Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review: Brains: A Zombie Memoir

Becker, Robin (2010). Brains: A Zombie Memoir. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. Cover Courtesy of: Harper Collins, Canada

Robin Becker’s first novel Brains: A Zombie Memoir stands the zombie genre on its ear. Literally. The ear happens to be on the ground, and the zombie stands on it before popping the tasty morsel into its mouth.

Becker anthropomorphizes zombies in Brains. Her main character is a professor of literature who retains his sentience through the transformation. Granted, I’ve known several professors whom I thought might be zombies, but the only one I was sure of was a civics professor.

Once she makes this single break from the genre cannon, all bets are off. Becker writes in a morbidly campy style that she admits is unlike anything she’s done before. Brains is a light, enjoyable read full of snickers and an occasional belly laugh.

The only negative is that Becker sometimes tries too hard to make her jokes work. She stacks the one-liners four or five deep, oblivious to Johnny Carson’s rule—Never do more than three jokes on a topic. Perhaps this is a lesson to learn from her first novel; perhaps it is simply the professor’s character. I have known several who couldn’t leave well enough alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment