collection featuring a whole host of new authors writing about the walking dead. So grab a big cup of coffee, a warm blanket, and sequester yourself in a dark, quiet room, with one window looking out onto you don’t know what, and take a trip into a series of meetings with beings who want nothing more than to eat you alive, while you scream.

The collection begins with a short introduction by Adams going
Hailey Cheek
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2015 marked it as books-owned-to-read
(I read and reviewed only those stories which I am interested in. As such this is an on-going review as I read the stories)

"Everglades" by Mira Grant (part of the Newsflesh universe)

Debbie thinks about the lessons her Grandpa used to tell her about and how some things just aren't worth surviving. This is set just after the breakout of the epidemic (about two or so decades before Feed) and concerns a small group of survivors waiting for rescue on a college campus. I think that the story has a wei
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Another collection of zombie tales, from a variety of authors.

I think I liked this one a little more than its immediate predecessor, The Living Dead, but it's a bit tricky to judge... because while I can't think of a standout story from this collection, I also didn't find any that were just a slog and I hated reading, except perhaps the last couple, but to be fair I think that was more about me coming down with a case of STAF (Single Theme Anthology Fatigue) rather than the stories themselves. I
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Jun 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology
I will admit to skimming and skipping over a couple of the stories here. Overall I liked a lot of them (I'd originally gotten it just to read Reluctance from Cherie Priest).

The first 2 stories were wholly depressing (and in zombie anthologies, that is usually the case). There were a couple of stories, though, that were lighter. And one I really wished I had skipped (Zombie Gigolo - I know, I'm a tad embarrassed to admit I read it. I'm horrifically grossed out. I can take descriptions of ghoulish
Book Specs


The Living Dead Anthology 2

Series/Book #



totally insane (300 pgs or more)


$1.99 (on sale)


Review may contain spoilers, read with caution; Read tags for other content

Since there were MANY stories in this anthology I will pick a few to highlight and review then give an overall rating:

*Alone, Together by Robert Kirkland

Reminded me TWD (for obvious reasons) in the sense that it was focused of the affects of surviving a ZA. Would they have reached the
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I used this anthology in my Zombies in Popular Media class* this semester, to great acclaim. The story collection has 44 original zombie stories from a variety of notable writers. It's pretty great. Like the last collection, there's a mix of different kinds of zombie stories here, from the military action of Joe McKinney to the existential torment of Adam-Troy Castro. A few highlights, for me:

* "Zero Tolerance" by Jonathan Mayberry continues the saga started in Patient Zero, but mixes in the qu
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up

Half of these are must reads. the other half were a mixture of creative stuff that I just couldn't jive with or total garbage.

I do believe however that there is something in here for everyone. I think most people who like horror, survival, history, humor, death, sex, and sci-fi are going to be served by this collection in some capacity. there is just such a spectrum of quality and depth here that people are never going to agree on what's bad and what's good. it's all subjective to
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
The Living Dead 2 is a mammoth collection of short zombie stories compiled by John Joseph Adams and featuring a host of zombie-famous writers such as Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Max Brooks (World War Z) and Mira Grant (the Deadline trilogy).

Like most anthologies, it's a mixed bag. A few are so-so, a few are amazing (don't miss Steven Barnes' and Tananarive Due's Danger Word), and most are somewhere in between, but they're all entertaining enou
Chris Bauer
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Absolutely a MUST HAVE for any fan of the genre. I typically judge an anthology based on the number of "duds" I find between the covers. Every collection of stories has 'em. Given the sheer number of shorts packed into this work, I was incredibly surprised to find only a handful (4-5). They run the gambit from your typical "zom-pocalypse" settings, to much more innovative, dare I say, thought-provoking, fiction. Some were suspenseful, other terrifying, and more than a few were hilarious (one sto ...more
Dec 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm an unapologetic fan of zombie stories. This volume, masterfully compiled and annotated by John Joseph Adams, continues to plumb the depths of the genre. All of these writers are playing in Romero's sandbox, but are constructing castles of their own. The best tales here are those that pick up on the tantalizing lead offered by Romero in Day of the Dead (Bud!), and there's an overall emphasis on the human side of the zombie apocalypse: the physical and emotional impacts, the re-ordering of soc ...more
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2011
I said zombies, I meant zombies. No space ships, though...

The trouble with reading on an eReader is it is hard to skip through to find the stand-out stories that you really, really liked (and don't be down on me if you have a Kindle, which does allow for ease of bookmarking - I know, and I don't have a Kindle!) or disliked.

Complete story list here -

Good People was definitely one of the best - a "put the book down and think about it" story. If you want to
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Zombie short stories [s] 5 17 Mar 10, 2016 05:06AM  
I loved this collection! 2 12 Dec 01, 2012 11:37PM  

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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (consisti ...more

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The Living Dead (2 books)
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