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The Living Dead

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  728 ratings  ·  298 reviews
“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 tha
Hardcover, 656 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  728 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to Macmillan/Tor Forge.
I honestly couldn't tell you where Romero left off and where Kraus began.
Thing is that this is a huge book. It's an extremely long story. I once thought at the beginning that me and this huge monstrosity would not get along! Boy, was I wrong! I expected zombie horror. I did get that. What I came away with though, is heart. Not undead heart..well, kind of that the too. I'm just talking about the one thing that I love most. I knew these characters. I knew where the
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it

'Night of the Living Dead', a 1968 film written and directed by George Romero, is the progenitor of the ubiquitous zombie movies, TV shows, and literature so popular in modern culture.

Writer and director George Romero

Poster for the 1968 movie 'Night of the Living Dead'

After making a series of zombie flicks Romero embarked on a zombie novel, but died before it was completed. The mantle was picked up by best-selling author Daniel Kraus, a zealous, long-time Romero fan.....and the result is this n
Jonathan Janz
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Terrifying, audacious, THE LIVING DEAD is a towering achievement and one of the best zombie books I’ve read in years. Romero and Kraus have crafted a textured world of cruelty and humanity that will transport you from the first page to the end.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 Stars!

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
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
While it seems like The Living Dead (the final novel begun by the father of zombie horror) is a chunk of a read, once I started, it flows and is paced quickly. This book is written seamlessly between authors Romero and Kraus. You may be familiar with the characters, and you may think you know where this is going, but it really surprised me in a good way.

I’m not a regular horror reader, and I’ll admit I’ve only watched some of The Living Dead. Yes, there are zombies, lots of zombies! Also, the fa
Andrew Fowlow
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
One day you're at a little league game, a business meeting, or catching up on homework at the public library. The next, you're scowering for food in abandoned houses while constantly being pursued by The Living Dead. Survival takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the end of civilization. Reader's follow along as Daniel Kraus introduces a modern take on the world George Romero crafted after his ghouls from The Night of the Living Dead consume the planet. This story is a collection of tale ...more
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Without George A. Romero's work, what would our framework for Zombie literature and movies look like? It's something to think about. Romero passed away in 2017, leaving his Zombie novel unfinished.
THE LIVING DEAD, a story formed in the mind of a man who invented ghoulish lore as we know it...
...finished by New York Times best selling author, Daniel Kraus definitely generates high expectations.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Kraus:

I asked about
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, review-copy
3.5 Stars - Epic Zombie Fiction
Video Review:

The beginning of this book was absolute perfection. The first characters introduced were well developed, diverse and likeable. As someone who enjoys body horror, I loved the initial setting inside the morgue. Those scenes felt very well researched because they were so vivid and detailed. Nothing in this book was particularly graphic, but there was a level of gore that just exists within zombie fiction.

Just to be clear, thi
Me immediately after hearing a copy of this novel is being sent to me from the publisher:

So many emotions. I cannot wait to dive into this.

Thank you so much, Tor Nightfire!!!

If you haven't added this to your Fall reading list, what are you waiting for!?
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Giveaway Win!

This book was a MONSTER!

I use to love reading books with massive page counts but these days its hard for me to read big books. Maybe its just old age(I'll be 35 in December) but I'm super intimidated by books with more than say 400 pages.

That's why it took me so long to finish this book. I always enjoyed it when I actually picked it up to read it. No matter how much time passed I could easily pick each plot back up. I wasn't even bothered by the fact that this book had a lot A LO
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

In 2017, the man known as the father of the zombie film George A. Romero passed away from lung cancer, leaving his novel unfinished. But thanks to the efforts of his estate and co-author Daniel Kraus, this final project, the 700-page opus that is The Living Dead was able to find its way into readers’ hands.

Like so many big things, this book’s story started out small: with a single death. On the night of October 23, like an
CYIReadBooks (Claire)
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookishfirst-won
Horrifying! A crawl out of your skin story. Unlike the movies, this book is an entirely new novel. Although a little lengthy, the storyline will keep you engaged.

It begins in the morgue where the medical examiner and his assistant are horrified and terrorized by the reanimation of a recently deceased man. A dead man that has come back to life and wants to eat them.

Elsewhere in a small trailer park, a young girl can't believe that her family and neighbors have died and come back to life as zombi
Intellectual Magpie
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I got The Living Dead by George A. Romero/Daniel Kraus in the mail I couldn’t stop myself from diving right in and I’m glad i did! Overall 5/5 stars for this zombie apocalypse horror fiction novel. I am incredibly picky when it comes to my zombie books, they are my one TRUE fear and have been led to disappointment with almost everyone I’ve read so far... but this book gripped me and kept me hooked for the entire almost 700 pages. Told almost like your reading archives in the future this boo ...more
'You have always been the living dead. You will always be. It was the coming of death that allowed you to live.'

Okay, for some reason it felt curiously comforting to read a horror novel during lockdown where the bulk of the human population is mysteriously transformed into the living (un)dead. (There is a beautiful pun contained in the title that only comes into its own at the end.)

We think we have problems with Covid-19 … wait until you have to deal with a horde of slavering zombies. Co-writer
Holly (The Grimdragon)
“The corpse’s skull broke into irregular pieces scattered across John Doe’s back and legs. Pink-gray matter, once the brain of someone who’d mattered, splattered across tile. The dull light that had animated John Doe’s white eyes dimmed. The body sagged to the floor, limp as a steak, except for the head, which was still noosed in computer cables. Bloody drool, the last thing John Doe would ever offer, skimmed down a power cord.”

When George A. Romero died in 2017, not only did he leave behind a l
Michael Hicks
My review of THE LIVING DEAD can be found at High Fever Books.

The Living Dead is a sprawling, massive, and mostly entertaining read, but it's also a frustrating, nearly-700 page testament to just how little life -- and originality -- remains in the zombie genre. It's been more than 50 years since George A. Romero first shocked audiences with his then-highly controversial black and white movie, Night of the Living Dead, but after five additional movies, plus ten years of Robert Kirkman’s and AMC’
Ashley Daviau
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
As soon as I hear the word zombies, I’m pretty much all in. Add in George Romero’s name and I am HERE FOR IT. Do keep in mind when reading this though that, Daniel Kraus finished this book, not Romero. Kraus estimates that about 1/3 of the book was written by Romero, not including notes and other material where Romero plotted out where the book was going. That being said, when I was reading, I didn’t feel like I was reading something that was started by one author and finished by another. Both a ...more
Xavier Hugonet
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
The Living Dead is a book I expected a lot from. From a George Romero manuscript, Daniel Kraus was finally going to let us witness how it all happened.

My first disappointment came right at the beginning. It’s set in contemporary times, and not in the sixties. So, if we’re about to witness the start of a zombie apocalypse, it’s not the start of George Romero epic series of movies. It’s a reinterpretation.

However, the base principle is the same : The dead won’t stay dead. And that’s a problem. T
Mar 13, 2020 rated it liked it

I don’t know that this book was necessary.

I’m sort of bummed to say that. I mean, I love the idea of a tribute to Romero, and I did like many of the characters, but…

The beginning was terrific. I loved reading about how things started. But eventually, all the different story lines felt unsatisfying. I also wanted a bit more of a world view of what was happening.

Kraus is a skilled writer. There’s an autopsy scene that’s either the most horrific or most erotically charged thing I’ve read. And the
Sep 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Sooo... I wanted to love this book. I really REALLY did. But, it just didn't end up that way.

First off, I think this one is going to boil down to personal preference. People are either going to love it or just feel kinda mediocre about it. These opinions are not going to be fueled by the writing itself. It was indeed very well written.

For me, it was the huge variety of characters and the introductions of each which spanned over 200 pages of the book. Every time that I started a chapter, I was
Elena Linville
2 out of 5 stars

I was excited to read this book, because I loved the Dawn of the Living Dead and I think that George Romero pretty much invented the zombie apocalypse genre. So I was eager to start the book as soon as I got the ARC from NetGalley, but my excitement soon turned into bewilderment, the disappointment.

First of all, this book is way too long at 700 pages and it feels a lot longer when you read it. At least 250 pages could have been safely cut without loosing any plot, which says some
Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees


Finished today and long story short, I really hated this. RTC later.
Becky Spratford
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
STAR Review in the April 2020 issue of Library Journal and on the blog:

Three Words That Describe This Book: compellingly paced, character centered, classic updated and completed

Draft Review:

When movie icon Romero died, he left behind the unfinished manuscript of a zombie novel. His estate contacted horror novelist and life-long Romero fan, Kraus, to collaborate with the manuscript, Romero’s papers, interviews, films, and more to finish the novel in a way
Janelle Janson
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Why do I love big books so much? Review to come
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Clocking in at nearly 700 pages (and over 1,000 on my ecopy), this is definitely meant for zombie horror fans and also for those who want some...excuse me, a lot!...of backstories mixed in with the bloody chaos. I knew there would be lots of gore, but what surprised me was how much I started to care for some of the hapless and doomed humans. I even shed a tear or two for some, but I won't say who as not to give away any spoilers. I did have a couple of problems, one being repetition. By the half ...more
Melissa |Recreational Hobbyist
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I was really excited about reading The Living Dead as I enjoy horror & grew up watching all of Romero’s zombie films. Romero is the king of zombies & this novel completes his magnum opus of all things zombie.

The story begins with patient zero, John Doe. Medical examiners Luis & Charlie begin to work on John Doe & they soon realize that John Doe just won’t stay dead. Things escalate and soon the world starts learning that the dead don’t stay dead. Etta Hoffman receives the data at the VSDC of Joh
Lorel Holt
Wow this book was really good. It was already a long book but it honestly could have been longer. There was still so many unanswered questions that I wanted answered. I will say that if you do not like gore or body horror this is not for you! I would read it aloud at night because my fiancé would want to listen to it and I’d hear him pretend vomiting in the background because the gore was very detailed. Throughout this story I got so attached and grew to love the characters, which in some cases ...more
J. Harding
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A nice long read about a zombie apocalypse is also good reading in my book, pun intended. The characters here really make the story. Recommended.
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
George A. Romero, if he didn’t create the genre, has made it what it is today. Put his name on it and anyone and everyone who loves zombies will be on it like stink on…well you know what.

But this story wasn’t written by George A. Romero, it was written by Daniel Kraus. It is, however, based on the world created by Romero and crafted using some of his works. As a reader I had to let that part go and read The Living Dead like this was Romero’s book.

Image if you will that some Hollywood studio had
Richelle SheReadsHorror

The end.

I spent a whole month reading this book and I’m happy to finally be done. Me and big books don’t always work out. This one was just okay to me. I feel bad saying this cause it’s a Romero book especially after reading Daniel Kraus’s author’s note at the end but it just didn’t work for me. There were parts I loved and parts I just didn’t like. One, I loved having character diversity but on the other hand I didn’t really connect with any of them. Two, I really enjoyed the weird and unique
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Bookish First Rea...: The Living Dead by George A. Romero 4 19 Apr 05, 2020 05:20PM  

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George Andrew Romero was an American film director, screenwriter and editor, best known for his gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead (1968). He is nicknamed "Godfather of all Zombies."

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