Book Log #47: Brains: A Zombie Memoir, by Robin Becker

If you love zombie novels, and you’re looking for a light, fast read, you should greatly enjoy Robin Becker’s Brains: A Zombie Memoir. Which is pretty much right what it says on the tin: the “autobiography” of sorts of a man who falls victim to a zombie outbreak, only to retain his sentience, the ability to write, and the blossoming ambition to gather other zombies like him and eventually confront their creator with the fact that they still are thinking beings!

A great deal of the book’s Funny comes from how our protagonist, Jack Barnes, is a pompous blowhard of an English professor–and he knows it and is at peace with it. He tells the reader straight up that he has a messiah complex, which for me made him delightfully straightforward, and after a while I couldn’t help but root for him and the other zombies he gathered around him, each with their own special ability. There’s Joan, the former nurse who patches up her fellow zombies’ rotting corpses with whatever she can find; there’s “Guts”, a boy who retains the ability to movie at human speeds; and “Rosencratz”, a former soldier who amazingly retains the ability to speak (and thereby providing the impetus for some great doubletakes out of the human characters who encounter him later).

The ending is not terribly surprising, certainly not if you’ve seen at least a few zombie movies–and if you have, it’ll fit in quite nicely as a twist on those for you. Me, I found the route TO the ending more satisfying, especially with bits like our band of plucky zombies shuffling along the road trying to sing “Silent Night”. It was, indeed, to laugh! Buy it in ebook form if you can; the print form’s in trade, but it’s so short a book that it’s almost not enough book for that price. Either way, check it out. Four stars.