Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion (2009) K

Reviewer: Kakaner
Date Read: 3.15.09
Book From: Personal Collection

A zombie in a post-apocalyptic desolate landscape befriends a rare living girl and finds himself being transformed by his relationship with her. An extension of a short story by the same author: I am a Zombie Filled with Love.

This was… sadly underwhelming and disappointing given Marion’s previous works. I was initially very excited to read this because 1) ZOMBIE FICTION MOG! and 2) the short story was pretty amazing. The first chapter opens up with the original short story, a very poignant 1st person zombie narrative describing the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the narrator during one slice of a day. There is emphasis on the zombie’s inability to think coherently, speak, or process thoughts quickly. The zombie’s outlook on the world is extremely complacent and only slightly quizzical, but it is apparent the zombie brain cannot handle being inquisitive.

In order for Marion to tell the story he wanted to tell, he had to break away from the narrative restraints he set up in the short story by giving his narrator a larger capacity for thought and purpose. However, the result was a rather obvious discontinuity between the first chapter and the next couple chapters in narration, and the subsequent abrupt change in atmosphere and storytelling wasn’t handled very well. Overall, the characters and story were rather predictable, and as ashamed as I am to say this, the story was just cheesy. All of Marion’s works are very romantic, and usually he manages to either avoid cheesiness or fully embrace it and turn it into something special. I lost interest about halfway through Warm Bodies, frustrated by the narrative inconsistencies and the plot.

Although The Inside wasn’t perfect, I think it suited Marion’s style and storytelling better. There was a lot more confidence, atmosphere, and passion in that novel. I guess Warm Bodies still makes for an interesting casual read because it is still zombie fiction for once NOT presented in graphic novel form.

Go to:
Warm Bodies (2009) [E]
Isaac Marion
Some words (and exploding high-fives) with Isaac Marion

2 thoughts on “Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion (2009) K”

  1. umm the book was amazing..kids were talking about it in my school for liek 2 months. all passed around by ONE book. suck a dick. maybe its not like a five star novel. but its an amazing story. wel liked it

  2. Dude, no need to be so hostile. It may have escaped your notice, but 1. nobody is obligated to agree with the opinions of Everybody Else, and 2. we’re both extremely vocal fans of Isaac Marion, and because we know the quality of his other work, we thought that while Warm Bodies is indeed a great story, it could also have been tightened up in a lot of respects. Marion is actually publishing a significantly revised edition soon (and in the mainstream press), so we’re not the only people who thought so, either.

    That’s awesome that Warm Bodies was passed around your school – maybe you should email Marion and tell him that as a note of encouragement and appreciation, instead of attacking reviewers who have been working to promote his writing. (You may be interested in seeing the interview we did with him here.) Just a thought.

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