R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, noidentity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.
I had originally purchased this book thinking my students would enjoy it. I teach the seventh grade. However, this book is most definitely not appropriate for students or younger readers. Despite some reviews I’ve seen, it’s not for young adults. I also should state that I should not have purchased any books that day, and I limited myself to just the one, but it was well worth the purchase and it will be reread.
I did enjoy reading the novel. In fact, I fell in love with the zombie, R. This is the second zombie novel I’ve read for adults, and I enjoyed the perspective of the zombie. It’s very different from other zombie related novels, and for that I was grateful.
The change R makes as he starts to regain his humanity is fascinating. I enjoyed the world Marion built, and how the world of the zombies mirrored the world of the humans. And while R regains his humanity, Julie’s father loses his. It makes the reader begin to question what exactly makes one human, and what makes one a monster.
I did see the film (more on that in another post) and it is very different from the book.
Fans of the novel Breathers by S.G. Browne should love this novel. It is available in multiple formats at bookstores everywhere, including Amazon.