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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Short Story Saturday: Lazarus by John Connolly

In "Lazarus" John Connolly refigures the story of the biblical Lazarus -- the man who was raised from the dead by Jesus -- as, essentially, a zombie.  Though he may not be mindless and hungering for flesh as one would typically expect, the zombie motif lends an eerie layer to the well known biblical story, and Connolly uses it to craft a brief and affecting piece.

There really wasn't much I didn't like about this story.  It was subtle, and it worked on so many levels.  In it, Lazarus is completely a sympathetic figure, and the "miracle" of his raising is transformed into something thoughtless and repugnant.  I'm sure this will offend some of the more rigorously religions, but a) I doubt they'd be reading a zombie book to begin with, and b) I'm not religious, so I don't really care.

There are so many little things in this that work.  The reader watches through Lazarus' eyes as he goes from being seen as a miracle to an abomination, as everyone around him pulls away and turns on him.  And through it all he just feels more confused and lost, less and less human, and always missing what should have been, a simple and dignified death.  It's the thinking person's zombie story, told simple and elegantly.

And I like it.

Story found in The New Dead, edited by Christopher Golden.


  1. Sounds like a story I would LOVE. Must get this book!

  2. I agree, this is actually very intriguing and I'd be interested to see how the story unfolds.

    Funny thing, swear to God. Yesterday I was thinking over the whole 'zombie' premise, what with our Zombiefest thing going on... and my mind went to the idea of JESUS (per his resurrection)as one of the risen undead.

    I'm not religious either, but I cringed thinking how the very concept would be found terribly offensive by so many people ... so I chickened out lol

    Glad somebody besides me was musing along similar lines ;D

  3. Great post. This story was among my favourites from this anthology.

    @Mary Ann: There's a song called 'Jesus was a Zombie' by Zombie Girl.

  4. whoa, a zombie in the bible. interesting. i may have to look it up.

    alas, no unicorns though...

  5. This is an interesting idea for a short story!

  6. I'll have to check this out. It sounds intriguing!

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