I almost didn't read this book. I'll be honest, I've never been a huge zombie fan. But I saw the movie, so I thought, what the hell, I'll give it a try. It's not a long book, so why not.
Perhaps I've spent too much time in anthropology over these years, but somehow I want to describe this book as an ethnography of zombies, which in itself isn't a proper depiction. Isaac has taken the most unlikely character, a zombie, and wrote an entire book around his point of view. There are a lot of potential disasters with this idea. But it works. Because essentially R is this existential creature fighting what he is because he wants to be better. It's hard to think of him as a zombie, he's more like an amnesiac who is trying to remember what it's like to be human. It's impossible not to feel something for him because of all the struggles he endures to better himself.
Admittedly, I think I like book Julie a little better than movie Julie. But I understand the toning down of some things for the sake of a PG-13 rating for the movie. Julie curses a lot, she's opinionated, but she's vulnerable and has her own issues with herself and the world she lives in. She's the perfect person to show the flaws of humanity's last efforts to stay alive because she wants there to be something more than just survival.
Lastly, there's Perry. Oh Perry. You are so downplayed in the movie, but you are so magical and so vital to this all. The conversations between Perry and R I think are some of the better parts of book because you get to see the character development between both of them. I'm a sucker for flawed tragic characters, it's my downfall.
I didn't really have an issues with this book. Having seen the movie first, I had no problem picturing the settings and the characters and the world they live in. The movie is very close to the book, which surprised me. Obviously there's a few major differences. All in all, I think if you loved one, you'll love the other.