Brains, Brains, BRAINS!, you just have to love those lurching, decaying animated corpses. The living dead make a great enemy and here we have wall-to-wall flesh eating monsters, ghouls and things that go bite in the night, brought to (un)life by some of the best horror and fantasy writers in the world.
A companion volume to the incredible collection of The weird, it's a book that is vast in scope and gargantuan in size - The Worlds Biggest Zombie Anthology - including the first ever short story featuring Zombies (although the much earlier Frankenstein by Mary Shelley featured the "re-animated" dead as it's main plot). W.B. Seabrook wrote "Dead men working in Cane fields" in 1929 and claimed that it was entirely factual without "fiction or embroidery" and was based on his visit to Haiti. Make of that what you will but by any reckoning it's a little disturbing. It is also interesting to note that until George R Romeo re-invented the Zombie in 1968 (inspired of course by Richard Matheson's novel I am Legend) they didn't have a taste for human flesh - something I wasn't actually aware of.
The Compendium contains work from some of the finest (and some of the most prolific) writers including H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Laymon, Kevin J Anderson, Richard Matheson, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, Robert McCammon, August Dereleth, Theodore Sturgeon and Michael Swanwick - amongst others.
There are some really great stories contained within, with a wide range of styles and different voices, all celebrating the lurching undead. There are some real gems inside, many of which show the Zombie in a different light. If you have even the slightest interest in Zombies or indeed Horror then this book should be in your collection, it's like a bible of the re-animated, eclectic and magical it will keep even the fastest reader entertained for weeks.
Written on Monday 23rd January 2012 by Antony.
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