Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

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Truth to be told. I am surprised when I found this book is labelled under literary fiction. Yes, it is. And while reading it, I understand why.

Warm Bodies is about R, a zombie in a world where a plague turn almost all the population into living dead. Trapped in his boring life of talking to his friend M, trying to be meaningful by marrying another girl and adopting several zombie kids, he went into spiralling motions of zombie mundaneness and questioning life after death itself. Occasionally he would give more commentary on his mundane life of hunting the living for their brains (because it gave them brief flashes of the living memory which is addicting and palatable), until he and his raiding party drop by into a group of living and while killing and eating a guy’s brain, he began to have vision of the guy’s love for a girl who was in the same room as his. Seeing the girl through the haze and the feelings, he decided to save her life.

First of all, zombies isn’t one of my favourite genre monster at all. No matter how many tv shows that glorify blowing their brains, I just don’t. Corpses are ice cold and scary and creepy. Why would I want to enjoy that? And reading this book, it doesn’t make me all warm and cuddly about zombies nor change my stagnant perception on them. So thats the minus there. Even if the zombism is a metaphor, its still dull and predictable metaphor.

Secondly, although I enjoyed Julie’s banters, I just felt her being the most unrealistic character in the bunch. I suppose, since the author is trying to be subtle about the whole Romeo and Juliet thing, he just caught me off guard with the whole marriage scene that R had in the first quarter of the book. Yeah, your zombie bf is a married guy, doh. Not to mention, in a world where zombies and uberzombies kills human for brains, Julie had it pretty easy into becoming completely enraptured by R. I know there should be a necrophilia element *obviously* but its just… not romantic. <spoiler>R just fell in love with Julie because by eating Perry’s brain, Perry himself got embedded in R. So in a sense, Julie fell in love with her dead boyfriend again.</spoiler>

Frankly, I have a moderate sense of humor but this book, is not funny at all. Its not really that surprising since I hated the whole Romantic Horror thing that Malaysian cinema seems to think the whole country like it. Even the movie itself was average and very predictable, so in some sense, I like book’s R’s narrating than Jennifer Lawrence’s ex’s take on the character. The book’s R is more poignant and it doesn’t make you feel the story’s weakness as a whole(particularly the pointless worldbuilding over the first person character drivel). I guess, the only person I like was M and Nora (which supposedly to be the next couple in the next book… see predictable)

And last but not least…. literary fiction? Yes, its original literary zombie fiction but it is a fail as a UF and almost pulpy if not some flair with the prose. Admittedly, I enjoy Marion’s prose but it doesn’t change the fact that this story is very common and predictable to the end.

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