I agreed to read an ARC copy of C.H.U.D. Lives even though I honestly couldn’t remember if I had ever seen the movie. I didn’t think it would matter too much if I hadn’t. (I know, I know. That was a horrible idea. But I thought “Its a book with stories about a cheesy monster movie. How much background info do I need?”) About halfway through the anthology, I rented the C.H.U.D. movie. I’m very glad I did, as some of the stories just really didn’t make sense with nothing to base them upon. The very first story, for example, D.O.G. W.A.L.K.E.R. from Robert E. Waters seemed really tame actually left me a little leery of the rest of the book. I’d even given it an initial rating of 2 out of 5. However, after seeing the movie, (specifically its opening scenes), I knew what the story was referring to, and suddenly I appreciated it a lot more. There’s a story that continues the story of George, Lauren, and Bosch after the end of the movie that you need the background for as well, I think. Gives the movie a bit of an alternate ending, if you will.
My favorite story from the C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology was T.H.A.T.S. E.N.T.E.R.T.A.I.N.M.E.N.T. by Mort Castle. It doesn’t really fit in well with the rest of the book, given the way things are going today, it was a very fitting piece to include. I think they timed the inclusion right as well, as things had reached sort of a natural climax in the preceding stories and needed a bit of a breather. And the stories section of the book ends on an explosive note with the story from Jonathan Maberry and Eugene Johnson, called Y.O.U. W.I.L.L. N.E.V.E.R. L.E.A.V.E. H.A.R.L.A.N. A.L.I.V.E. While I’ll admit I expected something a little bit more from this story, I couldn’t deny that the ending felt pretty good!
This is an anthology jam packed with names that most readers will recognize. For the most part, the A-Game is definitely brought on the stories. The introduction by Dave Drake is lovely, and Eric S. Brown does a great job with the interview with Andrew Bonime at the beginning, and the interview at the end with Parnell Hall. One of my favorite things about the C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology was the flow. It’s obvious that a lot of work and thought went into this book, and it paid off in a big way. While I might not be a fan of every story in the book, I’m definitely a fan of the book as a whole.
I think that for true C.H.U.D. lovers, the C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology is a must-read. Other readers will enjoy it as well (especially once you’ve seen the movie!)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.