Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Pub. Date: April 26th, 2011
Page Count: 239 pages
Summary: "R" is an existentially tormented zombie shuffling through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, or the plague of the Dead—he isn't sure which. He remembers nothing from before, and although he has a deep inner life full of wonder and longing, his ability to connect with the outside world is limited to a few grunted syllables. After experiencing a young man’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice to rescue the boy’s girlfriend, beginning a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship that will transform R, his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

Review: Alright, let me start this review off by saying: I LOVE ZOMBIES, Y'ALL.

I don't know what it is about them. The idea of a zombie apocalypse has always intrigued me and although I'm sure I'd feel differently if it actually happened, zombies are just awesome. Especially the zombies in WARM BODIES. I love the title, by the way--totally works for the novel. It's not often that I find books like that.

Anyways, from the start, I loved R. He was always a little different from his fellow zombies--a little more aware, his mind always churning. And Marion's prose is absolutely beautiful, which made me love R even more. Here's a little excerpt:
I watch them disappear into the pale daylight at the end of the hall. Deep inside me, in some dark and cobwebbed chamber, I feel something twitch.
It's just kind of incredible how well-handled R's ascent back to humanity is. Zombies in this novel can talk, if only a few syllables at a time; they play at life by getting 'married' and having weird zombie sex that isn't really sex. They have 'kids', who are children who have been stunted in their zombie state, and they watch over them. Another awesome key to this world--when zombies eat brains, it's kind of like a drug to them. They relive the memories in someone's head and are them for a fraction of a second. Which is what happens when R eats Perry's brain and basically sets off a spark that transforms all the zombies forever.

(SPOILERS AHEAD, MATEYS!) I think the most awesome thing about this book is that it is not only a work of fiction, but it has a big fat metaphor wrapped around the narrative. Big fat metaphors and me usually do not mix, because I like my fiction to be all fiction-y, and when I first finished WARM BODIES, I was a tiny bit disappointed. There wasn't some simple explanation, or even a big scientific explanation, of why all the zombies transformed. It was basically the power of love. Yuck, I thought, when I was done. Really? That's all I get?

But the more I stewed in it, the more it made sense. I'll let you figure out the message of the metaphor for yourself, when you buy this awesome book, but FOR REAL. YOU MUST BUY IT. I COMMAND YOU.

Overall: I love zombies. That is all.

Overall: 4.3/5 stars

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