Sunday, 18 May 2008

The Giant Book of Zombies - Zombie Horror Anthology Book

The blurb from the back first:

"The Giant Book of Zombies brings together twenty six-spine chilling stories depicting the Zombie in every guise - from the traditional Voodoo rituals of the Caribbean to the terrible abuses of future science."

The copy I have is quite old, was given to me by a friend at the time. It had a bottle of Vodka spilled on it the first time I got it, so it has a strange hybrid smell of Vodka and musty paper that still lingers to this day.
It is comprised of 26 short stories by various writers. Includes such famous authors such as Edgar Alan Poe, H.P Lovecraft, and Clive Barker. The book works really well, as the stories are so varied. There are futuristic stories, voodoo related ones, classic horror ones, each one different from the last.

The best story in my opinion is 'Sticks' by Karl Edward Wagner, a story about an artist who finds inspiration for his paintings in the shape of a lot of Blair Witch type stick shapes he finds in the woods, close to an abandoned house. Another good one is Lisa Tuttle's 'Treading the Maze', a bittersweet story that had me in tears by the end of it.

Mostly the stories are all good, I thought that Clive Barkers 'Sex, Death and Starshine' was quite poor, and didn't seem to go anywhere, also the last story 'On the far side of the Cadillac Desert' by Joe Lansdale was I feel too ambitious for a short story, so felt quite rushed.

The quality of stories is quite good overall, and most of the stories have a sense of lingering dread about them. This book has a special place in my heart as the very first zombie book I ever read.


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