Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Atria • $24 • ISBN 9781439192313
on sale May 17, 2011
Though the premise might seem off-putting, the book has drawn raves from the likes of Stephenie Meyer, Audrey Niffenegger and Josh Bazell. Check out this excerpt (like the rest of the book, told from the POV of the zombie known only as "R") and judge for yourself!
Eating is not a pleasant business. I chew off a man's arm, and I hate it. I hate his screams, because I don't like pain, I don't like hurting people, but this is the world now. This is what we do. Of course, if I don't eat all of him, if I spare his brain, he'll rise up and follow me back to the airport, and that might make me feel better. I'll introduce him to everyone, and maybe we'll stand around and groan for a while. I'ts hard to say what "friends" are anymore, but that might be close. If I restrain myself, if I leave enough . . .
But I don't. I can't. As always I go straight for the good part, the part that makes my head light up like a picture tube. I eat the brain, and for about thirty seconds, I have memories. Flashes of perfume, music . . . life. Then it fades, and I get up, and we all stumble out of the city, still cold and gray, but feeling a little better. Not "good," exactly, not "happy," certainly not "alive," but . . . a little less dead. This is the best we can do.
Tom Perrotta isn't the only literary writer putting his spin on the post-apocalyptic novel this fall. We just heard that Colson Whitehead (Sag Harbor, John Henry Days) has finished Zone One, a novel that takes place in a world where a pandemic has decimated the population and created hordes of undead. The book will be published October 18.
If “Zone One” were three songs that came out between 1977-1992, it would be Wire’s “Reuters,” Leonard Cohen’s “The Future” and Joy Division’s “Decades.”
In the wake of the plague, Mark Spitz is working to clear Manhattan of the infected ones—though the only zombies left in the area are not the dangerous kind but the “malfunctioning” sort who are basically catatonic and mourning their former lives. Then it all starts to go wrong. Doubleday calls the novel "brilliant," saying it "deconstructs the zombie myth for the twenty-first century."
Will you read it?
author photo by Erin Patrice O’Brien
Based on a popular blog in the voice of a bookstore clerk who turns survivalist in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, Madeline Roux's debut novel puts a new spin on the zombie genre. Allison Hewitt Is Trapped follows Allison and a small group of survivors who are trying to reclaim the world for humankind. Here, Allison shares some of her tips for making a survivalist's diet a bit more palatable.
Well, the answer is probably yes, it’s beans again, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this surviving and slaying and blogging, it’s that “beans again” doesn’t have to become a theme or even something you and your fellow survivors dread. Morale is a powerful thing and food and high spirits go hand in hand. So while Martha Stewart might be wandering around Manhattan snacking on tourists (not a good thing) and Rachel Ray’s next 30-minute meal may involve a studio audience member, the standards of the living have dropped but not disappeared altogether. Any enterprising survivalist with a song in their heart and a pang in their tummy can spice up even the gnarliest canned food meal and I’m going to tell you how. Here are two simple rules to enchant even the saddest survivalist’s palate.
Rule 1: Bacon Improves Everything
Apocalypse or no apocalypse, some rules must always be observed and this one was gospel in the Hewitt household well before the dead starting rising and chewing on loved ones. Now the chances of finding fresh pork of any kind are slim, true, but one should never underestimate the power of sodium, ingenuity and good-old-fashioned desperation. Chances are, if you’ve raided a supermarket or a gas station, you’ve come across bacon bits. These tasty culinary exiles are almost always left behind. In a panic, nobody is thinking about condiments, but their neglect is your reward.
So they’re not real bacon . . . so they’re saltier than a pirate’s vocabulary . . . None of that matters when you’re facing down yet another bowl of lukewarm baked beans. So pop open that festive red top, pour a liberal amount of bits onto your grub and enjoy the delightful crunch of those tiny, preservative briquettes, and when someone woefully asks, “beans again?” you just tell them, “No, friend, beans with bits.”
Rule 2: Spice Up Your Life
Yes, that was a Spice Girls reference and no, I won’t be apologizing for it. Irrelevant pop girl groups aside, the spice rack really is your best friend when meal time repetition has got you down. Some of you may not be familiar with what different spices are good for or the labels might have peeled off, leaving you stranded with an armful of intimidating mystery jars. If that’s you, these helpful hints might just nudge you in the right culinary direction.
If it’s brownish yellow and smells like armpits, it’s cumin. If it’s green and smells like the inside of a hippy’s purse, it’s oregano. If it’s gritty and dark and smells like Christmas, it’s cinnamon. If it’s black and smells like feet . . . then . . . probably don’t sprinkle it on your food. See? So fun and simple even Sandra Lee could do it without straining her brain cell.
And that just about covers it, fellow survivors. Armed with those two simple rules you too can become a master at solving just about any campfire conundrum. Dinner will be a breeze instead of a headache.
But remember, if we two were to meet one day in a lonely gas station, both our grumbly stomachs intent on pilfering that last precious can of bacon bits, I might like you and even respect you, but holy hell do I love bacon more. So never forget—I’ve got an ax and I’m not afraid to use it.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a recent release from Quirk Books, is just the latest in a long line of riffs, adaptations and yes, parodies, of Jane Austen's novels—though it is the first to pit her beloved characters against a supernatural enemy.
Taking its success as proof that the publishing world must be in want of a few more Austen/supernatural mash-ups, there are at least two more in the works. Instead of adding to a classic, though, both authors have chosen to give Jane herself a starring role.
Today's Publisher's Lunch listed the sale of "Janet Mullany's The Immortal Jane Austen, a humorous novel about Jane Austen in Regency England who joins the vampire resistance in Bath when England is invaded by French forces," to Harper/Avon editor May Chen.
And the Washington Post announced that 2010 will see the publication of Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford (Random House), the first in an intended three-book series that casts Jane as a vampire bookstore owner (can you hear those cash registers ringing?).
In case you thought the diehard Janeites were the ones to be won over in this meeting of the genres, consider this: not all zombie fans have a taste for 19th-century literature. As demonstrated in this comment from the horror novel discussion site Shocklines, "So far I'm not tempted to slog through the other 80% of the book in order to enjoy the zombies." Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow had the same problem. "I found myself skimming, skipping larger and larger chunks of text to get to the zombie sequences, desperate to escape the claustrophobic drawing-room chatter of Austen's characters with a little beheading, disemboweling and derring-do."