The pace rarely slows, the gore is so gross it is funny, and as we follow the characters who have escaped these various hellholes, familiar Romero themes are tapped: how minorities are blamed for every ill; how consumerism and technology have warped minds; how our disrespect for Mother Nature is going to bite us on the arse — and probably take out a sizeable lump of flesh. 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.
It’s a Frankenstein’s monster of a novel: large, stitched-together, lumbering, brimming with good intentions but hobbled by its abnormal genesis and never quite becoming the sum of its parts. The writing is splendid, however, 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.