Customer Reviews for

Brains: A Zombie Memoir

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Not Bad At All

This book is different from your regular zombie books. It is from the perspective of a thinking zombie. I liked it because it was different and a change of pace. There were still the icky, gory parts that i love as well.

posted by TraceyD on January 25, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Flimsy storyline but funny and entertaining.

Although it's easy to jump to conclusions I should inform you that this is not an autobiography about one of the Olsen twins. Nope, 'Brains' is the memoir of Jack Barnes who is somewhat the hero of the book even though he is a zombie. You see, in this very unique take o...
Although it's easy to jump to conclusions I should inform you that this is not an autobiography about one of the Olsen twins. Nope, 'Brains' is the memoir of Jack Barnes who is somewhat the hero of the book even though he is a zombie. You see, in this very unique take on the zombie genre the zombies are victims of a virus and some degree of sympathy is bestowed upon them. In addition to the regular, mindless zombie scenario a few of the main characters keep various aspects of their humanity for reasons never explained. Jack Barnes for instance is still able to think coherently and able to write, hence the memoir, even though he can't speak, drive a car or move about particularly well. On his journey to find the scientist responsible for producing the lethal virus he befriends other zombies each of who still retain an ability that they had as a human including a zombie who can speak, a nurse who can still administer aid and a girl who retains her remarkable ability to be a crack-shot with a weapon. However, they all still have the need to eat brains.
The story starts out strong with sharp, incisive humor with a quick immersion into the main story. As it progressed though I found the humor was too much and the storyline too shallow and it became obvious the author was attempting to keep it fresh by jaunting into various subjects and giving us Jack Barnes opinion of that said subject. For instance, about midway through the novel religion becomes very prominent in the analogies given and the one liners that are used. Then it fades out to be replaced by the next topic that the author decided to fixate upon for a while. It was as if Becker was thinking, "what topic should I make fun of next?" and then worked that topic into the storyline. Don't get me wrong the humor was smart and witty but there was just too much of it in comparison to the lack of storyline.
A few inconsistencies exist within the novel such as zombies being weak yet they somehow have the power to tear off peoples heads at will or rip apart peoples skulls with their hands. There was an inconsistency near the very end of the novel that pulled me out of the story when the main character, who at one point when inside a building, takes minutes to get up off the couch, minutes to walk to door and more minutes to open it (p140) suddenly "...climbed onto the ledge of the boat and jumped, flying through the air like Superman..." to land on a human in the space of a few seconds while gunfire was going on all around him. Very convenient for the storyline but a series of actions that went against everything we had been taught about Becker's version of the undead. In fact the ending was very weak overall, which was a shame as the story had enough guile and entertainment to keep me reading through to the end regardless of its faults, and the logic applied at the end as the reason for killing all zombies, even the ones who retain elements of their humanity, is very flawed...basically, once a zombie always a zombie. I'm glad society doesn't treat alcoholics, depressives, Jehovah's Witnesses etc. in that way otherwise they would all be shot dead!
Still, I did enjoy this offering and it was different from any other zombie novel I have read. Certainly not a classic in my opinion but a decent read nonetheless.

posted by Marc74 on April 11, 2011

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