Lazarus is Dead

Lazarus is Dead

Written by: Richard Beard

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781609450809
  • 272 Pages
  • Europa Editions
  • Adult


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.


“Beard’s take on Lazarus is nothing less than astonishing—and he respects the reader by taking religion and religious questions seriously." — Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“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

“Funny, smart, scary, sad– and above all, completely convincing. Maybe not the way it was, but the way it must have been.” —Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Lazarus is Dead is a thrilling meta-novel. Richard Beard informs, provokes and always entertains.” —Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette