“Brains, A Zombie Memoir” by Robin Becker is unique in that it goes beyond the standard zombie stereotype and shows the actual zombie lived experience.
Professor Jack Barnes, infected with the zombie virus, loses none of his intelligence or reasoning skills, only his ability to communicate through speech. Luckily he has retained his ability to write and he eloquently describes the journey of his zombie family as they seek to exist in a hostile land. Jack’s goal is to convince the creator of the zombie virus that zombies are people, too. To that end, he travels with a crew that includes a zombie nurse, who tries to keep the wanderers in one piece , and a former solider, who has retained the ability to speak and attempts to rally the troops.
Their journey highlights the difficulty of having what some scientists refer to as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome (ANSDS) (the neurologic disease that causes classic zombie behavior). Forced to hunt for their preferred food source (yes, brains), they must also evade the humans intent on killing them. In the end, no matter how desperately Jack believes he is one of “us,” his disease keeps him firmly planted in the realm of “them.”
This fast-paced 182 page story puts a face on the trials of trying to survive as a zombie. Readers will find this book challenges their prejudice against zombies and proves wrong the belief that all zombies are brainless, shambling flesh puppets. “Brains, A Zombie Memoir” nicely captures the complexities of life for today’s zombies.
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