Book: WARM BODIES
Author: ISAAC MARION
Published: April 2011, ATRIA
Source: Publicist, no other compensation given for honest review
R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
I had heard a fair amount of buzz about WARM BODIES, before I got the pitch to review it. And honestly, I was just coming off having read ZOMBIES DON'T CRY by Rusty Fischer, which had put me in a frame of mind where I was even interested in reading more about zombies. While I didn't want to bias myself before I read the book or wrote my own review, it was hard not to see descriptors like existential and deeply moving. Sometimes this can turn me off. I do like an intellectual book, but I also like an entertaining one. WARM BODIES turned out to be very entertaining. Maybe not in the laugh out loud way, but definitely in the read it in one sitting, only pausing for certain necessary actions like eating, kind of way.
WARM BODIES really surprised me. From the first page. Why? Because these zombies were the kind that ate brains straight from a human. They were the kind that shambled about, in ever decaying fashion and mostly lost the ability to communicate in spoken language. These were zombies that were slowly leaving humanity behind, yet Isaac Marion told their story in a quite elegant way, through the eyes of "R" and his new-found love.
As a reader, I was readily drawn into the life that "R" now lived as a zombie. There really wasn't much that the zombies did. Everything revolved around the action of finding live humans to eat. While the brain was the best part - Marion's zombies can experience the memories of the human that the brain belonged to, while they consume it - the zombies will make due with any part of the human body. "R" and his crew would hunt in packs, and there was even a zombie school that taught the zombie children how to prey on the unsuspecting living.
I think the revolution that "R" starts by not being a mindless brain-eating (for the most part) zombie was a great direction for WARM BODIES to take. Though it is not an especially surprising twist where R's story ends up, it does cast a totally different light on how these zombies came to be, and how the world will continue after this revelation. A hero arises out of a person who, in every other sense, would normally be the villain. I was glad I got a chance to experience R's journey, and also open my mind to another good zombie book.
4.5/5 for plot
5/5 for characters
4.5/5 for language
My Rating: 14/15 (4.5 stars) Must Read
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