Live and Let Undead is a study in human psychology as much as that of a showcase of resourcefulness, adaptation, and imagination. To say this is a Zombie story collection is like saying the Smithsonian institute is a historical collection, a bit of an understatement. Hollie Snider has collected eighteen stories of talented imagination that run the gauntlet of emotion from love to lust and motivations from innovation to desperation. To keep from spoiling the whole reading experience I will highlight three of the eighteen stories as standouts.
In Memorial Day, Mike Barretta highlights the dedicated love a son feels for his father even after death. Jason has a chance run in with his undead father who is working on road construction projects. He and his mother had been trying to re-build their lives after his father had passed. Jason can't bear to see his father treated as just equipment so he launches a plan to "save" his father. Of course a young man's plan is never as thought out as he thinks it is and he is caught by law enforcement. Does that mean his plan didn't work?
Luther's Love shack dives into the seedier side of human character. Prostitution is never palatable in polite circles but when mixed with animated necrophilia it is especially vile. The "Hero" of the story applies for and receives a job caring for the girls. His motivations are through a fascination with the undead rather than just being in need of a job. During the job he experiences an exceptional bond with one of the undead girls that eventually led to a confrontation with a brutal customer. Though it sounds like he is taking up for the girls he cares for his fascination tempts him to walk across the line in the end.
Keith Gouveia in Cultivation of the Dead studies the consequences of trying to work within a skewed morals system. While human tendency is to adapt to situations and make the best use of available resources there should always be a check of the moral compass along the way to solutions. The main character David, realizes too late that supporting a system that requires people to dispatch their re-animating loved ones for use in improving the situation for the living is too much to ask of those that are attached to the recently deceased. Keith alludes to a historical societal moral breach in the quote from Eric at the end of the story, "The law's the law." Just because it is the law doesn't mean it is right.
Overall the anthology is exceptionally well written and imaginative. Live and Let Undead will be a great addition to anybody's "to read" list and for most readers a welcome addition to their "to re-read list". http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1468014757/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_g14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0KKT3Q972S35B2D47M90&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846