Book+Film Review – ‘Warm Bodies’

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WARM BODIES – ISAAC MARION

Goodreads: 3.97 stars

Amazon: 4.6 stars

IMDb: 7.0 stars

My Rating: THE BOOK: 8/10   THE FILM: 6/10

R is a zombie, but he is far from dead. His body and mind are both (relatively) intact, but this leads him to question the normality of zombie life, and he makes the crucial decision to keep human Julie safe, rather than eat her brains to taste her memories.

With poignant, comic and fast-moving prose, Isaac Marion takes the reader on a faintly disturbing but enjoyable journey. As Expected, there is a lot more detail packed into the tiny novel than there is in the film, making R and his zombie friends more realistic and three dimensional characters. The similarities between zombies and humans is clear from the start, and Isaac’s writing style flows easily, making it easy to turn page after page.

Though short, the novel is filled with action. It is rather self-contained, and would do as a standalone novel, but rumours of a sequel are circulating, and Isaac Marion’s prequel to the novel has had some success.

Although rather different from the book, the film captures most of the essence of the novel. Some details are left out however, making the film seem more about romance and less about the thought-provoking questions around life and death that Marion’s novel had.

This obvious commercialization of the novel doesn’t lower the quality too much, however, as it still contains the sarcastic humor of Marion’s writing. Because of this, less feature of side characters such as M (R’s best zombie friend) and Nora (Julie’s best human friend) can be forgiven. But, a large part of Julie’s past struggles and history seemed to be forgotten – and the reason is unclear. Without revealing too much, Julie is not a conventional love interest, or main female character in the novel. She is an imperfect character; she makes mistakes, has encountered typical teenage problems, and dealt with her mother’s death in her own way. This was all erased in the film, instead replaced with a montage of dress-up with R. She lost her humanity – ironically – in the film, and became a perfect girl, unfazed by any problems that may arise or have already occurred. It was almost as if book-Julie wasn’t good enough. This was my main problem with the film.

However, I did still enjoy it, although I definitely preferred the book, and I feel like many other readers would have too.

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