Author: Isaac Marion
Pages: Hardback 239
Opening Lines: I am dead, but it's not so bad. I've learned to live with it."
"R is a young man with an existential crisis—he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has not memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
"After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the dreary and pray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R but also his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless word."
Thoughts: While I love the nitty-gritty zombie novel with people trying to survive the reanimated corpse that plague the world, I also enjoy reading a book that makes a zombie a sympathetic character. It is easier to see the zombie as abject and pull away from it. The zombie forces us to look at our most basic level in an extremely personal way. It is easy for us to push the id down and block it out. It is easier to look at it and kill it rather than dealing with it. This book is able to show the evils on both sides—man trying to kill that which is too real and the zombie trying to distance themselves from their perceived evil.
This book follows R. While we wouldn't equate zombies with actual life and focused thought. However, R is deep and thoughtful. Even though his language skills have been reduced to one or two syllable words, he is able to look at his life and think about it. In addition, on his outings into the city to look for food, he brings back souvenirs of the Fleshies. He loves to sit in his home and listen to Frank Sinatra records. Through the brains that he eats, he is able to take part in the life of his victim. All of their memories fill him and become a pseudo movie picture of a life he has forgotten.
During hunting excursion, they happen upon a group of people in an apartment building. When R eats the brains of their leader, he is skyrocketed into the memories and life of Perry. Through those memories, he falls in love with Julie. He decides to save her, cover her with zombie-goo, and bring her back to his home at the airport. Realizing that she cannot stay there forever, he goes on an adventure to bring her home. On this adventure he will end up finding life again.
I did not expect the outcome of this book when I read the synopsis on Amazon. I felt that the author did a good job fleshing—no pun intended—both the society of the living and dead. The concept of the Boneys and a governing force behind the dead community. Also, the fact that even though they look like stumbling, thoughtless, and hungry reanimated dead, this book shows them to be more. Further, he did a good job with group of people living in the big stadium. Both societies were written with an awesome depth and visually was amazing!
The author also did an excellent job with character development. All of the characters were different and added their own element to the story. Honestly, I felt the scenery and characters made the book.
This book was wonderful! Even though it took me awhile to get through it due to the new job, I always looked forward to reading it on my lunch break. The story is rich and skillfully written. If you're looking for another take on zombies, I would suggest this book.
Currently: Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby
Current Pages: 3960