I just finished reading Warm Bodies, the zombie novel by Issac Marion. A movie based on the book will open in theatres on February 1.
I have to say I enjoyed the novel, which is saying a lot because I don’t usually like to read zombie novels or watch zombie movies or TV. I’m probably totally uncool because I haven’t the seen the zombie apocalypse series, The Walking Dead.
Why? It’s pretty simple: zombie media tends to be so hopeless. Society as we know it collapses, the majority of the world’s population dies off and the remaining humans try to fend for themselves and try not to get infected by the zombies that roam the landscape. Movies show emptied cities and signs of the normal world slowing ebbing away. It’s disturbing enough to see the destruction of modern society, but it downright maddening to have to read about a world with no sense of hope for a better tomorrow.
Warm Bodies is different. It starts with the same premise of the “end of the world” but then it goes in a different direction. For one thing, the main character, a zombie named “R” still is capable of thought. We hear his thoughts as he trudges through his home, an abandoned airport. He ends up meeting a live human girl named Julie and from there we see R changing as he interacts with Julie and her friend Nora.
What’s different about this zombie is that it is a novel of hope. I won’t tell you the whole story, but the drive and desire for a better world is a theme throughout the novel. The ending isn’t a happy ending, but it is a hopeful ending, the belief, the faith that the earth will come back to life.
I’m still mulling over the book, but I think there are a lot of spiritual themes taking place in the novel. The aforementioned hope, resurrection and redemption are all found throughout the novel.
I’ve been fascinated by the intersection of the current fascination with all things paranormal and faith. As I’ve said before, one my favorite television series is the US version of Being Human. Do tales about zombies or vampires or werewolves have anything to say about the human condition and how God interacts with us?
I’m giving that some thought. I’ll let you know what I come up with. In the meantime, get the book and take it in for yourself.