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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

It begins with one body.

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

It spreads quickly. 

In a Midwestern trailer park, an African American 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 preaches the gospel of a new religion of death. 

At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting, not knowing if anyone is watching, 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.

©2020 George A. Romero (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Living Dead

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Long and rambling, characters mostly hard to empathise with. I have loved Romero's work for 40 years but this was just too long and boring for me.

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  • Captain Spanky
  • 18-08-2020

Yawn of the Dead

Daniel Kraus fails to breathe life into Romero's long dead project.

First off I am huge fan of all things Zombie and I've read widely in the genre. Romero is the grandfather of all modern zombie media and if you're a massive fan of his you won't want to miss this just out of pure curiosity. But is it a good zombie novel, well you'll have guessed by the title I for one think not. I fell sorry for Daniel Kraus, a book like this could never please everyone and I do feel he's done as well as he could Spirit Writing this novel.

He's been faithful to Georges vision for this novel but the problem is that George himself the progenitor of all things zombie couldn't finish it and not because of his tragic death. It's obvious from a plot perspective that he had no idea where the story was heading. It reads like a a poor copy of some of the golden age Permuted Press zombie titles with a splash of Max Brooks world War Z wedged in to save from having to write a narrative. We're given a wide sweeping tail that brings together disparate survivors from the initial out break but with out a satisfying continuity.

Characters are explored in the initial out break and then "boom" it's 10 years later and they're all together lets ignore how that happens and the intervening decade of their survival. The characters then go on to take actions that are incongruous to their exposure to the world building let alone their characterization. Add to this a unconvincing third act with the introduction of a protagonist who upsets five years of idyll for the group in little more than two pages.

There are silly apocalyptic inconsistency like there still being gasoline and rubber gloves ten years in but most authors make those kind of mistakes.

We also get the introduction of zombie animals, which Romero wanted to add but never found the vehicle to do so. Personally I've never enjoyed zombie animals, they're an attempt to up the ante but unlike 28 days later Running zombies (ok argue that an other time) or Zack Snyder Dawn of the Dead never really add anything to the horror. What makes it worse is that Romero zombies have progressed, from mindless ghouls to the sentient Bub and Big Daddy and there was an inclining from the films that this would lead somewhere. Sadly it does not and neither do the little clues about zombie infection or behavior. We the reader are left know less about the zombie condition than when we started. There's a philosophic point to be made with the zombie, but again it's only hinted at and never coalesces into the nugget of wisdom you might hope for.

There is a thread that runs through this book (quite literally at points) but it is utterly contrived and just jars each time it comes up.

Over all this was a below average zombie tail only of interest to die hard (take that as you may) Romero fans. Sorry Daniel I think you did a great job within your constraints but you were never going to resurrect the greatness of Night, Dawn or Day of the dead.

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  • B-Bonzo
  • 29-09-2020

Nope. Just couldn't finish this.

I held on as long as I could, but somewhere around the 24hour mark, I gave up.
This isn't the story of the zombie apocalypse, these are the individual stories of a group of people I just couldn't give 2 hoots about. Totally unrelatable and unremarkable characters. Long, ambling back stories of no relevance.
Just.....just dont.....

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  • Lee
  • 12-08-2020

By Romero....the King of the Zombie Flick....

So you know when you see the name George A Romero before a movie more than likely it’s going to be about zombies, zees, the undead, gore, death and carnage so you can guess this books is the same. Well it is but Romero died before it was completed and Daniel Kraus picked up the reins, tweaked it and then finished the book. And I have to say I think Mr Romero would be proud of what Mr Kraus has achieved.

One of my first dates - away back in the mists of time I may add - was going into see the original Dawn of the Dead and I became hooked on the “.....of the Dead series” and you know this book fits right in there. It follows the same formula which in my opinion never gets boring. Can mind the movie but not the lad who took me into see it!

In a nut shell we have a cast of characters who we follow over a set amount of years - that is from the beginning of the outbreak till the end or is it.... well no spoilers here! But more interestingly we find out what it is like changing into a zombie and being a zed. This is an interesting twist and I enjoyed these parts the most.

It is a long book but I think it needs to be as our main characters backstories need to be told ...fleshed out as it were and I have to say I was rooting for some more than others! There are some really scarey moments in this book - I’ve a tendency to listen to horror late at night in the dark and on my own. 🤪

What can I say ...it’s a really good 27 hours worth Zombie Apocalyptic book with all the usual tropes and I liked it! It’s well narrated with each character having their own identifiable voice and it’s worth a credit.

‘When there’s no more room in Hell....the dead will walk the Earth’ Romero Dawn of the Dead...cheers!

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  • Matt C
  • 16-02-2021

A Bit Of A Slog

Whilst I love most of Romero's output on the big screen, I found this audiobook a bit harder to digest, covering certain charachters and their plight of survival I found some were more interesting than others, and those that didnt grab me then became a slog to complete their arc, especially when compared to other works such a World War Z (not the film !!) it falls short on impact, of which WWZ had many as well as a more entertaining and engaging plot, and as both essentially cover a world in the grip of the undead, its a shame Romero got out zombied, but even Kings lose their throne eventually. Definitely for fans of the genre and the horror and gore elements are well written and visceral but with Romero now gone and TV programmes rinsing the genre for all its worth I think we have had the very best out of Zombie fiction, I cant see anything new or surprising grabbing me, let alone frightening me. So with this work, I have respect for it, parts of it were excellent, but it underwhelmed me in the end.

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  • Mr. R. Lewis
  • 06-10-2020

best thing I've listened to for years

This book is the culmination of a lifes work and took Goerge 36 years to write (but not finish). for any fans of the zombie genre this is a must read.

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  • Reuben Hilborne-clarke
  • 03-10-2020

MASTERPEICE!!!

had me gripped from start to finish! a great tribute to George! plenty of twists and gore, so much gore :-D

loved it!!

would b one hell of a movie/trilogy/tv series *wink wink*

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  • Reformed Geek
  • 24-09-2020

A must for Romero fans.

I’m a Romero fan. I still remember the first time I saw Night of the Living Dead - the first time I had encountered the idea of a zombie and I’ve watched Dawn of the Dead more times than I can count. The one single VHS I have left is Document of the Dead - the documentary shot during the making of Dawn. 


So I was excited to read this, but I agree with some reviews that it is a slog at times. It is a strange book, covering nearly 2 decades and roughly following the fortunes of a series of characters over this period. 


In Zombie fiction, I like the initial outbreak stuff rather than the Walking Dead style survival stuff and the bulk of the book does cover those first few weeks which I enjoyed. It is the back end of the book that I struggled with for a little bit. 


I’ve seen reviewers complain that the book is too much about current events and politics. I’m guessing they took issue with this because of their political position. Romero’s movies always had an element of social and political commentary. Much like Dawn of the Dead, the book’s commentary is quite heavy handed at times and the idea of what zombies/ghouls are explored in much more detail than in the movies. 


From what I understand, Romero had been writing the book on and off for over a decade and had about a 3rd of the book finished, but not the beginning or ending so Kraus had to fill in the gaps based on notes by Romero as well as taking input from interviews Romero gave on his movies and ideas. It is a very sprawling book and feels like a man trying to get all his ideas out. 


For me, I am glad I read it and enjoyed it as a fan of Romero’s vision and as a fan of the zombie genre. 

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-09-2020

excellent listen

This is the longest audio book I have and was gutted when it ended 😫. lots of different charecters from all walks of life struggling to survive.

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  • Mark Wardropper
  • 10-09-2020

A Great Addition To Romero's Living Dead Legacy

Although the audiobook was over 27 hours I was hooked straight away and got though it over the course of a week... and when it ended I wanted more. It was wonderful to get a more in-depth look at what the living dead world would look like years after the time of Day Of The Dead. This book has spurred me on to revisit my Dawn of the Dead audiobook!

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  • Chris Ring
  • 09-09-2020

Really enjoyed but kinda rushed in the 2nd half

Great listen, wish it finished as strong as it started.

Enjoyed Bruce's reading, think I'm going to miss hearing his voice on long drive homes haha!

Lori's grew on me eventually.

Loved the story and how it followed a wide set of characters, the detail (was spot on enough to make you wonder in the night haha) and the suspense.






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