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A.M. Harte is a London-based speculative fiction enthusiast and chocolate addict. She is an advocate of indie publishing in any shape or form. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what 'free time' means, and enjoys procrastinating on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/amharte).
An avid reader, she's been writing fiction far longer than anybody's been paying attention. Her work includes the dark fantasy novel "Above Ground" and the zombie love collection "Hungry For You". Some wonderful places that have featured her short stories are: Best of Friday Flash Volume 2, Flashes In The Dark, 12 Days 2010, The Random Eye & the charity anthology Tales for Canterbury.
During the daytime she works in print production. She lives in London, a city not half as foggy as some seem to think.
on Oct. 13, 2011 :
I love horror stories and almost everything to do with the supernatural. So I didn’t waste a chance to read a novel made for the horror fans. This is the first novel I have read of A.M Harte and I loved her writing style and imagination. The book is a collection of short stories and poetry related to the world of zombies.
This book is not the usual zombie story, where they are shown as the rotting undead with the sole intent of eating flesh; here there is a twist -a theme of romance is added to the stories. Here the zombies are more human (though they are not alive). All the zombie stories I have seen/heard till now have just a single theme, survivors running and killing the undead. This book shows different endings for a zombie apocalypse, being told mostly from the views of the undead. The book makes references to addiction, abuse and most of all “undying love”. We have seen Daybreakers and I Am Legend and saw what happens when vampires become the dominant species, here is a picture of what happens when zombies take over.
My favorites from the book are –Hungry for You, Dead Man’s Rose and The Perfect Song. I really loved reading this book. After reading long novels with pages and pages of plot it’s a relief to read the stories in this book. If you are a fan of horror stories, zombies in particular, you’ll like reading this book.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Aug. 22, 2011 :
(Cross-posted from the Frida Fantastic book blog)
Hungry For You is a horror short story collection that explores the links between desire and decay through tales of zombie romance. The POV character is either a zombie, or someone who is attracted to one—so while readers may be experiencing zombie fatigue, A. M. Harte injects new life into the material. There isn’t just one type of zombie in this book. It takes a more general approach as it covers some people who are not traditional zombies, but exhibit the same bodily experiences of addiction and deterioration. All the characters are sympathetic individuals, no matter how many fingernails and ears fall off, and no matter what they hunger for.
I really enjoyed this collection. It’s engaging and heart-wrenching all throughout, and I finished it in one sitting. The simultaneous themes of passion and destruction are unique, resulting in some chilling prose that straddle the darkness between the two:
[“It hurts,” she moaned, clutching at her side where I’d sunk my teeth into one of the love handles she so hated. The memory made my gums tingle. I took a step closer, could feel the growing hunger, the excitement, the urgency to eat and eat before her flesh went off.]
The stories that stood out for me were the title story “Hungry for You”, and “Dead Man’s Rose”—which are respectively about a female police sergeant with an unusual zombie victim, and a young wife dealing with an abusive relationship. About the former, it takes some serious skill to write zombies as attractive beings while maintaining them as rotting corpses. It’s infinitely twisted and awesome. Although the subject matter in “Dead Man’s Rose” isn’t new (young wife has creepy husband; young wife is stuck in a house and creepy things happen), it’s written with such a touching sadness that it affected me emotionally like no similar story has.
I was hoping that the stories would add to a greater overarching theme, but they don’t. They could be read in any order and it wouldn’t affect your experience of this collection. While every word is absorbing, the stories feel more like samplers of bigger tales, so some ideas could be explored further.
Some of the characters could be fleshed out more in terms of personality and background—while they’re all in different states of rotting and non-rotting, there were some that I could only remember as hetereosexual and in their 20’s or early 30’s. Due to the similarity of subject matter and not-as-defined characters, there are a few stories that aren’t as memorable. But really, these are just my thoughts on how a great 4-star anthology could become an even better 5-star book.
Hungry For You is a captivating read. Although I felt like some of the stories could be expanded, every single one was emotionally moving, and I suspect that I’ll be re-reading several. If you’re interested in highly original zombie stories, or exploring the dark side of passion, I recommend this book. Reading the sample will give you a good idea if these stories will tug at your heartstrings. They certainly tugged mine, and I’m very interested in reading more books by this author.
Note: A free review copy was provided by the author.
(reviewed 42 days after purchase)
on July 01, 2011 :
This is a diverse collection of chapters that left me feeling like I wanted more from them. The author could have expanded the chapters into a book on some of the stories and I would have been content with that. There were some really great concepts there. Some that I had not read before as well which was a fresh taste. I had won this book in a contest and thought I would give it some props. Not for the faint at heart.
Very diverse ideas. More adult material. Graphic details that were vivid and stunning.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
on June 09, 2011 :
I really enjoy zombie movies and the odd zombie game, and even though I have a soft spot for horror stories and dark fiction born from my reading background, I haven’t read many zombie books or stories in general. When I first read the description for Hungry For You I was a little wary, mainly because I’ve read my fair share of paranormal romance (enough to last me a lifetime – not a major PR fan here) and I admit I was a little concerned about love mixed in with zombies, but I was willing to give it a go with an open mind. And I also thought maybe it couldn’t be too much of a stretch to like zombie stories in print so why not start with a short story collection?
Well wasn’t I happy I decided to read it? It’s a short read, but one that might be better read spaced out. I read a few stories, then switched to another book that was a review request, before coming back to it. The first time I spent reading it I read far fewer stories compared to the second. I think for me, even though it is something that can easily be read in a day and probably better if you’re a zombie fiction fan, it would be better to space it out so I’m not inundated with zombie love.
And the zombie love is present, but not always in the way you would expect. Those stories are more about humanity and inner struggles than about fright and necrophilia, they’re just told with the use of zombies. The zombies themselves are interesting because Harte has stories in there that show traditional views of zombies, but at the same time she’s diversified how zombies are perceived and created several different ways to experience them. There’s the traditional plague, zombie apocalypse type of thing, and that is present in the background quite a bit, but there’s also the musician trying to drown out his pain, a couple with heart and morals, one that is very short and yet poignant about loss and love, zombies in a sex trade and a zombie union for their rights (that one was pretty good & I would love to read an expansion) and my absolute favourite The Cure, which I can’t really say anything about without completely spoiling it, but I love how it is done. There’s so many to choose from that are entertaining, have great use of emotion, good characterisation, and that are creative, but those few listed give you an idea of the variety even though they are definitely all connected with love.
I really do love how Harte has presented her stories, their meanings, with the use of zombies. I think the fun is reading this story collection to see how she entwines zombies into the mix rather than reading it as purely zombie fiction and I do highly recommend it.
(reviewed 49 days after purchase)
on June 08, 2011 :
Hungry for you is a collection of short zombie stories. These zombies are more human than your regular brain eating zombies and they even have feelings. I can’t tell you with detail what the stories are about because I would spoil them.
I loved Hungry for You! A.M. Harte knows how to write, that’s why every time I started reading a new story I caught myself wishing it was longer than the previous story. Some stories were a little confusing but the rest of the stories make up for the ones I didn’t get. Sadly I still don’t like zombies but if Harte writes another zombie book, I’ll definitely read it. The zombies in this book are more human, not as scary and they are Hungry for You! :)
(reviewed 37 days after purchase)
on June 07, 2011 :
A.M. Harte does an excellent job bringing the zombie world to life, that is if zombies can be considered alive. She gives the reader just enough details to want more and force them into reading another tale before bed. There are stories of zombies that feed from human meat, sex, and even some who feed off of animal products so they don't have to kill humans.
This is a collection of short stories is filled with horrifying tales and love stories, sometimes mixed into one truly disturbing tale. One of which is that of a man who doesn't want his wife to know that she is quickly dying and becoming a zombie, but also doesn't want the zombie horde to kill her before her transformation is complete.
The story that inspired the title of the book, “Hungry for You”, was my personal favorite. In this alternate reality, zombies are 'legalized' and some people allow zombies to feed off of them through sex. Without feeding, of course, a zombie will begin to decay more rapidly and die. To protect the zombie population, laws have been put into place simply because 'zoobs' lack any brain function to defend themselves, or even open doors so they are able to find food.
Police officer Retta is a zombie sympathizer who is guilt ridden after her sister and boyfriend became zombies and eventually meet their final death. While on patrol with her unsympathetic partner, Officer Retta sees some suspicious signs and enters a building to find a zombie who has been assaulted and tied to a bed. Retta decides to bring the zombie into the station and try to question him about what happened inside that old building. Eventually, Retta decides that the zombie needs to feed before they can continue their questioning. The problem arises when he refuses to feed off of any of the willing donors, something that has never been observed before. It turns out that this zoob has eyes for only one person, and is willing to die for, or because, of her.
This is a great book of zombie tales to read in short bursts, or all at once if zombies are your thing. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to my next A.M. Harte read.
My entire review can be found at booksbyessie.blogspot.com
(reviewed 43 days after purchase)
on May 30, 2011 :
Hungry For You is a collection of short stories by A.M. Harte. The common thread that holds all of these stories together is love. This love is the warped, dark love that walks the line between life and death. I think A.M Harte said it best when she says, "Love is, you could say, very much like a zombie."
The stories that Ms. Harte has created takes a new approach on zombie love. What if being a zombie was common and couples not only had to deal with every day situations but had the added stress of decomposition to worry about? A perfect, and somewhat humorous, example is A Prayer to Garlic. Told from the wife's point of view, A Prayer to Garlic tells the story of what concerns a wife, who happens to be a zombie, has when her mother-in-law is coming over for dinner. But this isn't your average zombie couple. Mog and his wife happen to prefer pork over human meat which goes against everything the zombie mother-in-law stands for. Let's hope the garlic will disguise the pork and the mother-in-law won't notice the difference.
In The Perfect Song, Ms. Harte reminds me that there may be more than one way to become a zombie and affirms my decision to not drink tea at the same time. When a batch of contaminated tea is released as an herbal alternative to anti-depressants, Michael decides to give it a try in order to take his mind off of his current situation. Michael just wants to make Valerie proud of his music and in turn, proud of him. But how does a zombie stay focused when he is determined to get his next fix?
And last but not least, the story in which this collection is named after, Hungry For You. This story takes a much different approach than the rest of its companions. Ms. Harte shows us that there is more than one way to skin a rat...or in this case, more than one way to feed a zombie. In Hungry For You, zombies do not crave flesh, but rather crave sins of the flesh. It pays to have a pretty face as only the elite survive in this tale.
I strongly suggest everyone who enjoys zombies, love stories or even just twisted tales to read Hungry For You. It's a guarantee that you will love most, if not all, of these stories.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 21, 2011 :
I enjoy sticking short stories into my reading sometimes. It gives me a pause from the long novels. These tales did not disappoint me in the least. I really enjoyed all the tales. I am a zombie lover, of course!! Would definitely recommend.
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)
on May 13, 2011 :
I have to say that stories about zombies have never been high on my list of things to read. It’s not that I’m against them, it’s just that I’ve never been interested enough to pick up anything that contains Zombies. I am aware, however, that this sub-genre has a HUGE fanbase, so when A.M. Harte contacted me to ask me whether I’d like to review the book, I figured it was time I finally made my first foray into their world.
As it’s a collection of short stories, I guess it served as a great introduction to the world of zombies. As I said above, I don’t have anything to compare this too, but looking at other reviews, it would seem that Harte plays around with the genre and injects new life into zombies (no pun intended!). Whilst I can’t corroborate that, what I can say is that whatever she does, she’s damn good at it. I loved all of the stories in this collection and I could easily have read more. Hell, some of the stories left me dying to know more and many of them could serve as great bases for novels. I guess this isn’t a great thing in a short story collection, but it didn’t bother me too much.
The writing is creative, the plots imaginative and the twists generally unexpected. I liked that some of the twists also made me think about the preceding story in a new light. The feeling throughout this book is pretty much always creepy and it definitely had me feeling uneasy. But it kept me hooked. It had me freaked out in a good way.
I would say my favourite story is the story that gives the collection it’s title, Hungry For You, but as I said, for me there weren’t any duds in this collection.
I look forward to reading more from A.M. Harte
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)
on May 10, 2011 :
Likes: A caveat, I hate short story collections and I hate zombies. That being said, I loved this collection. It was a fun read and I was pleasantly surprised. I think my favorite stories were "A Prayer to Garlic", "The Perfect Song", and "Arkady, Kain, and the Zombies", even though all the stories were pretty interesting. They were strange, dark, some were comical, others were terrifying, or just plain sad, but they were all interesting takes on zombies. The writing was beautifully written and the stories were all unique with a wide range of characters.
One of the reasons why I don't like short stories is that as soon as the story gets interesting, it stops. However, most of the stories in "Hungry for You" don't suffer that problem. They were just the right bite (no pun intended...or is it?) and while I think I'd like to see some of the stories expanded (especially "A Prayer to Garlic", it's such a cool concept.), they stop at a parts that leave me satisfied and ready for the next story.
Dislikes: Still don't like zombies. Like them a bit more but still not a big fan.
Overall: A fun, dark short story collection for zombie lovers (and dislikers) alike. I look forward to reading more of her stuff and I'm giddy about the edited Above Ground story!
I hate rating things, but 4.5 stars.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
A. F. Stewart
on May 01, 2011 :
Any book that starts with a zombie apocalypse love poem is my kind of tome. Hungry For You is a well penned, alluring collection of romance stories laced with a satirical edge of zombie madness.
The book is a gentle smorgasbord of dark horror, small portraits of life gone horribly wrong, but still clinging to some redemption. It is a glimpse of love surviving in the zombie apocalypse, and once or twice, of other tales of undead romance. As one might expect, I enjoyed some stories more than others, but they were all well-written, engaging and great fun to read.
It has a subtle touch of dark humour, but also has a sweet undercurrent of affection and warmth. It maintains love can survive total catastrophe, that even zombies have a heart.
Hungry for You is an interesting take on your typical zombie story, and will keep you entertained, as well as occasionally queasy.
(reviewed 52 days after purchase)
on April 06, 2011 :
I loved these stories! This was my first time reading any of A.M. Harte's work, but it certainly will not be my last!
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)
on March 20, 2011 :
Straight up, not a book I thought I'd like. Boy was I wrong. Fantastic world she's created. Now I need to go find more to read.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
on Feb. 28, 2011 :
If you have never read A. M. Harte's work before, you are missing out on an author of exceptional talent. Though better known for her web serials, especially Above Ground and the more recent Darksight, this collection of short zombie stories expresses an excellent range of voice that can encompass even that most difficult of subjects--Our human obsession with death and hunger. With deft precision, A. M. Harte brings a tooth grinding delivery of emotional famine, the flavours drizzled hot upon her tales of woe and horror.
Sadness is not usually the first emotion one feels when thinking about zombies, nor is empathy, which is a strange omission. With selfish single-mindedness, the hero or heroine of every zombie tale strives to survive, with the zombie dead littered like so many pieces of human debris from Grand Theft Auto in their wake. In the short story 'Hungry For You', also the collection's namesake, a police sergeant is forced to deal with a horrible case of zombie abuse. Within this tale of zombie prostitution, there is a cautionary fable against the emotional disconnect that can occur between the physical want for sex and the need for a deeper understanding, whether we be living or not.
But this need is not the only part of the human zombie universe, not when the need for control takes on a hunger of its own. In 'Dead Man's Rose', a woman is haunted by her abusive husband's force of will, a hunger that feeds on itself thanks to her own inability to confront him. In this story, even the very flowers can take on a zombified hue, their black petals curled backwards, their vines full of apathetic, vengeful fury. Human dilemmas lurk beneath the surface, where guilt and fear seep into exposed cadaver cavities. Through intense characterization, we ache for the people in her tales, be they alive or dead. There are no zombies to be shot and left twitching into their uncomfortable afterlife in these tales. They are full of the grey matter that makes us human.
With 'A Prayer To Garlic' we are assured that zombies are full of the same moral questions that plague their living counterparts--though perhaps they are muted beneath the realities of life versus death, and thus become simpler problems. Problems such as whether or not someone is vegan or a meat-eater--not really a moral issue for many so much as a liberal choice. Perhaps this is the greatest appeal of many zombie novels and movies, the idea that human beings are not above a voracious food chain that could very easily put them on the menu. While our bovine friends look on with perplexed, dark brown eyes at our predicament, one has to wonder just what kind of moral high ground we justify our diets with, especially when emotions get in the way of what's for dinner.
Hunger is a perversely needy, ugly thing, especially when it can't be sated. There is a hunger that lasts with the reader long after the last page in this collection has been turned. Like the zombies in these stories, you will long for something more, something to really sink your teeth into and enjoy the heady aroma of iron and the tough sinews of red muscle. 'Hungry For You' is a good entree, but like all good meals, you will definitely long to have it again. Keep A. M. Harte's work on your delivery list, and don't be afraid to order take-out.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Feb. 22, 2011 :
Short stories are such huge teases.
Having said that, this haunting collection of short stories left me with an insatiable appetite. But, um, not for human flesh, or, you know, braaaaaaaaaaaains. Nope, I’ve got a fever. And the only thing that can cure it? Is more work by A.M. Harte.
Although, if you want to throw in some cowbell, that’d be nice too.
Right. Less irreverence, more review.
Ms. Harte really took Zombies to a whole new level for me. She took the mythos, turned it on it’s head, and spun it right round. Multiple times. Threw them all in a box and then went way, way out of the box. Especially when you consider that the entire collection are little more than love stories.(She said, as if love stories are somehow small, fragile things she knows they’re not.)
Ms. Harte writes with such beautiful subtlety that I really needed to pace myself reading Hungry For You. I could not go through the stories at a dead sprint, I needed time to let the stories simmer in, to really take in the full effect of the passion that drove the majority of the stories. It was a winding experience. I loved it!
Because these were the sort of stories I’d been hoping to get when I revamped this blog under ‘Fiction with a Dark Side’. This exploration of the darker side of love, the lighter side of death, the grays and in betweens.
Usually with anthologies, I like to go through the stories one by one and tell my readers here why I liked them. I’d really like to do that now but the temptation to give something away is just two great. One of the best things about Hungry For You is the subtle, yet powerful twists. I read each slowly, with awe, trying to anticipate ‘how is she going to do it this time’, and often than not, I failed, delightedly. Too caught up in the stories.
Well, ok. I totally saw how Swimming Lesson was going to end but I’m pretty sure she just threw that one in there so we can feel smart for figuring it out.
I really enjoyed every single story (all eleven of them!)-because every single story reeked of creativity and bit of tragedy and oh-don’t act like you all don’t know I’m a hopeless romantic complete masochist.
However my Favorites were:
Hungry For You - Yep! The Antho’s name sake is a story. “A police sergeant struggles with a very unusual victim…”
A Prayer to Garlic- This one is just so delightfully quirky I can’t even think of a way to describe it without completely ruining it.
Dead Man’s Rose - “A young wife is trapped in a house hiding unimaginable evil….”
The Perfect Song-“A dying musician turns to tea for inspiration.” Were I forced to choose, I would have to pick this one as my favorite. One of the driving concepts behind it-involving tea- just tickled the heck out of me and I think any writer, aspiring or pro, could relate to the protagonist’s frustration.
This a brilliant collection that I recommend to any Zombie lovers (especially those of you that like to see new takes on the mythology, you’ll get them in spades in Hungry For You ) , those of us who like our fiction on the dark side, or for readers who love love, no matter what it does to you.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on Feb. 09, 2011 :
How to describe this book? Interesting, quirky, imaginative.
Although it's easy to breeze through all the stories (because it's impossible to put down once you've started), you won't forget any of the tales.
What more can I really say? Just try reading a sample and you'll understand completely.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)