Lazarus is Dead by Richard Beard

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Brimming with wit and humor, Lazarus Is Dead transcends genres as it recounts the story of a great friendship lost and re-found.
In the gospels Jesus is described as having only one friend, and when this friend dies, Jesus does something that he does nowhere else in the Bible. He weeps. Novelist Richard Beard begins here. Mixing Biblical sources, historical detail, fascinating references to music, art, and writers as diverse as Kahlil Gibran and Norman Mailor, and abundant reserves of creative invention, Beard gives us his astonishing and amusing take on the greatest story ever told about second chances.
As children, Lazarus and Jesus were thick as thieves. But following a mysterious event, their friendship dwindled in early adulthood. One man struck out and became a flamboyant and successful businessman, the other stayed behind to learn a trade, and ultimately to find his calling in an unprecedented mix of spirituality and revolutionary zeal. Lazarus Is Dead is set during the final period in each man’s life—or, to be more precise, each man’s first life. Both know the end is near and, though they’re loath to admit it, they long for reconciliation. For that to happen they will need to find reasons to believe in each other before time runs out.

About Richard Beard

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Richard Beard is the author of four novels, including The Cartoonist (Bloomsbury, 2000) and Dry Bones (Secker & Warburg, 2004), and three works of non-fiction. He is the Director of the National Academy of Writing in London. Lazarus Is Dead is his Northamerican debut.
Published September 25, 2012 by Europa Editions. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lazarus is Dead

Kirkus Reviews

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Beard engages in much plausible speculation here, for example, that Jesus and Lazarus grew up as best friends and then drifted apart.

Aug 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Lazarus is Dead

The Guardian

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In Beard's version, Jesus and Lazarus are estranged childhood friends from Nazareth, strangely bound together so that each of Jesus's miracles brings not only more fame and followers but new illness and suffering to Lazarus.

Aug 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Lazarus is Dead

The Guardian

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The raising of Lazarus is the final and probably the most famous of Jesus's big public miracles.

Sep 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Lazarus is Dead

The Bookbag

Summary: Lazarus - yes, him from the bible - can claim Jesus as a childhood friend.

Jul 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Lazarus is Dead

Review (Barnes & Noble)

(In the King James edition of the New Testament, Jesus says, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.") Availing himself of a brisk, clean-cut prose, Beard paints Lazarus as an all-too-human man who is self-reliant, basks in the ...

Dec 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Lazarus is Dead


“Lazarus is Dead” by Richard Beard is fantastically written – it recounts the story of Lazarus and his resurrection on three different levels and that is what makes the book so good – in terms of plot and the writing style.

Oct 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Lazarus is Dead

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Beard, in robbing Jesus of his voice, appears to say, “We’ve heard enough from Jesus, let’s see what others have to say.” Part history, part novel, and part religious reflection, Beard amalgamates scripture, commentaries, and his own essayistic asides to create a thoughtful, moving, poetic, and ...

Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Lazarus is Dead


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The Blurb

We all know the story: Lazarus dies, Jesus weeps, Lazarus walks from his tomb.

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