Illustration for article titled A zombie book from the author of Let The Right One In

If you loved Let The Right One In's melancholic, funny and twisted view of vampires, then you should keep your eye open for Handling The Undead, a zombie novel by the same author, John Ajvide Lindqvist, coming in September.


Handling The Undead sounds like it's not your traditional zombie story, any more than Let The Right One In was your traditional vampire story. From the synopsis by Penguin, which already released it in Australia:

Across Stockholm the power grid has gone crazy. Electrical appliances turn themselves up higher and higher and cannot be disconnected. As a sense of foreboding builds, people everywhere are struck down by headaches that reach an intolerable pitch. Then it's over.

Soon after, in morgues and cemeteries throughout the city, the dead start to wake. But they are not as they were in life.

With wry humour and compassion, Lindqvist illuminates what the return of the dead might really mean to those who loved them.

Mahler is alight with hope that his little grandson has been returned.

David and his son Marcus are devastated by the loss of their adored Eva and aghast and bewildered at what she has become.

Elvy is convinced this mass resurrection heralds the End of Days; and is desperately hoping her late husband isn't back to stay.

And the government can't work out what to do with its newly restored citizens - or even whether, having died, they are still citizens at all.

Equal parts family drama, social satire, piercing tragedy and disquisition on mortality, Handling the Undead is possibly the most original and compelling book you will read this year.


As OZ Horror Scope said in its review:

Handling the Undead is a beautifully-written, sad, and occasionally quite creepy novel about loss and the very human inability to deal with it, which utilises the zombie trope in new and fascinating ways. The walking dead of Sweden are not the ravenous flesh-eaters of Romero's creation (at least, not exactly), but ordinary dead folk who rise, and walk, and attempt to return to those they left behind (thereby having more in common with the zombies from the 2004 French movie, Les Revenants). But not everything is as it seems. It soon becomes apparent that the ‘Reliving' are not entirely whole, and that something other than memory or even humanity now drives them. It's difficult to say more without giving away too much, but I will hint that much of the plot hinges not upon how the zombies affect the living – an issue nonetheless well-addressed – but upon how the living affect the dead.

St. Martin's Press imprint Thomas Dunne Books will be putting out the U.S. edition of Handling The Undead on Sept. 28. [via Fangoria]

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