Living with the Dead

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The dead come from the sea, at night. They merely arrive and are discovered in the morning on the wharves, lying in great heaps. It has been the immemorial custom for people to take them into their homes, to find places for them, to pattern their increasingly cluttered lives around the growing accumulation of corpses. No one knows why, although it is the irresistible decree of the Unseen Government that the order of things must be preserved, at all costs. Old and young must participate, and carry away the dead, on bicycles, in carts, on their backs if need be. It has always been so. It always will be so.

This isn't Hell, or an Afterlife, just a place, a fog-shrouded, tradition-stifled town without a name, where the dead are accommodated at the expense of the living, where the established way of life has become a grotesque absurdity, and a few brave or foolish or deviant souls struggle to find some meaning, and perhaps unravel the mystery of the dead.

On the knife-edge of horror and dark comedy, like an improbable collaboration between Franz Kafka and Clive Barker, this book is a brilliant departure, even for the author of The Mask of the Sorcerer.