Author: Isaac Marion
Publisher: Emily Besler Books/Atria (2011)
R is a twenty something year old zombie. He wears a button down shirt, slacks, and a red tie. He even thinks and talks! His friend, M, is schlubby and talks too. He even makes jokes! These are not the zombies we are used to reading about. R and M live (or should I say loiter) around an airport in an unknown city. R collects human objects (like Ariel’s treasure cove) in a 747 plane. He listens to Frank Sinatra on a record player and actually sings along to the music. On a mundane trip to find food in the “city,” R meets and rescues Julie after ending Perry, Julie’s boyfriend’s life. What occurs afterwards changes the zombies as they know it.
I picked this up after going out and watching the movie with Nicholas Hoult and Dave Franco. The movie is very much catered to teenagers and young twenty something year olds, especially with the snarky dialogue, the vibrant colors and the good-looking actors. As for the novel, R is no different than the 20-30 something year old bracket except he’s dead. He starts to feel, think, remember, seek out for change, and he also has those zombie urges. In the movie, his zombie-ness is pretty much castrated to steer this story more about the romance between R and Julie. The romance in the book is also played up but the change in zombies and what the world looks like now is also heavily explored in the book. Additionally, there was really no “Big Bad” in this book. The Boneys had a huge role in the movie version but a small chunk in the book. Again, different mediums and different audiences.
I’d say, both variations of this story in the two mediums complement each other nicely. I was taken aback by how bleak R was in the book. He was a bright and witty teenager in the movie versus the down and out adult in the novel. Overall, I would recommend to zombie and romance lovers alike! There’s something in this book for everyone!