Jude and Lyle’s newlywed life is shattered when a vicious attack leaves Lyle infected with a disease that transforms him into a violent and often incomprehensible person. With no cure for the “zombie” virus in sight, the young husbands begin to face the last months they have together before Lyle loses himself completely.
Fond remembrances of young love meet the challenges of navigating a partner’s terminal illness in this bittersweet tale that explores both how we fall in love and how we say goodbye when the time comes far too soon.
Sometimes, I find that I have some time to fit in a book that I have been wanting to read for a while, and “Elegy For The Undead: a Novella” is one of those. While this novella is categorized as a “horror” novel (and rightfully so), it is much more about what the virus does to the relationships and minds of people.
Vesely chose to toggle between times and POVs in this work. At first, I was a little disoriented by the shifts in time but I got the hang of it quite quickly. I Liked that switching POV… some of the story is told from Jude’s POV and it is there that we become acquainted with the true horror of watching a spouse be taken away from us one moment at a time. When reading the story through Lyle’s perception it becomes an exploration of illness, love, and death.
The chapters jump from time to time in history. Vesely explores the early days of Jude and Lyle’s relationship, the first inklings of something being wrong in the world, to the days of Lyle’s exposure and contraction of the “disease”. The relationship story and the story of Lyle’s illness are woven together really well. The two stories are important to one another. Even in the short page count of a novella, Vesely manages to flesh out the young husbands. This story only works because of the way the reader follows their relationship from its early beginnings.
This novella is engaging from its opening pages… and in some ways, it was a timely read for me as we are still struggling to emerge from the Covid pandemic.
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) violence, gore, assault, stabbing, characters killed in violent ways (including shooting), infidelity (admitted, discussed and forgiven), death of a spouse, death of many supporting characters, frightening and intense scenes in keeping with the subject matter.
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I got a copy of Elegy For The Undead from my local Library. Support your local public library.