Who Knew Zombies Could Be Pretentious

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Isn't he the cutest zombie you've ever seen!

Isn’t he the cutest zombie you’ve ever seen!

With zombie fever still captivating the world I’ve been looking for zombie stories that are different from the classic “all we want to do is eat your brains” mindset that started the genre.  This search has led me to Brains: a Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker.  As the title suggests, this isn’t the story of a group of survivors fighting against the zombie hordes.  Quite the opposite, Brains is told from the point of view of a zombie.  Jack Barnes, the college professor turned zombie to be more specific.  After being bitten, turned, and getting through the initial hunger as a zombie, Barnes’s mind starts to work again past the simple need to fill his hunger.  He can even write; pretty impressive for a zombie right?

Robin Becker

Robin Becker

In Becker’s version of a post outbreak world, narrator Barnes isn’t the only one with super “almost human” abilities.  On his journey to meet Howard Stein, the man responsible for the outbreak, our undead protagonist meets Guts, who can actually run, Joan a nurse who is skilled at repairing rotting wounds, Annie who has some impressive quick-draw gun play, and Ros who is gifted with speech.  Together they try to find a way to survive against the humans that only seem to want to bash their heads in.

Of course that all sounds like a nice heartwarming cross-country journey in a short description, but *spoilers* this is a zombie story, there’s going to be blood.  If you don’t already know from almost every movie/book/show based in this genre there aren’t a lot of happy endings in post apocalyptic worlds and Brains is no exception.  If Becker is successful at getting you on the side of the zombies then you’re not going to be thrilled to read through the deaths of each one.


Why are you humans always trying to kill me?

Unfortunately I was completely unmoved by the deaths because I found it too difficult to get on the narrator’s side.  Not because he was a zombie, that’s actually why I picked up the book in the first place, I thought I’d be in for a tortured but still funny story that made me think, “damn, why are you humans being such jerks?” But it turns out that Jack Barnes is just as pretentious a zombie as he was a human. And I’m sure you know how difficult it is to root for a narrator when you don’t like them from the beginning of the story.  As much as I wanted to give Becker kudos for the idea of flipping the genre on its side and exploring it from a new perspective, I just can’t say that I enjoyed this one.  If you don’t think you’d mind reading from the point of view of a zombie that looks down on his fellow creatures, and you’re the type of person that has to see for him or herself, than I’m sure it won’t take you long to get through the book: it closes at a little under 200 pages.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you if you don’t fall in love with it either.

photoKeep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

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1 Comment

  1. Anni3

     /  May 4, 2013

    Ooh tell me more about this in person, still sounds interesting


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