Book: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Warm Bodies is the debut novel by Isaac Marion. Originally, the book started out as a seven page short story story entitled I am a Zombie Filled With Love, which proved very popular online and was developed into a fully fledged novel. Warm Bodies is set in a post apocalyptic future where the world has suffered not just a zombie apocalypse but societal and political collapse, natural disasters and major flooding of the coastal cities, presumably caused by climate change. The zombies are just the icing on the cake after much of the word has already collapsed, rather than the major cause of it.
Most of the Living survivors now live in fortified sports stadiums where thousands of people are crammed into small spaces in makeshift buildings. The stadiums provide a secure place to grow food, although much of the day to day diet comes from "Carbtein." "R" (all he can remember of his name is what he thinks is its first letter) is one of the Dead "living" in an abandoned airport with many other zombies including his best friend "M." Whilst on a journey into the nearby city to find food - the Living - R meets Julie Grigio, a Living survivor and, instead of eating her as he would normally do, R decides to protect her and takes her home. R is different from most of the rest of the Dead; he wants something but he isn't sure what it is.
Warm Bodies was made into a film and, although much of the essence of the story and quite a bit of the dialogue, is essentially identical the book is quite a bit darker and not as humorous as the film. There is some humour, but it isn't as overt - much of the humour in the film version came from R's internal monologue. R's background, such as was guessed at by him in the book, was also changed in the film and, as is fairly common in cinematic adaptations, a fair bit of story and some characters have been cut out to make it shorter.
The Dead in the book are even less like normal brain eating zombies than in the film. Although they still eat brains; it is, after all, the best part. The Dead often mimic, badly, the habits of the Living although R is still unusual compared to the rest. The story is definitely influenced by a famous Shakespearean play. Both the book and the film are recognisably the same story, but how the story is told is handled differently, giving a completely different feel to each. Warm Bodies is definitely a different take on the zombie genre, and is worth a read just for that, although the film is quite a bit more fun.