Lollygagger’s #CBR5 Review #43: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I know it might be blasphemy to admit this on a site frequented by so many Pajibans, but here goes: I’m not really into zombies. I have no desire to watch The Walking Dead (and have muted all related hashtags on Twitter); no interest in World War Z. I did see Shawn of the Dead about two years ago and I recall laughing very loudly at Zombieland. But that’s it for me.

I say this all because the reason I ended up reading Warm Bodies is because I saw the movie. It was available on Redbox, my husband and I wanted to watch something, and we both thought we’d remembered someone saying it was cute and different from standard zombie fare. And that generic someone was correct: the movie was adorable. So adorable that we ended up watching all the extras, including one where they speak with the author of the book. If I’m remembering correctly, the book was actually written to fulfill an option placed on a short story Mr. Marion had written, and which a film director had picked up. That sounded kind of interesting, so I decided to read the book.

The book is a quick read – it’s not short, but the action moves at a nice clip. If you’re familiar with the film, you’ll recognize most of what’s in the book, although there are some differences. Based loosely on Romeo and Juliet, Warm Bodies follows the life (or “life”) of R., a zombie who has a very rich inner monologue. He lives in an airplane at the airport (flight has stopped long ago), goes out hunting with his fellow zombies, and even has a zombie wife. Until he runs into Julie and her friends, regular humans out on a scavenging mission from their home, an old sports stadium. Julie gets caught up with the zombies in R.’s hunting group, and R. saves her, taking her back with him to the airport and hiding her from the other zombies who just smell the life in her.

While the book certainly has some connection to the star-crossed lovers concept of Romeo and Juliet (I mean, how much more star-crossed can you get when one of you is, you know, dead), I enjoyed it more for its exploration of what being a zombie means. Why DO they eat brains? What happens when they do? Do they have any feelings? Can they be helped? What does that mean for the regular, living humans? As I said, I’ve never really cared for zombies once they are seen as this threat to the humans, but the back story? The view from their eyes? That’s pretty cool indeed.

Badkittyuno’s #CBR5 Review #44: Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac Marion


“I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I’m drowning in ellipses.”

I’m sure everyone has heard about Warm Bodies by now (at least the movie, if not the book) but let me add my little voice to say that this was a fun, interesting read and as a series, I hope it continues to delight.
R is not your average zombie. He eats people, but feels badly about it. He can’t remember his former life, but he longs for it: his name, his job, any kind of memory. He collects records and loves to listen to human speech. He meets a girl, Julie, when he kills and eats her boyfriend Perry. Since he ate the boyfriend’s brain, he has glimpses into Perry’s memories of Julie, and sort of falls in love with her. He “rescues” her, brings her back to his home, and becomes more and more human as he spends time with her.
The narration is this book is fantastic. In his mind, R is witty and possess a wonderfully dry humor. But when speaking, he’s limited to a few syllables at a time. This makes for an interesting contrast from his point of view, and a very funny book.

Alli’s #CBR5 Review #2 – Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion


I read Warm Bodies a while back in advance to watching the movie. At this time I am of the opinion that reading the book first is better because I think I generally find more enjoyment in a book than in a movie. Or rather maybe it seems that way because you get pleasure from a book for longer. I will admit it sometimes spoils the movie because I tend to really notice all the little things that they changed. In the case of Warm Bodies however although there were differences I appreciated them both but in different ways.

Read the rest on my blog

Sophia’s #CBR5 Review #18: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Zombies aren’t really mWarm Bodiesy thing–either in books or in movies, but if something is good and creative, I’ll wander outside of my favorite genres. I did enjoy Zombieland, after all. I’m pretty sure I first became aware of Warm Bodies (2011) by Isaac Marion through some Cannonball Reviews. They convinced me that the book was worth reading.

I really liked this one. It was well-written and original. The tone jumped between wry, black humor and the sad loneliness of isolation. I finished the book quickly, and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie.

Click here to read about my only problem with this novel.

Even Stevens’s #CBR5 review #9: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion


R is a zombie. He can’t remember his full name, what he did or who was when he was alive, or even how he died.  The only sounds he can make are grunts and groans, but inside his head is swimming with thought and emotion. Yes, he eats people, but it’s only logistical, he needs to continue existing. And what is this existence anyway? Well, he finds his reason when he and a group of other zombies attack a group of humans and he sees Julie. He helps Julie escape the ordeal alive, and helps her blend in and protects her.  He and Julie forge a strange, tentative bond that is tested once they get out into the real world.  R doesn’t want to go back to normal zombie life, and he feels like maybe, just maybe he’s learning to be human again.

I love supernatural stories, vampires, demons, ghosts, I love em all. Zombies fall under that category, but they’re toward the bottom of my list and quite frankly with zombie craze spawning a ton of books, I was a little tired out. I had seen the premise of Warm Bodies and thought “Eh, not for me. Just another attempt to wring the last idea out of a tired genre.” However, the positive buzz for this book lasted a lot longer than most others and it stayed on my radar. And then the movie came out and it looked charming and funny, so I finally broke down and read it. Sometimes, friends, I am an idiot. I was an idiot to wait that long to read this book because it is great. It was absolutely wonderful and fun to read from start to finish.

First of all, R is a very likable narrator. There is a lot of dry humor, and wry observations about human nature and not-so-human nature.  His relationship with his best friend “M” (and M himself) is probably my favorite part of the book.  The set up is a simple one, but Marion makes sly observations about our nature and how we identify ourselves and those around us through the zombie apocalypse.  There are some bittersweet moments (for instance, the thought that they may never see a plane in the sky again) that remind us that even if the story has a happy ending, there is much that has been sacrificed, many that have been lost.

There are quite a few opportunities for clichés to rear their ugly head, and indeed I often expected them, but Marion deftly steers clear of any sappiness or unnecessary theatrics.  This book is funny, thoughtful, and likeable and I found myself rooting for M and Julie the entire time.  There was a subplot with the “Boneys” that I wish had been fleshed out a bit more, but it’s really a very minor complaint about what is otherwise an excellent story. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fresh, fun take on the zombie apocalypse.

Lady Cordelia #CBR5 Review #17: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

untitledWarm Bodies the film doesn’t get released in Australia for another month (11 April), so after hearing all the online chatter, I went looking for the novel to sate my curiosity.  I now have high hopes for the film, because I really enjoyed this story.

*Some spoilers ahead*

Set in some future time after a zombie apocalypse, R is the reanimated corpse of a young man.  Unable to remember anything of his previous life, he spends his days chasing down the living for food and hanging with his pal, M.  The zombies of Warm Bodies are more than just a shuffling hunger; there is thought and desire behind what they do, especially R.  After killing and eating the brain of a boy named Perry, R is able to access all of his memories, which leads to R saving the life of Perry’s girlfriend, Julie.  After taking her back to the zombie-inhabited airport that he calls home, R and Julie begin to forge a tentative friendship.

*End spoilers*

Normally I give zombies a short shrift, as the shambling and moaning begins to wear on my nerves pretty quickly.  This story kept me entertained and I loved the blossoming relationship between Julie and R – yes, this is a romance.  I really adored R’s zombie friend M; the classic best friend character in the romance tradition.  I think this novel would appeal to many more than those who will actually read it, and I think those who dismiss it as just another addition to a tired genre of zombie stories, are not giving it the credit it deserves.

Malin’s #CBR5 Review #23: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

3.5 stars

Meet R. He’s a zombie. He can’t remember the rest of his name, or even who he used to be, but it was someone who died wearing a suit and tie. He spends his days, along with countless other zombies, shuffling along in an abandoned airport. Every so often, he and his fellow zombies will shuffle into the city to find food, eating some of the desperate survivors hiding out in boarded up buildings. They eat the flesh, but the brains are the best part, as they allow the zombies a brief moment to relive the memories of the person whose brain it is.

R is a bit different from the other zombies at the airport. He keeps collecting things he finds when they’re out hunting for food. Little trinkets he brings back to the 747 he’s made his home. He likes to listen to music. He prefers vinyl because the sound is purer. One day, when he, his friend M, and a bunch of others are out hunting for food, R eats the brain of a young man called Perry, and when M tries to kill Perry’s girlfriend Julie, R stops him. He finds himself inexplicably drawn to Julie, and takes her home with him to the airport. More on my blog.

Baxlala’s #CBR5 Review #10: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

warmYou know how sometimes you pick up a book and know you’re going to love it before you’ve even finished the first chapter?

That was Warm Bodies for me. I’ve been obsessed with zombies for as long as I’ve known what a zombie was, from “they’re coming to get you, Barbara” to rage virus infected monkeys, mostly because zombies terrify me and so I want to be as prepared as possible for the impending zombie apocalypse, meaning I will read or watch or DEVOUR (mmm, brains) anything zombie-related, out of self-preservation at the very least.

I did things in the wrong order, however, as I so often do, and saw the movie before I read the book. It’s not that I didn’t WANT to read the book first, it’s just that I’d had it reserved at the library and it didn’t come in until after I saw the movie. And, sure, LOGICALLY, I could have just put off seeing the movie until the book came in but I really wanted popcorn, you guys, I’m sorry.

The book ended up coming in the next day, and if it had only come a few days earlier, I totally would have had it finished by movie time. In the end, I don’t think it mattered much. I loved the movie, I loved the book, and the two were similar enough that I only loved the book more by a teeny tiny bit, and that’s because, in the book, I got to live inside the zombie’s head. Sure, there were voiceovers in the movie but it’s not quite the same, you know?

Warm Bodies tells the story of a young zombie named R, named so because he can’t remember his real name. He doesn’t recall how he became a zombie and he doesn’t know how long he’s been a zombie. R meets a young (and live!) woman named Julie when he and his zombie friends attack Julie’s group. R eats Julie’s boyfriend, Perry, and, upon tasting Perry’s brain, R absorbs his memories and falls in love with Julie, going to great lengths to protect her for the rest of the book.

I loved this new spin on the zombie tale, a difficult endeavor, really, in this zombie-saturated landscape. Much like Shaun of the Dead, Warm Bodies is funny, much funnier than I expected, and the people, even the zombies, feel like actual human (or, you know, human-like) people. The zombie threat is real but there’s a real heart to the story, a cold, dead, zombie heart that warms and starts beating as the story unfolds.

This isn’t the Walking Dead, so those of you who need a little hope with your apocalypse will get that. Also, I don’t know about you, but I spent most of my time reading Walking Dead wishing that I could punch most of the characters in the face. There was no problem with that in Warm Bodies, as I deeply enjoyed the characters, especially the zombies. R, though he is a zombie, has a best friend named M (played by Rob Corddry in the movie to absolute perfection), and (in the book), even has a wife and children, assigned to him by the Boneys, the longest-dead zombies who have lost all traces of humanity.

Something I loved about Warm Bodies was that the zombies, though undead and slaves to the inevitable brain-hunger, still held onto some basic human conventions, much like how the zombies in Shaun of the Dead were able to perform the same rudimentary tasks they’d done in life. The Warm Bodies zombies go to church together, have a school of sorts (how else to teach zombie children how to kill humans?), some zombies get married and are given children, and still others even attempt some undead schmexy times (you can imagine how successful that was).

R, as he spends more time with Julie (and inside Perry’s mind, which he can access by eating the bits of Perry’s brain that he keeps in his pocket, YUMMY), starts becoming less zombie-like and more human. It’s a nice thought, that should we end up lurching about, all undead-like, we could still come back from it. Nice and hopeful, just how I like it.

If there was anything missing for me, it was just that I wanted to know how the zombie apocalypse had come about this time. But I didn’t find the book lacking because it didn’t provide this information. That’s just my preference. I always want to know how it happened. Otherwise how will we prevent it?

Kira’s #CBR5 Review #4: Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion

warmbodiesAs the movie previews suggest, Warm Bodies is a remarkably similar premise: Zombie “R” spends his days meandering around an airport with his fellow undead—including best friend “M”—but during a routine search for food he stumbles across Julie, a human who we later discover just so happens to be the daughter of the military general in charge of preserving whatever semblance of humanity is left. R doesn’t fall in love with Julie so much as feel something, which, when you’re dead, is enough to provoke a bit of curiosity.  Over the course of the novel, R and Julie become friends, and through said friendship (plus all to-be-expected romancing) R finds himself becoming more and more human, a development that not only spells good things for the prospect of Julie not committing necrophilia, but also for the fate of those millions upon millions of other zombies in this post-apocalyptic world. After all, if one can start feeling again, couldn’t they all?

Although zombies are one of the happening supernatural creatures of 2013—thank you, The Walking Dead—Marion does a great job of creating a zombie world that adopts all the typical fixings of the undead, plus some extras. The zombies in Warm Bodies have the capacity for limited speech and thought; they’ve formed semi-communities whose perks include bizarre religious ceremonies and a zombie training school for undead kids. They have friendships, sort of, and get “married,” sort of. Generally speaking, they seem less removed from not only humanity, but mere human-ness, than we are perhaps used to in books/movies/TV shows of this ilk.

Overall, I really really enjoyed Warm Bodies, and am excited to see the movie (because really, who knew that weird-looking kid from About a Boy would turn out decently attractive?) As zombie stories go, it’s fun and quirky, but still speaks to that greater question that accompanies all plague or plague-esque end-of-world scenarios: Why did this happen?