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 given Romero an Independence Day budget and told him that they felt like Gone With the Wind was too short. That is what you have with The Living Dead.
This story follows a large cast of dispersed characters over fifteen years of Romero’s zombie apocalypse. It is epic in scale and ambition; this is exactly the type of story for me. I love it when an author can take their time, develop their characters, and make me care. Kraus created a connection between me and every member of the cast. I was saddened by the losses and joyful for the survivors.
Kraus really demonstrated respect for Romero, his opinions on life and how The Dead tell us about the living; The Living Dead felt like an authentic part of Romero’s portfolio. It was a full-fledged commentary on us, how we live and how disconnected we are in our lives in this time when we are able to be so “connected.” I’d like to share a quote that I found truly profound.
“The problem with so-called smart devices was you could personalize them. You could follow who you wanted to follow. See and gear things you already liked. They were hand mirrors. Of course we were obsessed with them.”
If this isn’t true, I don’t know what is.
It may sound strange in a story this long but there were a few things I found a bit rushed. I wanted to spend more time with the characters, but I’m sure that the publisher wanted to get from here to there without going on for too long.
Like most of Romero’s works The Living Dead didn’t so much finish as it ended.
2 Book Lovers Reviews