Wednesday, March 27, 2013

review - warm bodies

Book: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Series: None
Pages: 238

By now you've probably caught on to the fact that I really enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction. I have no idea why. I was so terrified that the world was actually going to end on 12/21/12 that I forbid my husband from mentioning it at all for months beforehand (luckily, when the date rolled around, I had a 1 week old newborn, and therefore it never entered my mind, else I would have sat around all day and waited for a zombie to get me). There's just something about reading about the world that comes after all this that appeals to me. Imagine your life without the internet, without your job, without the ease of going to the grocery store or ordering pizza. 

How much would your priorities shift when money has no value, and you must spend your days protecting your family and finding food? 

I imagine that Michael Kors watch or Coach bag would quickly lose it's appeal.

This book was so surprising to me. I was expecting something more in line with Zombieland, and while it had it's gory moments, it was actually much more philosophical and intellectual than I expected. The story is told from the perspective of a zombie, which is a totally new and refreshing take on the whole "zombie apocalypse" theme. 

R is Dead. He cannot remember his name, only that it started with R. He cannot remember his life before, or how he died, or when. All he knows is the hunger that overtakes him every few days that drives him to venture into the city with the other zombies, and find a Living brain to devour. By eating the brain of a Living person, the Dead can experience their life, even for just a short time. 

R is quite a bit different from the other Dead. He collects things left over from humanity, like vinyl records and vintage cars. He has a rich interior life, but cannot even form a two-word sentence. 

When he feels the hunger, he again ventures into the city. But this time, everything is different. He devours the brain of a boy named Perry, and gets to re-live Perry's memories. It's in those memories that R is introduced to Julie, Perry's girlfriend, and feels the emotions Perry has for her. When R finds that Julie is in the room with all of the carnage of the zombies feeding, he decides to take her back to his home and protect her.

What follows is a really inspirational story about the human condition, resurrection, hope and love. There are many philosophical questions posed by R in this story, things that apply to everyone and really make you think. Here is an excerpt from the story, where R ruminates on his inability to speak effectually.

"In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, it all collapses. So far my personal record is four rolling syllables before some . . . thing . . . jams. And I may be the most loquacious zombie in this airport. 

I don't know why we don't speak. I can't explain the suffocating silence that hangs over our world, cutting us off from each other like prison-visit Plexiglass. Prepositions are painful, articles are arduous, adjectives are wild over-achievements  Is this muteness a real physical handicap? One of the many symptoms of being Dead? 

Or do we just have nothing left to say?"

This is a wonderfully written novel, surprisingly inspirational, and a story like none I've read before. It's a short read, and you can probably finish it fairly quickly. It was recently made into a movie, but I haven't seen it. I was so impressed by the book, however, that I really want to see the movie, just to see if it does the book justice. 

I'd highly recommend this book!!
You can buy it here.

P.S. Another awesome book that was recently made into a movie is Stephenie Meyer's The Host. Don't discount this book just because she wrote Twilight... it's a completely different story, written more for the adult crowd. An excellent book! Read it before you see the movie!!

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