Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Warm Bodies

Zombies have always been there but I've rarely taken notice of them. Aside from Billy in Hocus Pocus, as a child I didn't have much interest in stories about zombies. I was more interested in witches and vampires and zombies were kind of gross. The other two? They had some glamour. Zombies? They were rotting bodies and they ate brains. So they fell under my radar until the past year where I began to jump into the cultural obsession of zombies. The Walking Dead I watch with rapt attention, Left 4 Dead is the first video game I've ever played (aside from The Lion King on SEGA back when I was about 8), and bit by bit, I became familiar with the classic zombie movies (although I'm sure there are still many for me to see). 

When the trailer for Warm Bodies began to circulate it grabbed my attention. I'm certainly not one for comedies but I found the trailer to be amusing and, well, if something immediately grabs my attention like that then I think "it must be worth noting." Then, to my surprise, I discovered it was based on a book. I poked around the description on Goodreads and finally took the plunge, getting the book for my Kindle and settling down for a read.

I wasn't sure how I'd respond to the book -- this being my first zombie story I've ever read -- and I have to say that my opinion may be either really insightful for other people who are just getting into zombies or really off for those who have had a long standing love affair with the undead. But here it goes:

I really enjoyed the book and I flew through it. It was a quick, easy, enjoyable read that sucked me out of the stressors of life as books are (in my opinion) meant to do.

We are introduced to R, a zombie who cannot even remember his name although that he assumes it started with an R, that's what he goes by anyway. The first part of the book is wonderfully written. The day to day meanderings of a zombie are given in good detail but not to the point of it becoming boredom. Are these zombies much like others? I'm not entirely sure. If I were to say there was any issue with this book it would be that at the very beginning R's thoughts were a little too well created and intelligent. Maybe this is the slight failure of this book being from R's point of view as I do not know how the book would have been half as good if they followed the mental capacity of a zombie as it progressed to becoming more "human" without having lost the detail that's in the first part... and vice versa. If it was from another character's point of view I feel a lot of the details in R's mind would have been lost.

If you're one for easy humor and you find it simple to laugh over literature, you may find many moments in this book to be amusing. I, for one, am very hard to get to laugh while reading a book. It means nothing towards the author! The book may be hilarious! And I'll note, yes, this is funny, but that's as far as the thought goes. It is so rare for me to literally laugh out loud while reading and there were points where I thought, "Wow this is funny" so I suspect people who find laughter more easily would be amused by parts in this novel.

This book is, in fact, a love story but it's not Twilight as some people may think. It takes an awfully long time before R even meets the love interest -- Julie -- as he ends up eating her boyfriend's brain and reliving his memories.

An issue I had with this portion of the book was how easily R was forgiven for killing Julie's boyfriend. He is repeatedly told it was, more or less, okay and I feel that reaction is a bit fake. There is not struggle of emotions -- it's just cool, okay, no problem and I feel that people aren't good enough to simply shrug off a death like that. The reasoning behind it is that it was within R's nature to kill the man, and many others, because the plague that has made people into zombies made them desire human flesh and brains. And yet I feel that point would have been better accepted and the emotion more believable if Julie seemed to struggle with sadness and mourning and possibly some hatred before getting to the the point of "It wasn't you who killed him, it was the disease."

There is a lot of political and worldly drama that occurs in the later half of the book which was quite interesting but I wish that the author had given more detail on it all. Then again, seeing that the book was from R's POV it makes it hard for him to have insight on how humans have been living since he isn't particularly human himself.

So all in all, the biggest issue I've found with the book is that with it being from R's POV you miss out on some detail that could have been provided and yet, had the book been from someone else's POV (say, Julie) you would have missed out on the fantastic detail of life as a zombie.

Apparently there is a second Warm Bodies that is being written. I would take a look at it but make no promises that I would read it. My interest would definitely spike if the POV was from another character's and if there is more of an explanation for why certain events take place, the history of the zombies taking over is explained, and more insight on how humans have been managing is given.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment!