Review: Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead

Edited by Christopher Golden

Piatkus, out now

A very varied collection of zombie tales, compiled by horror maestro Christopher Golden, brings together very traditional stories with others that push the envelope, either in the nature of the story told, or the manner of its telling.

There are a couple in here which question exactly what a zombie is – and not necessarily just in the realms of horror fiction. Aimee Bender’s Among Us reminds me of Allyn Gibson’s Make-Believe story in the Star Trek Constellations anthology – a story that subverts the genre tropes and makes the reader examine his or her own life at the end.

The volume is book-ended with two very unusual tales – John Connolly’s account of the Biblical character Lazarus’ resurrection, and Joe Hill’s Twitter-ed account of a zombie circus. Both take familiar ideas and twist them, Hill’s becoming particularly chilling at the end.

There are contributions from Kelley Armstrong and Max Brooks from their own fictional universes, and more than one example of black humour. My personal favourite in the collection in Jonathan Maberry’s Family Business, a coming of age tale with a very powerful ending.

If you thought all zombie fiction was “Grrr… Arrgh…” then hopefully this will make you think again, and seek out of some of the other work by the authors here.  7/10

Paul Simpson

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