4.14.2010

Delicious. My review of: BRAINS: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker

Ok, first, the good stuff. What I liked about Brains: A Zombie Memoirby Robin Becker. When I try to think of what Brains reminds me of the most, I'd have to say the Marvel Zombies series (started by the infamous Robert Kirkman). The idea that some of the mutants in that story retain levels of sentience after "turning" immediately came to mind when I started to read the story of this unfortunate professor who was unable to escape the zombie apocalypse.



What Becker does is lead you on the shambling path of said zombie as he gathers like-minded, sort of, zombie crew, creating a party intent on reaching a goal--aside from the all-consuming goal of eating brains of course. At every turn humans are consumed, the remaining military appear, guns blazing, and we are witness to the desperation of this particularly undead situation.

My pet peeves. I don't mind when an author spews forth pop culture jargon in an endless zombie-like stream. In fact, I like it. And Becker does a good job of that, cracking jokes, cramming in that needless Trivia Pursuit-like knowledge at every turn. This style of writing, in turn, was reminiscent of the twisted novel by none other then Penn Jilette, Sock.

What I didn't love so much, was the amount of social commentary. Slipping in bits of political opinion is one thing, but it felt at times like the author talking and not so much this character, and when this is noticeable, that means it's a bit too much for me. This is of course, my opinion, that it is a fine line between subtle social commentary or long-winded pontificating.

And yet, I really enjoyed reading this novel. Go figure. The author was able to weave a fun and desperate plot of this undead academic, trying to hold onto the shreds of memory and humanity, and attempt to reach the originator, the doctor who unleashed the plague in the first place, in a feeble hope that he can undo the mayhem.



At many times I felt bad for the still-human characters that I met along the way, knowing that they were either lunch or about to be turned. Only one of those two zombie fates awaited the poor human survivors. There was a dark dystopian streak running through this novel, like an inescapable zombie horde, there at every turn.


I think if you're looking for a fun zombie read, Brains is worth the time. You may find the author's writing style as witty as I did even with all the yucky bits thrown in.

Disclosure: Please note that I received an advance reader copy (ARC) from the publisher for review purposes. I was not forced to eat brains at any time during this reading although the urge occurred to me once or twice.

1 comment:

Kerry said...

The wealth of zombie literature grows! Thanks for sharing the review.