The Living Dead

George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

September 7, 2021

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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.

Praise for The Living Dead

“A horror landmark, a work of gory genius marked by all of Romero’s trademark wit, humanity, and merciless social observations. How lucky are we to have this final act of Grand Guignol from the man who made the dead walk?”—Joe Hill 

“Like a lost Romero classic, which will play out on the inside of your skull long after you’ve finished it.”—Clive Barker

“Rejoice Romero fans! The Living Dead is a sprawling, timely, scary epic that honors the zombie tradition but also goes in new directions and takes risks that pay off.”—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Survivor Song

“If Night of the Living Dead was the first word in the dead rising field, The Living Dead is the last word. A monumental achievement.”—Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual

“Every zombie movie lives in the shadow of Romero, but he never got the budget to work at the scale he deserved. Fortunately, Daniel Kraus delivers the epic book of the dead that Romero began. That shadow just got a whole lot bigger.”—Grady Hendrix, author of My Best Friend’s Exorcism

“Panoramic and sweeping, The Living Dead is a smorgasbord of the undead, a book that will give even the most ardent zombie lovers their fix. Comparisons can be made to the current pandemic, but that is no surprise: Like so many horror writers, Romero saw it coming.”—The New York Times

“For fans of horror, fans of zombie-lore, but most specifically for fans of Romero’s beloved zombie legacy, The Living Dead is a must-read and a must-own.”—Terror Time 

“An epic zombie tale…not unlike Max Brooks’ World War Z.”–PopCultHQ 

The Living Dead is the ultimate zombie novel.”—PopHorror.com

“The writing is splendid, full of sharp insight, and the book cleaves to Romero’s cinematic vision of a world where the marginalised and the oppressed are the heroes, standing up to a relentless tide of inanity and injustice.”—Financial Times (UK)

“Epic in every sense of the word, including the literary: because, by God, does this thing have some fantastic turns of phrase, and not just when discussing various garlands of viscera. The best zombie novel ever written, horrific and witty in equal measures.”—Adam-Troy Castro in Nightmare 

Night of the Living Dead brought the genre to life. The Living Dead gives Zombies souls. The Living Dead is more than a zombie novel. It is a bitter parable. Romero and Daniel Kraus are visionaries who were able to make a parable of today’s times in almost real time.”—Den of Geek

“The most intriguing zombie novel to come out in quite a while.”—io9.com

“An epic, sprawling book…. The Living Dead could be considered as much a tribute to Romero as it is a final gift to his fans, from the king of zombies himself.”—Bloody Disgusting

“A remarkable distillation of the zombie genre which covers pretty much everything that a reader would want in a zombie novel. It is both chilling and effective. [It] touches on topics as wide-ranging as violence and race in society, capitalism, the relevance and importance of the media and even the purpose of existence. Pleasingly impressive.”—SFFWorld

The Living Dead is an action-packed epic that’s hard to tell where Romero’s voice ends and Kraus’ voice starts. Readers follow the characters as they experience an oddly relatable global pandemic, and those who survive aren’t fending against just the undead, they are also fighting against mob-militia brutality. Romero’s storytelling still manages to be extremely timely.”—Pittsburgh City Paper

The Living Dead is everything Romero could have delivered on film had be been granted the budget and tools of a James Cameron or a Christopher Nolan. It’s not a book you’re going to read, it’s a book you’re going to live in for a time.”—Cemetery Dance

“Sometimes, when the world seems to have gone to hell in a handcart, what you really need is a novel about a zombie-creating virus destroying human civilisation. The pace rarely slows, the gore is so gross it is funny. Kraus has lovingly stuffed The Living Dead with Romero references, and makes sure we can root for the very different characters who emerge from this grand-scale disaster. Dead good entertainment.”—The Times (London)

The Living Dead expands, clarifies and concludes a tale more than 50 years in the telling, and does so with wit, style and a deep sense of commitment to this frequently unsettling material. The zombie saga in all its forms will surely be the centerpiece of Romero’s artistic legacy. Thanks in large part to Kraus, that legacy contains a significant — and welcome — new addition.”—The Washington Post

“Poetic and gory. The Living Dead is a visceral and cerebral experience that will draw the dedicated reader into its arms just close enough to take a bite.”—ihorror.com


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