Gunne's Reviews > Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
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Jan 22, 2011

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bookshelves: shelved, young-adult-fiction
Read from April 18 to 19, 2012

Warm Bodies is a bit of a novelty, I think, largely because it's a zombie story told from the point of view of a zombie, who, unlike the other zombies both in this universe and other zombie novels in general, is sentient. I mean, it's not entirely fair to have vampires hog all that undead romantic glory and let the zombies be second-class citizens and/or bullet fodder.

I particularly enjoyed how... dead Marion described his zombies, like constant reminders that if you, the reader, should end up liking any one of them, then you're safely the opposite of shallow. We're not talking pale smooth skin, cool, seductive gazes, auras of danger, and sexy fangs here. His zombies are pale, half rotted, have blank stares, yellowed teeth, blackened sores, are missing chunks, and covered in blood and pus. Yet by some miracle, (view spoiler) I found myself rooting for R and his zombie horde, screaming silent NOOOOs whenever they're off pursuing some goal at the risk of fatal, final headshot wounds. This is Marion's strength - the humanity, both ugly and beautiful, of his characters. His prose is good as well - lots of irony and analogy and references to dead stuff, if you're morbid like me. It is strangely, darkly contemplative, harsh, yet hopeful and gentle - the first beam of that light at the end of some eternal darkness. At times I even felt like the book was making some subtle reference or observation of something, that Warm Bodies isn't at all about zombies (The Boneys! I'm sure they are metaphorical of something!). Some reviews have dismissed this to be an attempt to romanticise zombies, to be different, and although I agree somewhat, I can't help but shake off the feeling that there's something more. (view spoiler)

My only complaints are the blurring of minds between R and Perry, and the tame/rushed/fast forwarded ending. This might just be a personal preference, but I like reading events as they're happening, not aftermaths. (view spoiler) As for the weird dream/not-dream sequences, I can't say I'm fond of overly complicated mindjacks and quasi-realities. At least not when I'm lost as to who's saying or dreaming what.
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Joanna Hoong YES. you describe it well.


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