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Warm Bodies, the story recently adapted for the screen, is a novel about a young zombie, R. R is a sensitive, intelligent dead man who is one of the few zombies who can think, talk and feel empathy for those he devours. Isaac Marion, author of Warm Bodies, takes readers on a whirlwind romance taken place among the dead and introduces a softer side of the zombie genre.
Julie is the female lead whom R falls in love with. A headstrong, confident and intelligent girl, she differs from other characters in the fact that she can survive on her own. Julie isn’t afraid of a fight; While out on a hunt for food, R, along with his zombie friends, shuffle into a medical building. There they find Julie, her beau Perry and other survivors sent to get more supplies for their town. The horde busts through the doors, attack and eat whoever they catch. R catches Perry, smashes his skull open and eats his brain. As soon as the fresh lobe is being devoured, R gets taken on a ride through Perry’s memories. When a zombie eats a persons brain, they view all of that persons memories and can feel what that person felt. Eating brains is as close as R gets to dreaming. Once he awakes from his euphoric delight, he hears Julie screaming and comes to her rescue by putting his own blood on her to distract his fellow zombies. This scene paves the way for their romance and the core of Isaac Marion’s story.
Toonari Post was able to interview Isaac Marion about his hit novel and incidentally gained some knowledge of his masterpiece.
Toonari Post (TP): What inspired you to write Warm Bodies?
Isaac Marion (IM): I’ve always enjoyed writing stories from the perspectives of people and things outside the normal human experience. It allows you to examine life from new angles and find unexpected insights. Looking at life through the eyes of a dead man provided a really interesting outsider perspective and led into some surprisingly rich thematic territory. Not to mention some nasty jokes.
TP: How did you come up with the characters?
IM: All my characters are bits and pieces of myself and other people I know, relationships I’ve had or observed. I don’t like stories that use characters purely as symbols or mouthpieces for the author. I try to make my characters feel like real people that exist and have lives before and after their time in my book.
TP: Have you seen the movie? If so, does it live up to your expectations?
IM: It went quite a bit beyond my expectations, actually. It’s different from the book, of course, has a lighter tone and a few differences in plot and character, but overall it’s surprisingly faithful. There are so many things that can go wrong in an adaptation, especially an adaptation of a relatively unknown novel, so the fact that it’s as faithful as it is and that it works on its own terms as a well-made and entertaining movie was a huge relief.
TP: Many who have read your book say it changes the “zombie genre.” Do you agree with this? Do you feel like you have/will start something completely different for the genre?
IM: I can’t really see there being a lot of inspirational, character-driven zombie love stories popping up in the wake of this. It’s such a bizarre concept, how can you do it more than once?
TP: Many of your fans are wondering, will there be a sequel to the book as well as the movie?
IM: There will be a prequel novella followed by one full-blown sequel that will conclude the story. Whether either of these will be made into movies, I don’t know. I think it would be a little challenging to make what they did with the Warm Bodies movie mesh with what I’m doing in the sequel book, but they are creative people…it could happen.
If you enjoy the zombie phenomenon, you will enjoy this novel. There is gore, romance, thrill and adventure along with comedy mixed in which is worth the read. At one point you will begin to relate to R and Julie’s romance and critiques of the new world. Isaac Marion is a brilliant author who has inspired the minds of many with this wonderful novel. Summit Entertainment is behind the movie based on the novel, which hits theaters February 1st, 2013, starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer.
Readers: read the novel and watch the movie when it hits theaters, you will be glad you did.
Image Courtesy : Warm Bodies