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George A. Romero's The Living Dead novel to be finished by new author

02.14.2018by: Mike Sprague

Before his tragic passing last year, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and DAWN OF THE DEAD director George A. Romero had begun work on an all-new "Living Dead" novel. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish before his death, but today we have good news as EW is reporting that Romero's novel will be finished up by a new author.

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch and Rotters author Daniel Kraus will be picking up where Romero left off on the (fittingly titled) novel THE LIVING DEAD. The book will be edited by Brendan Deneen, who worked on THE WALKING DEAD novels with Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, and will be released by Tor in Fall 2019.

Below you can find a whole bunch of quotes from Kraus regarding his relationship with Romero and his plans for how to finish the "epic" book.

Kraus on finishing the novel:

The state [of the manuscript] varied. Some of it was in tremendous, publish-ready state. Other parts, near of the end of what he wrote, were sketchier, clearly intended to be fleshed out later.

He continues:

Only half the job I’m doing is finishing this book. The other half is putting George back together, in a sense — not just from reading his every obscure interview and analyzing his every obscure work, but also immersing myself in the art that he loved. I’m studying his favorite movies, watching his favorite operas, listening to his favorite music, all in an attempt to find in them the inspirations he might have found. I’m taking thematic and structural cues from these works and working them into the book. It’s not like having George next to me, but it’s what I have, and I’m treasuring every moment of it.

Kraus on the scope of The Living Dead:

What’s exciting about the novel, though, is how it goes the opposite direction. It’s huge. It’s a massively scaled story, a real epic, the kind no one ever gave him the budget for in a film. In a book, of course, there is no budget, and in his pages you can feel his joy of being able, at last, to do every single thing he wanted.

Daniel Kraus on George A. Romero:

I could talk all day about George. He’s the reason I’m a writer. He might be the reason I’m interested in art, period. When I think back on all the artists who might have inspired me, I feel so lucky and so thankful that it was George — for his sense of humanity, his unacceptance of social injustice, his adamant refusal to let the human race off the hook.

Well, I don't know about you but I'm happy to hear someone is going to be finishing the final novel by George A. Romero. And while I am not familiar with Kraus' work, the man seems to have a deep respect for Romero (who doesn't) and I'm glad to see the book is in such knowledgeable hands.

What do you think of all of this? Will you be grabbing up a copy of The Living Dead once it hits shelves? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Synopsis:

On October 24th, John Doe rises from the dead. Assistant Medical Examiner Luis Acocella and his assistant Charlene Rutkowksi are vivisecting him when it happens, and so begins a global nightmare beyond comprehension.

Greer Morgan is a teenager living in a trailer park, and when the dead begin their assault, the true natures of her neighbors are revealed. Chuck Chaplin is a pretty-boy cable-news anchor, and the plague brings sudden purpose to his empty life.

Karl Nishimura is the helmsman of the U.S.S. Vindicator, a nuclear submarine, and he battles against a complete zombie takeover of his city upon the sea. And meanwhile, a mysterious woman named Etta Hoffmann records the progress of the epidemic from a bunker in D.C., as well as the broken dreams and stubborn hopes of a nation not ready to give up.

Spread across three separate time periods and combining Romero’s biting social commentary with Kraus’s gift for the beautiful and grotesque, the book rockets forward as the zombie plague explodes, endures, and finally, in a shocking final act, begins to radically change.

The Living Dead will be released by Tor in Fall 2019.

Extra Tidbit: Kraus also co-wrote the novel version of The Shape of Water with Guillermo Del Toro.
Source: EW

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