Warm Bodies

I read the book. I loved the book. I saw the film. I sort of liked the film.

I’m terrible when I see the film of a book I’ve read. I constantly compare it to the book and point out all the bits the film has missed out or changed. Yeah, don’t come and see a film with me if you know I’ve read the book 🙂

The main things for me that are not quite right in the film are:

– R was wearing a suit and tie. He liked the plane because when he was alive he’d clearly spent a lot of time there. Also his pre-apocalyspe suit and tie made him stand out when he went to see Julie. Obviously the dirty hoodie and the hint at being jobless fit more with the slacker teenage audience…

– No time was spent exploring the zombie culture. The bonies had much more depth and held the zombies in fear in the book. I guess R having a zombie wife and kids doesn’t fit with the demographics for the film audience?

– The zombies were just too ‘fresh’ and alive looking. It means that you really don’t see much of a transformation on-screen for when they start the change. Even when the make up is put on R, he doesn’t really look that much different.

– The ending. All those zombies and humans living and learning together? I guess they needed a happy ending with closure?

Warm Bodies - RAs a standalone film though it wasn’t bad. A bit too soft-soaped romantic Romeo and Juliette styled for me though. I don’t like chick flicks though. I though Nick Hoult was fantastic as R. He really raised the film for me. His mannerisms and facial expressions just added the right touch of quirky comedy to the film.

The bonies were pretty good although they did remind me quite a bit of the skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts!

All in all not too bad, if you forget about the book…

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Last HopeI came across this as it was posted up on a Facebook page I like as being free for a few days. When I read the blurb for it I though it looked OK so I’d give it a shot.

The outcome? I really enjoyed it!

It’s one of those books that are a bit like a juggernaut and they rush you along for the ride. You get a few minuets here and there to catch your breath and then it’s off again. It’s a bit like reading a Simon Kernick book or watching a Die Hard film. You just have to jump on for the ride and hang on tight.

Anyway, on to the story itself. Budd Ashby is an American living in the UK. He’s a pilot, ferrying people and packages around for a big company. He drops off a scientist and as it’s an overnight job he gets to stop in London;s most exclusives and expensive hotel. It’s there he hooks up with a French pop star and they wake up to all the power in the hotel being off, and then realise it looks like the whole of London. When they eventually work their way down the hotel they realise there are a lot of dead bodies too. Finally they meet up with some survivors, a mix of staff and guests, all trying to work out what’s happening. That’s when things really take a turn for the worse. The dead bodies start to rise and attack the living.

It’s typical zombie stuff here. The living try to escape and fight off zombies and pick up other survivors on the way, and of course lose a few of the living to the walking dead.

I really like Budd. He’s an honest character, with plenty of background and flaws, and certainly doesn;t want to be the hero. He’s more than happy to let others take the lead. His relationship with the other character, especially Juliette, the French pop star. Some of the other characters didn’t build too well and I found myself getting them a little mixed up from time to time., but I prefered the fast-moving story to having lots of slowing downs explaining characters in more detail.

It’s pretty much written in the 3rd person, with the odd interjection here and there from Budd with his thoughts at the time. I’ve got to say that I did actually quite like the fact that he would sooner turn tail and run!

The only niggle I had was with the character from Yorkshire. All his dialogue was with the ‘the’ being replaced by ‘t’. Now coming from North Nottinghamshire myself I know that very often ‘the’ is completely missed from a sentence or sounds like it’s been shortened th ‘t’. But not every ‘the’. I found it irritating. I know Juliette was French and she used the title ‘monsieur’ all the time but her words weren’t chopped around to sound French. Likewise with Budd – clearly American from his phrasing and choice of words. Small niggle I know…

The story kept me gripped the whole time and I found myself constantly thinking “I’ll just read to the end of this chapter” and found that I still couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for book 2!

Tankbread by Paul ManneringThis is an interesting take on the usual zombie tale. It takes place 10 years after humanity has lost the war against the zombie hoards. It also takes place in Australia, which makes it feel different.

What makes it an interesting take is that living people are kind of coexisting with the undead. It’s clearly an uneasy existence as many of the zombies are intelligent and they are ruling the roost. They are called EVOLS, which stands for Extremely Violent Lucid Organisms. In the surviving remnants of humanity are a bunch of geeks and they have stuck a deal with the intelligent zombies to feed them cloned humans – tankbread.

Our main character is a courier and is asked by the local head honcho zombie to go to the Sydney Opera house to pick up something from the geeks holed up in there producing tankbread.  Things start to go wrong when he gets there ans he ends up escaping with Else, who’s a clone.

The Story then follows them across a dystopian Australia, complete with pocket of the living who are worse than the undead.

It’s written int he first person and for me it was a little but like Sam Spade crossed with Mad Max. A mix that sort of worked. The added into the mix is Else, who is basically like a newborn and her growing knowledge is written very well.

The story moved fast, with lots of characters being introduced and lots of issues with the living and the zombie hoards. The first paragraph of the book will completely grab you – ‘The Asian across the table from me is tearing great gobs of warm flesh from his girlfriend’s neck. Tendons and tissue hang from his mouth in bloody spaghetti strands while his jaw works tirelessly to consume. He chews her like gum.’

The only issue with the book is the end. It was a bit of an out of character ‘monster’ end. It was a 5 star start and middle, but a 3 star ending for me.

I will keep a look out for the author though. He’s self-published, and I really enjoyed his writing and his characterisation.

The countdown to the Walking Dead is getting closer and closer and it seems like leaks about what the new episodes with brings are really starting to spread. Some sound pretty good, but to be honest some that I’ve seen are just the same shots from the end of the last episode!

Anyway, here are the ones that I’ve found so far – sorry if some of you have already seen these, but I’m in the UK and we don’t get these on our telly!

Here’s the promo for the Suicide King

I love this ad – maybe because it has Darryl in it –

How about this clever little site? Upload a piccie of yourself and it will turn you into a walker – The Walking Dead Yourself

There are some fab spoilers here.

What do you think will happen?

Who’s going to be the shock death for the second half of the season?

How will the war go?

Don’t forget, you can follow Quirky Zombie on Facebook too!

Zombie valentine

Posted: February 1, 2013 in Zombie musing

Well as we all know February is going to be a busy month. Not only does the Walking Dead start back up but also Warm Bodies is released in UK cinemas. Apparently it’s also something called Valentine’s Day?

Well I guess you could combine the two, especially if your other half is a zombie fanatic?

There are lots of cool zombie Valentine’s card out there. How about these for a starter?

There’s also a raft of Walking Dead images to go along with the Valentine’s theme. Below area  few that I particularly liked!

If you’re looking for quirky zombie gifts to give for Valentine’s day, they just pop over the Etsy and type in ‘zombie valentine’. You’ll be surprised how many things pop up. There’s some really unusual items there…. Here’s a zombie valentine treasury list I compiled about a week ago – Zombie Valentine Treasury List

Let me know if you find any quirky zombie gifts and cards!

Sanctuary: Surviving the Zombie ApocalypseThis is just the sort of book that you might ignore if you saw it on Amazon as the cover is very dull. Sorry here to the author, but it’s not very appealing. Then again, never judge a book by its cover, you have to read the reviews.

Well I had a look through the reviews and they were very balanced and very good. The reviewers were right – this is a right gem of a story.

Basically, it’s a pretty grim post-apocalyptic story. It starts with an event in the early hours of the morning where 25% of the world’s population drop dead. Bad enough as a start you might think, but then 7 minutes later they reanimate and are hungry. So many of the remaining 75% of the world’s population died, and then reanimated,  leaning over their family, friends and loved ones just as they reanimated. This meant that very quickly,  without warning, and whilst some of the world slept, civilisation crumbled.

By the end of the first day, the streets are filled with shambling corpses, looking to feed. This is the story of Jacob and the ramshackle mix of people he meets and rescues along his quest for safety.

There’s no science and no explanation of what has happened, but that really doesn’t matter in this story. There’s the usual mix of characters for such a zombie book but most of them are really well-written and very believable. It’s written in the first person by Jacob, but there are little interludes in-between the chapters with back stories for other characters. I really liked this approach and it didn’t detract from the storyline at all.

There are also a few twists and turns in the book. I found the banter between the key characters to be excellent. I felt that Jacob and Briana’s relationship built really well, until suddenly marriage was talked about. This little bit just seemed a bit at odds with the characters and the story. It really is only a small niggle in the whole book though…

Definitely worth a read. I didn’t want to put it down once I started reading it. And, do you know what? I only paid £1.02 for this excellent book. What a bargain!

I’ve not been able to find out much about the author, other than he does have a collection of horror stories too.

Does anyone have any further info?

Warm BodiesThis book was on my Kindle wish list for about a year. Why you ask? Well, I liked the blurb for the storyline and though it might be a quirky take on the usual zombie storyline, but it was the bit in the blurb about it being a ‘zombie Twilight’. I don’t like Twilight…

I realised that the film of the book was coming out this year, so I thought I’d better get my skates on. Here’s the trailer for the film –

The world is now overrun with zombies and ‘R’ is one of those zombies. The zombies are a pretty mindless bunch, but ‘R’ knows he was once human and had a name but he can’t remember what it was. He knows it began with an ‘R’. The zombies just mill around all day in the airport hoard, occasionally riding the escalators when they come on or herding off to feed on the remaining humans. They follow a sort of parody of their old living lives, even creating zombie family units with the zombie children.

On one of these raids, ‘R’  eats a male human called Perry and instantly starts to get flashes of his life, including his girlfriend Julie, who us also about to be eaten. Instead of eating her, ‘R’ masks her with zombie blood and saves here, taking her back to the airport.

At the airport their relationship starts to develop, with Julia starting to trust ‘R’ and ‘R’ becoming more human-like with words and thought. It is a sort of black comedy Romeo and Juliet story. I don’t want to go into the storyline anymore in case it creates some spoilers or people.

I’ve got to admit, the thought od reading a book with a zombie as a romantic hero just seemed kind of wrong, but believe me, this story and the characters really work. I even loved the other zombies! Go with the flow and you’ll be pulled into this postapocalyptic world so easily. You won’t want to leave…