Hidden zombie gem by Stephen King

December 7, 2015

Zombie Mondays

I once found a treat while browsing the paperback rack at a local drug store in Bloomfield, Connecticut back in 1989.

It was the short story anthology 'Book of the Dead,' which was edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector. The book contains short stories inspired to varying degrees by George A. Romero's 'Dead' film series (then only a trilogy).

Romero even wrote the introduction to the book, which features wonderful if grusome stories by greats like Ramsey Campbell and Joe Lansdale as well as more obscure writers.

The crown jwel of the collection is arguably the Stephen King story 'Home Delivery,' which manages to be gory and cozy. It features the populace of a sheltered island off the coast of Maine coping with a global zombie apocolypse. Although it contains a surprising amount of humor, it manages to be quite scary even during slower passages. The story's perspective periodically shifts to a widow named Maggie Pearce who is pregant by her late husband -- a lobster fisherman who died in a work-related boating accident.

Although the story was edited and updated when reprinted in the anthology 'Nightmares and Dreamscapes,' it remains effective in any version. It contains wonderful attention to detail, and while it comes up with a vaguely Lovercraftian explanation for the zombies, it remains surprisingly true to Romero's original vision. It is a purer zombie tale than the King novels 'Pet Cemetery' or 'Cell' and is worth your time.



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