Memory did not fail me. This novel is just as clever and self-questioning as I remember.
A lot of today's literature and film allude to the concept of the total annihilation of the human race and what becomes of this earth thereafter. Those theories, played out in whatever medium, always kind of end up looking and sounding the same; few of them really ever stick out and impress me. Warm Bodies is one of those few.
The way Marion composes this story, the way he uses his words to create the wonderful characters in this world: can you say 'captivating'? because that's exactly what it is when summed up into one word. He speaks in poetry, metaphors and similes and whatnot, which is always a plus for me. This isn't just a typical book about life after most of human civilization has been whipped out, it's more about searching for a way to hold on and push through the darkness that the world has become.
The unlikely hero of this book, R, is a zombie that is a little different than the rest. He doesn't just go about his day grunting, groaning, and thinking about eating human flesh. No. The wheels in his not-so-fresh mind turn; he thinks, wonders, plans for a better future, whatever that may mean.
“In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses.”
R meets Julie and kidnaps her after eating her estranged boyfriend, Perry. Tasting Perry's brain gave R the capabilities to go into his memories and relive them as if he was Perry. Whether it is a chemical reaction that allows R to "speak" to Perry or if it's something bigger is never clear; but whatever it is allowed R to be able to focus more on fixing the world so that both the Dead and the Living can be free to coexist peacefully in the near future. Julie becomes a big part of this story. You can even say that it is because of her that R could no longer simply be described as a "zombie". He morphed into so much more than that. He turned into the hope that both the Dead and the Living did not know they were looking for.
“There's no benchmark for how life's "supposed" to happen. There is no ideal world for you to wait around for. The world is always just what it is now, it's up to you how you respond to it.”
I can't stress enough how much I love this work. It forces me to think about how I can change things, small things/big things, in the society that we have come to live in so that the world can ultimately be a better place for future generations.
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