Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist

‘Let the right one in’ also by John Ajvide Lindqvist is one of my favourite reads of this year, a remarkable story, not just a vampire story but so much more. ‘Handling the Undead’ is just as good, another amazing story from John Ajvide Lindqvist.

‘Handling the Undead’ begins in Stockholm on a night when the weather is heavy and everyone can feel that something is about to happen and it does, in the worse way imaginable, people who have been dead for two months are returning from the dead, the government are not sure what to do, the families of the ‘reliving’ (as they are eventually called) are at a loss of what to do or how to feel about it?

‘Handling the Undead’ is a book that makes you think, what would you do? So much happens once the ‘reliving’ return, the government find themselves making the wrong decisions, how do you handle people who are technically alive but not alive, do they have rights? Do they have a place in the world? Can they return to their families?

‘Handling the Undead’ is more than a story about life after death, what do you do when you lose someone and they come back from the dead? All the characters in the story are conflicted, they have lost someone in some way and now they have returned but the ‘reliving’ are different, they are not the people they once were, they are a shell of what they were but at the same time there is a faint glimmer of the person they were.

All of the relationships are strong relationships, you can feel the strength as you read, and you feel their pain and their loss, their confusion, coming to terms with a loss and then their happiness when their loved ones return.

I found ‘Handling the Undead’ to be a powerful read, so many questions are raised and so many social problems are brought forward, you will get very engrossed in this story, there is so much to this book that you will find enjoyable, enlightening, scary and most of all make you look at the world around you.

A must read.

Reviewed by Paula Mc (Gyre)

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