3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Wake Up. It's A Beautiful Day!,
This review is from: Lazarus Is Dead (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A casual perusal of the fiction charts in, say, Tesco's or Sainsbury's, would be enough to convince you that a book like Richard Beard's latest cannot possibly exist. It's not a crime drama from Scandanavia, it hasn't stolen a font or cover design from Peter James or Martina Cole, and it doesn't boast a publisher's banner screaming 'BETTER THAN DONALD DUCK OR TWICE YOUR MONEY BACK!!!'
Turn the clock back ten years and you could walk into any middling book shop and find a decent selection of interesting, challenging or just downright oddball fiction but these are strange times, J K Rowling can be found in her local park every day at noon talking to the squirrels and the average branch of Waterstones's is fashioning display furniture out of unsold copies of Jo Nesbo's last 12 books.
And 'One Day' by David Nickels (sic) is officially the best book since the Bible (based on a poll of nineteen Heart FM listeners).
Which sort of brings us back to Lazurus is Dead, Richard Beard's snazzy new take on the New Testament.
I could give you a precis of the plot but the story of Lazurus must be familiar to anyone who's snoozed through one and a half religious education classes at big school.Richard Beard once wrote a book about giving up smoking called 'X20', read that first and then read 'Lazurus' and feel instantly cleverer than the dinner party guest to your right who has skimmed all the longlist of this year's Booker (Don't bother, they're all boring. Am I allowed to say that?). I think what I might be trying to say, and I'm a little behind on my medication so thanks for bearing with me, is that when you wade through as much chaff as I do - and I managed a bookshop for eight years so I almost know what I'm talking about - it's the small gems like this, and the new Magnus Mills, and , while I'm plugging stuff, Tom Perrotta's 'Bad Haircut' - that are the reward for having to look at the gurning face of Peter Kay or Michael Mug-entire every time I cast a nostalgic gaze towards a book shop window at yuletide.
Lazurus Is Dead - three hundred and forty seven times better than Katie Price's 'Crystal' or five time your mortgage back!