WELDON BURGE

Publisher/Full-Time Editor/Freelance Writer

Bullets and Butterflies: A Blog by Weldon Burge

Book Review: Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist

December 30, 2010

Tags: horror, book review, fiction, zombies

Across Stockholm, the power grid goes crazy and everyone in the city develops a blinding headache. When it all abruptly ends, the recently deceased—in hospitals, morgues and graveyards—suddenly awaken. So begins John Lindqvist’s superb, horror novel, Handling the Undead.



The story follows three different families that must learn to “handle” their now “reliving” loved ones.

  • David Zetterberg’s adoring wife, Eva, is killed in a horrendous accident and her mangled body comes back to life in the hospital. But is she still his wife and loving mother of his young son, or something else?

  • Gustav Mahler, upon hearing the dead live again, digs up his grandson from his grave. He steals the child away and then goes on the run from the authorities with the boy’s mother (his daughter). Despite using autism training, the reliving child is slow to respond and clearly not quite human.

  • Elvy’s dead husband, Tore, appears at her front door and immediately walks to their bedroom. He starts shuffling through papers on a desk, “pretending to be alive”. After the authorities take Tore away, Elvy has an epiphany and finds her religious calling. But it is not what she expects.


Like Lindqvist’s debut novel, Let the Right One In, Handling the Undead breaks many molds. If you’re expecting brain-munching zombies and fast-moving, bloody carnage, this book may not be for you. While there are plenty of gruesome, creepy scenes (and a particularly disturbing sequence involving a pet rabbit), the horror here is deeply emotional, often heart wrenching. In fact, the core theme of the novel is the love for family and what extreme measures we would take to preserve that love. This is sophisticated horror that takes the genre to new and exciting levels.

(This review was also published in the January 2011 issue of Suspense Magazine. The magazine also includes my interview with Jeremy Schipp, which appeared earlier on my blog--check it out!)

Something Dark in the Doorway: A Haunted Anthology

December 19, 2010

Tags: horror fiction, anthologies, Something Dark in the Doorway, Weldon Burge

There's nothing like a collection of ghost stories for late-night reading, and Static Movement's Something Dark in the Doorway: A Haunted Anthology certainly fits the bill. But, as editor Greg Miller noted in his introduction, stories about hauntings can take many forms: "While reviewing the submissions ... I simply didn't anticipate the extraordinary variety of ways in which the word [haunt] can be interpreted." Here you will find stories of people haunted not only by ghosts, but by other supernatural creatures as well as human emotions, regret, and worry.



My story, "DWF," is the first of the 22 stories in this volume, and it was written in the classic ghost story style (e.g., M.R. James, Arthur Machen), with a decidedly modern slant. It was first published in the Delaware magazine Out & About (October 1996), and won First Place in its "Fright Fiction" contest.

Other stories I enjoyed in this anthology include:

  • "Haunted by the Self" by A.J. French—a study in ego and paranoia that is provocative and tests the imagination
  • "The Door of Gingercove Hotel" by Joshua Brown—a haunted hotel tale with a Lovecraftian flavor
  • "An Apple for Teacher" by Anthony Cowin—about a teacher and one of her problematic students, and fruit trees
  • "The Patience Factor" by Rick McQuiston—sometimes patience isn't golden
  • "My Ghost" by Gregory Miller—a poignant story about how childhood memories can be haunting
  • "The Doll Keeper" by Mason Kuldinow—a story involving a sea monster and a bizarre "collection" beneath the sea
  • "Mirror, Mirror" by Bruce Harris—sometimes even reflections can prove to be "haunting"


If you enjoy horror stories, especially those involving hauntings in various forms, you're sure to find stories in this anthology that you'll enjoy!

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