Reviews of dark fiction

The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

In this truly epic novel, we follow a variety of different characters as they deal with this new version of zombies. What a trip!

From a young, black woman in a trailer park to a Japanese officer on an American navy boat; from a woman who inputs medical information into a national database, to a Spanish medical examiner and his assistant, Charlene; (hey, that’s my name!), we travel all across the nation over the span of 15 years or so. What’s different about these zombies? Why isn’t this the same old zombie story, that Romero himself invented? You’ll have to read this to find out!

What made this different for me, (and Romero did this in his films too,) was the focus on consumption and the American need to have everything, to have the best, to be better than the next. There was also a bit of climate change commentary in here. In fact, there was a good amount of philosophy within these pages. Does Mother Nature reach out to protect herself when she’s used and abused? Does the world, or our environment, do the same? Does humanity need a reset button at times, to get things back to an even keel? Has this happened in the past? Will it happen the future? All valid questions to be sure.

Combine all these philosophical issues with a cast of characters that is truly memorable and you have yourself the nearly perfect novel that is THE LIVING DEAD. I found myself thinking about THE STAND quite a bit-there are some similarities: a large cast of characters to start, all in different places and situations across the United States. Of course the cast eventually come together and over the course of more than a decade we see how they’ve changed or not, as the case may be.

Another thing these books have in common is that they both made this black heart cry. (Acocella will always have a place in my heart.) And never again will I hear about the La Brea Tar Pits and not shed a tear. The only issue I had with this novel is that it is so long. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I think a tiny bit could have been cut without damaging the story as a whole. For that I deducted half a star.

So, let’s wrap up here! A novel of epic proportions? Check! A novel filled with characters that feel real and that the reader cares for? Check! Major differences in these zombies from the zombies populating so much of American culture? BIG check! A novel in which you can immerse yourself until you emerge, battered, but stronger for it? Check! I really loved this novel if you couldn’t tell by now and I give it my highest recommendation!

Available here: THE LIVING DEAD

*Thank you to TOR for the paperback in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

The Living Dead Book Cover The Living Dead
George A. Romero, Daniel Kraus
Horror
Tor
8.4.20
Paperback
656
https://amzn.to/2GAnRWu

“A horror landmark and a work of gory genius.”―Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman

New York Times bestselling author Daniel Kraus completes George A. Romero's brand-new masterpiece of zombie horror, the massive novel left unfinished at Romero's death!

George A. Romero invented the modern zombie with Night of the Living Dead, creating a monster that has become a key part of pop culture. Romero often felt hemmed in by the constraints of film-making. To tell the story of the rise of the zombies and the fall of humanity the way it should be told, Romero turned to fiction. Unfortunately, when he died, the story was incomplete.

Enter Daniel Kraus, co-author, with Guillermo del Toro, of the New York Times bestseller The Shape of Water (based on the Academy Award-winning movie) and Trollhunters (which became an Emmy Award-winning series), and author of The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch (an Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Book of the Year). A lifelong Romero fan, Kraus was honored to be asked, by Romero's widow, to complete The Living Dead.

Set in the present day, The Living Dead is an entirely new tale, the story of the zombie plague as George A. Romero wanted to tell it.

It begins with one body.

A pair of medical examiners find themselves battling a dead man who won’t stay dead.

It spreads quickly.

In a Midwestern trailer park, a Black teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family. On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic makes a new religion out of death. At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting while his undead colleagues try to devour him. In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come.

Everywhere, people are targeted by both the living and the dead.

We think we know how this story ends.

We. Are. Wrong.

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