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Translated by Ebba Segerberg
The lights are refusing to go out all over Stockholm. There’s a mysterious problem in the power system. Every appliance in the city is going at full blast and the entire population is struck by blinding headaches. The pressure builds to an intolerable pitch and then…stops.
Moments later, in morgues and cemeteries across Stockholm, the dead start to rise.
John Ajvide Lindqvist, the acclaimed author of the world’s most original vampire novel, Let the Right One In, turns his attention to the living dead. Not the nameless zombies of classic horror but real dead people: mothers, children, grandchildren and spouses. Desperately loved, bitterly missed and now ‘reliving.’ Which is not, it turns out, the same as being alive.
Lindqvist brings a deliciously ironic mixture of the macabre and the heartbreaking to the big questions of love and death. It makes Handling the Undead the must-read horror novel of the year.
‘Horror fans will rejoice at the latest book from John Ajvide Lindqvist…an eclectic cast of characters confronted by their dearly departed walking among them once more…It’s a macabre and strangely affecting tale, at once compassionate, witty and deliciously gruesome.’
‘Unsettling and shocking.’ [4 stars]
‘Horror is the genre du jour and Swedish thriller writer John Ajvide Lindqvist is one of the best practitioners around. Lindqvist dallies with the big questions about life and death, managing a delicate balance between macabre and moving.’
’Horror novels are the new black…But this one is clever—so clever that perhaps it could be the one horror novel not to be missed this year. Lindqvist has pulled it off…Handling the Undead is, like his previous novel, written as a mix of history, science, romance, politics and horror…The question of how they came back is almost secondary to the fascinating social problems that arise when a pack of well-mannered zombies descends. Lindqvist isn’t afraid to touch nerves and violate taboos and some of his ideas are provoking enough to provide a satisfying squirm in the average reader…a new take on old themes, and a better piece of writing than most horror novels.’
‘Lindqvist reminds us of the way fear and hatred of the unfamiliar makes monsters of all of us, it is not fear and hatred he is interested in, but love and the way it binds us to one another. For in the end it is its compassion, not just for the dead but for the wounded living, that lends Linqvist’s haunting postmodern fairytale its power.’