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The Living Dead

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,272 ratings  ·  415 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 that h
Paperback, 656 pages
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Tor Nightfire (first published August 4th 2020)
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Phillip Given the pessimistic nature of the climax, I would suggest that they are not coming in peace. However, their arrival is ambiguous. Remember, earlier …moreGiven the pessimistic nature of the climax, I would suggest that they are not coming in peace. However, their arrival is ambiguous. Remember, earlier they are said to be peaceful and don't bother the residents of Fort York, so perhaps they have seen the smoke and flames and are arriving to help. But as you pointed out, they are scientists who are said to be conducting neuro-programming experiments. Again, if we return to the nature of the climax, I believe the overriding sentiment is one of cynicism towards human nature and the cyclical way we destroy the world around us. Given this, and Charlie and The Face's response at seeing them arrive (they seem to want to get away quickly), I concluded that their ultimate intentions were certainly not peaceful. (less)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,272 ratings  ·  415 reviews

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Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition

'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
Nov 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serious zombie fans only
Results of a 51% read:

It's long. Really, really long, which is an interesting genre choice. As much as I go on about the value of zombie fiction, there's a limit to what can be drawn from it, and a limit to tolerance for immersion in the world where undead function. So, a serious strike against the book for no other reason than length, because sometimes more is just inefficient. Though I feel like that sounds petty, the reality is that we live in a busy world with many things competing for atten
Jonathan Janz
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
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
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
Andrew Fowlow
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joe Valdez
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As antidote to a shitty apocalyptic book I'd read, I ran for cover with The Living Dead by Daniel Kraus, based on material by George A. Romero. Published in 2020, this is a long novel, inspired by notes that Kraus combed through to complete the book Romero had nibbled around for over 30 years, Romero being the filmmaker who made the original Night of the Living Dead in 1968 and spent intervening years hustling for financing for his next film (Dawn of the Dead in 1979 and Day of the Dead in 1985 ...more
Sadie Hartmann
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Katie B
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I'm not normally drawn to plots involving zombies but I was intrigued by the background of how this book came to be written so I gave this once a chance. Glad I did as it was entertaining and helped me step out of my reading comfort zone a bit. Always good to mix things up every once in awhile.

Night of the Living Dead is a famous film, written and directed by George A. Romero. He started writing this novel, The Living Dead, but died before it was completed. Daniel Kraus, an author and h
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!?
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
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
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)
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
'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
Intellectual Magpie
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Carl Bluesy
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This book is as great as it is long. I was excited to read anything by George A. Romero. Still I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Especially since I didn’t know anything about the co-author Daniel Kraus.

It definitely looked up to my expectations and I did not expect the tie in with George’s other work as much as it did, despite it being very much it’s own book. Books not perfect but it’s damn close to it. If you’re a fan up classic whore this is definitely worth a read a
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
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
The Geeky Viking
Aug 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start off by saying I'm a HUGE fan of George A. Romero, particularly of his Living Dead films. DAY OF THE DEAD is in the top five of my favorite films of all time. I even have a soft spot for his final Dead movies, DIARY OF THE DEAD and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD. So, when I heard that there was an epic novel coming from George and his posthumous collaborator, Daniel Kraus, set in the world of his Dead films, I couldn't hit the pre-order trigger fast enough. Now, after having read it, I'm reall ...more
Becky Spratford
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chompy

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
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
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
"𝘓𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦, 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘻𝘰𝘮𝘣𝘪𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘶𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘵."⁣

Finished this chonk right before my own chonk was born and I'm still thinking about it. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘥 is truly an epic zombie book that covers every part of the zombie apocalypse. ⁣

Some thoughts:⁣

🧟‍♂️ This is one of the only zombie books I've read (if not the only one) where you get to read inside the head of the infected and
This is a long read. Slow to start so I can see how folks might give up on it.
There is blood and gore for the hardcore zombie fan, but there is also a thoughtful, well-written, well-constructed look at how people pull together when things fall apart. The zombies are not the forefront for the story but not left behind either. This book is more about the living.
The ending, especially, lingers with you long after you've set the book aside.
Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees


Finished today and long story short, I really hated this. RTC later.
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Bookish First Rea...: The Living Dead by George A. Romero 4 25 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." ...more

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