I just finished the advanced copy of Isaac Marion’s book Warm Bodies. It’s taken me a while, but it does have the advantage over the other books I’ve been “reading” lately: I’ve actually finished it. I’ve been in anthology mode lately; I pick up books and put them down after a few pages. Perhaps I read a few pages more later, days, weeks later, perhaps not. I haven’t felt very relaxed (even on vacation) and nothing but the drowning sensations of television has been able to transport my mind elsewhere.
I must say I enjoyed reading Warm Bodies. The book was thrust upon me with a “here, you like zombies,” nevermind the distain with which I noticed Stephenie Meyer blurbed twice on the ARC. It’s not a teen book. Audrey Niffenegger is also blurbed on the back, which I found a truly odd pairing. (Two more authors are actually blurbed on the cover as well, which is why I really had no idea what the book was about when I sat down with it. There is a description, but the mix of authors was just too diverse.)
Warm Bodies was not, for me, about getting to the end of the book. I preferred the sights along the way. I adored the zombie wedding performed by the Boneys. I loved R’s kids in the back of the Mercedes, one of them confused as to why he mustn’t bite Julie. I loved that R “lived” in a jumbo jet at the airport with his records. I thought it was undeniably tragic how the walking dead lost that which is most fundamental, their names.
The point of view from R, our zombie hero, and the narration that is almost entirely in his head due to his lack of ability to speak properly anymore, reminds me of a book called Breathers by S. G. Browne. It’s also a love story, but a bit more biting and humorous. (I haven’t looked at venison the same way since, much like my best friend’s “shit sack” incident.)
The desolate landscape reminds me of Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum, which can be taken as funny/quirky/odd, or as a short novel of the change into a zombie told in ancient poetic form. I put it somewhere between the two, culminating in my favorite haiku, near the end:
Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains,
Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains,
Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains.
which is the epitome of simplicity, and yet clearly all that would be going through a zombie’s head.
Last to add, I noticed this forthcoming gem in the listings the other day. Pat the Zombie. Now I was a huge fan of Pat the Bunny as a child. I used to read it to my younger brother because he could participate in the touch-and-feel portions of the book. I liked the perfumey scent of mommy, daddy’s scratchy face, and Judy’s little book. (See, we all start out relatively normal.)
Pat the Zombie promises to crush all our lovely memories. Also, it should be noted that they authors have a delightful little book trailer up at their website. I think I’m going to go watch it again.