Point of view from a zombie? What? POV. From a Zombie? And the zombie falls in love with a living girl? What in the hell?!
“A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel. R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.”
First let me say: I was looking over some reader reviews and I have to say at first I was kinda put off because most of them seemed to be hung up on R and Julie falling in love. I believe the word one person used was “skeeved out.” But I went ahead and found it at my local library and after reading it, I have to say to those people: get over yourself and your tunnel vision.
That being said, R is a zombie who prefers a different kind of life than the one that was forced upon him. Though he lacks memories of his life when he was alive and some of his basic functions are stunted by being the living dead, he brain functions like that of any deep thinking philosophic character. I think that’s what drew me in from page one, R’s admittance for needing something more than hunting and brains. At first he doesn’t understand the yearning in his gut, but when he eats poor Perry’s brain and gets his memories, he falls in love with Julie, the dead guy’s girlfriend. R saves Julie and through their time spent together at the zombie hive and at her home, they realize that there is more to what the world has become, that it has to get better. Right?
Isaac Marion creates not a zombie novel, but a philosophical romp down the path the of the metaphysical whose protagonist just so happens to be a zombie. I mean, what better example of the modern world? At least here in America. We are slaves to a commercialism and materialism that this country shoves down our throats each and every days. We crave it like zombies crave for brains.
Totally sorry about the soap box rant there. My bad. Back to the book.
Marion’s play of words fits the world he had created. I liked how Marion didn’t bother with back story of how zombies became zombies, because, really, we’ve heard all the stories. The how is not important, it is the characters that are crucial to this story. It’s nice to read from time to time character driven pieces. And R is the kind of character you can’t help but get behind.
The love story that developed between Julie and R I felt weren’t gross. I mean, wasn’t like they were having sex with each other. They were both searching for something and they ended up finding each other. Julie found someone she could really talk to and be honest with. R found someone who saw more than a zombie. And aren’t we all just trying to connect in this life? I think that’s what Marion was doing with Julie and R. Two complete and total opposites, and yet, they found each other and what was what they needed to move on and live.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Parts were a little slow and I felt that Marion might have made Julie more of a bitch than need me. But I enjoyed turning the pages and reading about R’s self discovery through eating pieces of Perry’s brain. And then I got to the end, and there I simply said, “what the hell is this shit?” Let me explain this statement. The whole book is great combination of action and philosophy of what it means to be alive. Then you get to the end and it’s a slap in the face of supernatural mysticism. The only mention of mystical forces through out the entire book is from a group of zombies that are called Boneys. Hence there name, there is not much left to them but they manage to walk around. So when R and Julie kiss, there is this weird surge of energy exchanged between them and then the Boneys are powerless now? What? I don’t know about you, but to me it seems like Marion might have written himself into some corner. I felt the ending was contrived and a little forces, like maybe it wasn’t the real ending? It was a little too convenient and frou frou happy trails for me.
Maybe I’ve been made jaded by reading just one too many zombie books where it doesn’t go so well…
But I know love and I know what it means to make a deep, spiritual connection with someone. So good job, Isaac Marion. Too bad you're letting Hollywood turn your book into a movie...Le Sigh...