Zombie Book Review: Brains a Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker

Brains: A Zombie Memoir


Brains a Zombie Memoir was written by Robin Becker.  While it’s not for everyone, it is a fresh and fun approach to the zombie genre that we know and love.  This isn’t your typical zombie invasion novel and if you don’t realize that at first sight it’s your own darn fault!

Just one glance at the cover and you know this isn’t going to be a typical zombie book.  The cover features an anatomical illustration of the human brain. The lateral view shows the Cerebrum and Temporal Lobes clearly labeled.  You’ll also see a huge portion of the rear of the brain has been bitten off. The other labels on the brain include phrases like “Serve with Merlot”, “Bon Appetit”, “Take a Big Bite” and “On a Bed of Spinach”. A quick look at the cover and you instantly know the author probably has a good sense of humor. Flip the book over and you get this impression even more so. A quick look at the description on the rear cover and you just HAVE to read this book.  If you believe zombies can be more than shuffling sacks of dead rotting flesh you’ll like this book.  If you routinely root for hordes of the undead to win in the zombie movies you’ll love this book.

The zombie protagonist in this book is Jack Barnes, a college professor in his pre-zombie days. Smart and witty in life, Mr. Barnes retains his cognitive abilities once transformed into a zombie. Unfortunately his rotting body can’t keep up with his intellect. Unable to speak, Barnes can only communicate through gestures, moans, and writing. He is confident he can use his unique ability to help bring about a peaceful existence between humans and zombies. He just needs to get to the man responsible for the zombie virus, Howard Stein, and show him not all zombies are mindless monsters.

There is still some level of social and intellectual hierarchy in the zombie world. Not all zombies are equal. Just like their uninfected human counterparts, some zombies are much more intelligent or have their own unique skills.  Along the way Jack learns there are others like him.  He assembles a small posse of rag tag zombies with the sole mission of surviving another day on their trek halfway across the U.S. to meet their maker.  There’s a fast zombie, an ex soldier skilled at coordinating ambushes and attacks, a zombie that has amazing shooting skills and a zombie that can talk.  One zombie, a nurse in her former life, is skilled in the art of zombie first aid. She can stitch up, patch, and sew zombies back together again. She’s a skilled zombie surgeon making due with whatever she has on hand to sew her undead zombie horde back together again like a horde of walking, rotting scarecrows.  There’s even a pregnant zombie Jack hold’s captive on a leash that ends up giving birth to a baby zombie. WOW!

Brains a Zombie Memoir is full of pop culture references and dark humor. There’s also just enough gore to keep any zombie fan entertained without turning off those with weaker stomachs.  In the end, no matter how human the zombie is, you just can’t take that insatiable hunger for human flesh out of them.  Watching Jack try to suppress his zombie urges is a fun and uncomfortable journey at the same time.

This may sound corny, but mixed in with the humor, gore and the zombie struggle to survive there are moments in the book that make you think. You can’t help but notice the parallels between humans and the main zombies in this book. They are total polar opposites yet share so much in common. The living and the walking dead ultimately just want to continue on another day at whatever the cost. Will Jack and his group of gifted zombies be able to reach the man responsible for the zombie virus? If so can they convince him that zombies and humans can live together in peace and harmony? What will become of Jack’s zombie baby? You’ll have to pick up a copy of Brains a Zombie Memoir to find out!

Brains a Zombie Memoir is a fast read at only 182 pages. Mrs. Becker’s writing style is engaging enough that you’ll want to read just a few more pages to see what happens next. As a result readers will likely quickly blow through this book in an afternoon or two.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. While approaching the zombie apocalypse from the zombie’s point of view has been done before, it’s never been done in such a fun and unique way. My only complaint was the ending. At the conclusion of the story I was left without closure. The ending has a little twist and left me with many questions…but I suppose that’s the point! I’d recommend this book to any zombie fan. Have YOU read this book? What are your thoughts on this zombie book? Let us know by leaving a comment in the comment section below!


4 out 5 Brains…a Great Read!


Where to Buy:
Buy Brains a Zombie Memoir at Barnes & Noble

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Synopsis: Jack Barnes, a college professor in his human life, is now a zombie that has retained his mental capacity after death and reanimation.

Published by: Eos
Date published: 05/25/2010
ISBN: 978-0061974052

Review Summary: Brains: a Zombie Memoir is a quick read at only 182 pages. Overall we really enjoyed the book and the author’s writing style leaves you hungry to discover what happens next on this journey of an intelligent zombie that struggles to communicate with the living world.

Book Title: Brains: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker
Date of Review: 02/06/2012
Rating: 4 / 5 Brains

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