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Book Review: 'Brains: A Zombie Memoir'

By by jessica rodrigo/jrodrigo@vicad.com
Oct. 24, 2011 at 5:24 a.m.
Updated Oct. 26, 2011 at 5:26 a.m.


The zombie phenomena is spreading as quickly as... Well, as quickly as we imagine the zombie invasion to spread throughout the world.

We've all seen the books that line the shelves at our favorite bookstores - how to combat zombies, classics re-written to include zombies and, of course, the books that describe the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse.

I picked up "Brains: A Zombie Memoir" by Robin Becker around this time last year, and to this day still recommend it to those interested in all things zombie related. It made me cry, because I was laughing so hard, and it turned my knuckles white during some of the chase scenes.

I was expecting the typical zombie book where the antagonists are the zombies and the protagonists are a group of semi-defenseless people who are struggling to stay alive.

"Brains" serves as a nice breach from the traditional zombie adventure. Becker has written the story from the point of view of character Jack Barnes, who was an English professor at small community college before becoming a flesh-eating zombie.

What makes Barnes' story differ from all the other zombies he crosses paths with during his adventure, are his superpower-like abilities: He can think and he can write.

When Barnes gets captured by soldiers who are corralling the infected and bringing them in for study and extermination, he discovers that there are others with superpowers similar to his own. Among the zombies that join him on his journey are a specialized group: one can dress open wounds, one can jump and run, one has spot-on aim, and another can speak.

Together, the group makes its way toward where they think they can find the scientists and help find a cure for the zombie pandemic. The group struggles with the desire to eat brains and avoid getting caught by the militia or killed by surviving humans.

"Brains" is an interesting book that will have you ripping at the seams from laughter and hoping that when you get turned into a zombie, you are one of the select few who are blessed with a superpower.

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