Book Review: Live and Let Undead: A Zombie Anthology

Live and Let Undead is a recent anthology featuring eighteen different stories packed into 316 pages.  If you’re not familiar with the concept of an “anthology” is, it simply means a collection. This was especially interesting to me as while I have read many stories that were in an anthology I have never read one from different authors.

Some of these writers were new to me and some were names I recognized such as our very own Suzanne Robb who wrote “Dentists, Autopsies and Nutritionists, Oh My!” This features a clinic trying to phase zombies into society and features a wide array of gut wrenching descriptions of smells, fluids and wiggling decomposing things that would make George Romero pause. Robb is truly master of sensory as was shown in Z-Boat.

Before each story publisher Library of the Living Dead Press added in a short biography on each author which is a nice touch since it gives you a bit of insight into the variety of backgrounds who contributed.  I am always curious about an author whose work I am about to read as it adds to the story for me and its especially helpful with so many new names. With so many stories to read I can’t talk about them all so I just sort of randomly picked a few.

Like all anthologies, this one has some sort of theme attached to it.  This one being a true post-apocalyptic setting where one way or another civilization is trying to deal with the undead. Some are meant to be scary and some meant to make you think like “Dancing with the Dead” by Barry Rosenberg, which features a manager of a nursing home that makes a risky hire to save some money. I think this story could be taken a few different ways depending on perspective. If you’ve ever had to spend a good amount of time in a retirement home the story is boiling over with realistic references on the state of such home,but if you haven’t, its just an interesting story.

Overall I think my favorite story was “A Mile in His Shoes” by Rebecca Snow about a man on death row revolving around a conspiracy theory. In fact I liked it so much I think it would make a nice opening prologue to a formal novel.

With eighteen stories there will of course be some you find more interesting than others and some with a different impact. Live and let Undead does a great job using a host of talented authors exploring some fantastic ideas. With eighteen stories I was actually predicting I would likely grow tired of the theme but they varied enough to where it was never an issue as Live and Let Undead didn’t corner itself but narrowing the theme too much.We were given a bit of everything from zombie thrillers to the sexual depravity found in “Lucifer’s Love Shack” by Jeff Chitty. If any of you have both seen and enjoyed the movie Dead Girl you’ll love this story. In case you haven’t surmised from the titles it involves zombie prostitution. Don’t think that’s all about shock value either. If the zombie apocalypse happened people would go for this. Don’t think for a second it would be out of bounds for some people out there.

There is a lot of anthologies out there and I definitely think this one is one to have a look at and added a large handful of writers for me to look into.

Grade: A-

Live and Let Undead was edited by Hollie Snider



Wow! That’s a lot of stories in a short book – 17 pages per story. Good for you!

Can you tell us a bit more about “A Mile in His Shoes?”


No…and I struggled with that. It’s very short and it’s hard to talk about without ruining it. I was sure I had the plot figured out midway through and was blind sided by something far better than my guess.

I hate to be so vague but I think she’s got something interesting that could be turned into a nice novella (100 or so pages.)


I gotcha!!

I read a few scifi anthologies when I was in high school but never a zombie one. Sounds good.


Heyyy.. if Zombie prostitution is not out of bounds I’m going to dig up my idea of the Zombie Centipede… maybe there’s a (sick) audience for this!
Thank you for this good review ZM! One question though – I remember asking the same one the last time we had an anthology review here (I believe it was one done by Dave) – would you know how these stories were pulled together in the first place? Do we have a publisher that is giving a theme to his authors (making the piece a kind of collective effort) or is it rather a publishing decision to regroup shorts from various authors around a certain theme?


Great question and yes typically a press will put out the call of the theme, pay (or lack of) and deadline. There is a guy out there name David Snell who keeps track of a lot of horror/apocalypse opportunities out there.


Sounds pretty interesting, and I’ve extremely weary of anthologies. Especially horror anthologies.


After reading this I think they are personally best suited for in between larger novel reading, travel, waiting rooms etc….

So I think I will now always have a few on my Kindle and take my time reading them.


Thanks for the great review! I know all the authors are going to be excited to read your opinon of their writing. I had a tough time narrowing the stories down to 18 without narrowing the theme. I tried to stay away from the “tried and true” (read “overdone”) zombie themes inundating readers right now. These are all brand new stories from the authors — no reprints among them. I’d love to hear reviews from more readers, and I know the authors would too.


English is not my mother tongue so I’m perhaps sometimes missing some references or on the contrary writing things to do not make sense but since the title of this anthology is some kind of pun on the James Bond movie… shouldn’t the title rather be “Live and let undie”?


Btw, I just realized that the above comment is a great illustration of me writing something that does not mean anything – let’s call this a natural ability.


Um…..hmmmm…..I didn’t make that connection. I was thinking of the Beatles song. Good point tho.


The song was written for the movie so we were thinking about the same thing!


It’s an idiom, or maybe a maxim: “Live and let live”

The Bond film, I believe, was a take on that maxim.

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