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This review is from: I, Zombie (Kindle Edition)
I, Zombie is not "a zombie book". It is a deeply philosophical, literary, and raw exploration of free will; personal identity; and the importance of (and constraints on) taking charge of one's life. Each of its many characters faces what may be the ultimate horror: complete lack of control over the bodies they inhabit. In becoming a zombie, each "person" becomes only a passenger -- although a fully-aware observer -- along for the ride as their bodies go about their horrific zombie business. And as these characters try to come to terms with their new existence, we come to understand something: Even before becoming zombies, this lack of control, this sense of being a "passenger", was always, already, a binding presence in their lives. Worse: we realize that it is an inescapable condition of being human -- for all of us.
You may be asking:
- Are there gross and disgusting bits? YES, VERY MUCH SO. There are some excruciatingly vivid descriptions of zombies eating humans and worse. And although it's possible to skip over the worst passages without "missing something" critical to the rest of the book -- and that book is so worth reading! -- if you're squeamish, be forewarned. Also be aware that there is foul language.
- Is it disturbing? Yes. The gore is not nearly as discomfiting as some of the horrific things that happen. This is mature content.
- Is it depressing? Oh, absolutely. And soul-crushing. And uplifting. Liberating. Inspiring. And potentially life-altering.
- Is it about zombies? Yes, in much the same way that Romeo and Juliet is about Italians. The characters are, indeed, zombies; but that's not what the book is "about". I, Zombie is about a group of unfailingly human souls; it's about how they cope with agonizing self-realization; how it changes them; what they learn from it; and what we can learn from them.
I came away from this book realizing something: I am a zombie. In so many ways, we're all at the mercy of the natural inclinations of the bodies and brains we inhabit. Are you an early riser? A night owl? Laid-back or high-strung? Shy or gregarious? An addict? A thrill seeker? Or would you prefer to curl up with a good book? In order to BE flesh and blood, we must, to some extent, share the driver's seat WITH the flesh and blood. This realization -- that our "will" is but one among many inputs driving our behaviors -- doesn't relieve us of responsibility for our actions. But it does help us to understand them, and with that understanding, we can develop better strategies for achieving the results we want. We may not be able to control the zombie fully; but if, instead of fighting it, we just "lean into it", maybe we can get where we want to go.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 15, 2012 11:44:33 AM PDT
Hugh C. Howey says:
Wow, man. That last paragraph made my eyes water.
Not that I had any control over that...
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2012 12:27:26 PM PDT
Some believe we control our lives. Truthfully there are times where the world does unto us and we are powerless to control it. This is not a defeatist attitude. It is a realist view. We become subjugated by situations and circumstance. Occasionally we are just along for the ride, at the whim of chaos and uncertainty. This is not always a bad thing. Sometimes the world will bestow great gifts and wonders into our hands, if you open them to receive the blessing being imparted. Other-times things are instead thrust upon us, regardless of how much we wish it not to be so. This is the reality of the human experience.
Posted on Aug 15, 2012 3:48:04 PM PDT
J. Clements says:
What a wonderfully written review! Thanks for sharing your insights.
Posted on Aug 15, 2012 6:11:02 PM PDT
jill cook says:
This is a wonderful review. Thank you.
Posted on Aug 16, 2012 9:56:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2012 10:03:12 AM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2012 10:03:52 AM PDT
Sorry, I should have been more precise in my language. "It would appear that Howey just flipped a coin and called them Democrats." I wasn't actually present at the event. (And I doubt he literally flipped a coin.)
I don't know the author, although I am a big fan of his writing.
Posted on Mar 21, 2013 10:48:27 AM PDT
Thank you for your review. It helped me a great deal. I will not (sadly) buy this book since I'm not a fan of reading a book loaded with foul language and eating of people!! It's too bad, I LOVE Hugh Howey and his Wool Series has left me with wanting more and more of him... Sadly this one will not be downloaded into my Kindle. Thanks again!
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