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  • Published: 15 August 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099554349
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

Lazarus Is Dead

Meet Lazarus: hero of the best story ever told about second chances. A novel like no other about a life like no other.

Like most men in their early thirties, Lazarus has plans that don’t involve dying. He is busy organising his sisters, his business and his women. Life is mostly good, until far away in Galilee, without warning, his childhood best friend turns water into wine. Immediately, Lazarus falls ill. And with each subsequent miracle his health deteriorates: a nasty cough blooms into an alarming panorama of afflictions. His sisters think Jesus can help, but given the history of their friendship Lazarus disagrees. What he is sure of is that he’ll try everything in his power to make himself well. Except for calling on Jesus. Lazarus dies. Jesus weeps. This part we all know. But as Lazarus is about to find out, returning from the dead isn't easy. You think you want a second chance at life, but what do you do when you get it? Lazarus has his own story, he is his own man, and he is determined to avoid the mistakes he made the first time round. A thrillingly inventive, genre-bending novel, Lazarus is Dead is the definitive account of the life, death and life of Lazarus, as never told before.

  • Published: 15 August 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099554349
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Richard Beard

Richard Beard is the author of Acts of the Assassins which was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and most recently, The Day That Went Missing. In the twenty years since his first book he has published critically acclaimed novels and narrative non-fiction, including Becoming Drusilla, the story of how a friendship between two men was changed by a gender transition. He was formerly director of the National Academy of Writing in London, and is now a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo and has a Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. He is an optimistic opening batsman for the Authors Cricket Club.

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Praise for Lazarus Is Dead

As gripping as a thriller and endlessly thought-provoking... Surprising, spellbinding, witty and utterly original

Chris Dolan, Sunday Herald

Lazarus is Dead is a delightful falsehood - a brilliant novel and a shining example of the gospel untruth

Alfred Hickling, Guardian

This clever and original book keeps the reader guessing until the death - and beyond

Financial Times

An idiosyncratic delight...Yet again, Beard shows himself to be one of our most inventive novelists

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

A brilliant reimagining of the Lazarus story...wry, incisive and surprisingly moving (Favourite Books of 2011)

Irish Times

Ultimately it is the narrative voice - cultivated, wry, yet not too knowing to sustain a note of wonder - that makes this novel so compelling

Sunday Times

A thoughtful, enjoyable book


He can stir emotion quickly and simply... his essayistic digressions temper the mythic luminosity of his subject


Beautiful prose...this is a challenging, thoughtful read, even for the die-hard heathen

Eastern Daily Press

Beard writes with sharp clarity; short unadorned sentences that contain an unforced, incisive wit....Lazarus's legend continues to fascinate in this totally original book

Sunday Business Post

A fascinating mixture of fiction and academic essay...using biblical sources and other, less orthodox ones, Beard weaves a compelling tale portrait of first-century Israel, of Jerusalem with its factions and sects, and of Jesus, Lazarus's enigmatic friend, as he makes his journey towards the Cross

Catholic Herald

I finished the book at a sitting. What makes it so gripping is Beard's limitless curiosity.

James Russell Blog

The approach is unusual, the narrative bold and exhilarating...this book with its melding of fiction and non-fiction, critical analysis and detective work, consolidation and controversy, is a potent combination that breathes life not only into the 'imaginative representations' of historical events but also into the possibilities of what we think a novel might be able to achieve.

Just William's Luck

So good it's almost off the scale for me. Brave, brilliant and utterly readable.

The Bookbag

As gripping as a thriller and endlessly thought-provoking ... Surprising, spellbinding, witty and utterly original

Chris Dolan, Sunday Herald

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