Aaaaaalrighty. My day has started off excessively slowly because YET AGAIN I've woken up with a headache. I think I have one of those colds that's going to be really mild, but that drags itself out and has a crafty left hook to smack you one when you least expect it. Hence me feeling fine last night and going to bed sans Actifed, only to wake up feeling shite again with a throbbing face and having had very little sleep that didn't involve flipping over and thinking weird thoughts every ten minutes. Good times.
I didn't even post yesterday, because I basically spent the entire morning wearily blitzing the upstairs into a state of complete cleanliness while Mum and my grandmother tackled downstairs, the entire afternoon arsing about online finishing my Top Ten Bookish Memories post (do check it out, it's one of those really personal posts that means such a lot!) and watching episodes of Screenwipe online before giving in and taking a nap, and the entire evening getting swept up reading on FanFiction. SO ADDICTIVE.
I think that having watched another episode of Screenwipe over breakfast, and having done a little last-minute tidying round ready for our viewing, I'm going to use the time when I'm pretending to be invisible (sneaking from room to room to avoid our visitors and generally staying out the way) to start reading Warm Bodies at last. I'm really looking forward to this one, and I seem to have stalled with my other reading (as I tend to do when I'm tired), so I'm hoping it'll give me a bit of an all-round boost today!
Mission accomplished! I've read the first couple of chapters of Warm Bodies, and I already know it's going to be a winner. I LOVE it when this happens - when you get about two pages in and get that feeling that tells you that this book is going to become your new best friend. It's funny, gruesome, tongue-in-cheek, deadpan, grim, thoughtful and beautifully written, and I'm hooked. There's just something irresistable about this highly unusual narrator, who can barely speak but whose mind is blissfully eloquent, questioning, thinking, teasing apart the very threads of his existence.
The immediate emphasis on the loss of names in the zombie world is interesting, for a start. 'R' and his friend 'M' are lucky enough to have vaguely clung onto that much, but some of their fellow zombies don't even have an initial to go by, and R points out that they've lost their whole identity.
"I'd like to love them, but I don't know who they are."That actually, bizarrely, rings true for me from my experience with some of my more regular customers. It might sound strange, but I actually feel quite unsettled if I know someone well by sight, know their taste in books and what shelves they tend to head for first, maybe even talk about their lives with them when they visit... but I don't know their names. It doesn't have to be a first name, more formal is just fine, but having that label to attach to them somehow makes them more than a customer, makes their company seem more natural, and I feel better about the whole thing!
And then there's the writing. Little moments like this just knocked me round the head and made me think, "Yes. This is gonna be a good one." R is explaining how little the zombies know of what made their world the way it is now, and how frustrating it is to have a working mind without being able to communicate it.
"There is a chasm between me and the world outside of me. A gap so wide my feelings can't cross it. By the time my screams reach the other side, they have dwindled into groans."If I was the underlining sort, that last sentence would have been ruled neatly and had something like "Nice..." written next to it. It's not all bad for the zombies though - R also points out how being dead has slowed him right down, and the crumbled world outside has begun to be reclaimed by the peace and quiet of nature.
Last note for the moment - ohhhh, the stadium fortress idea. Pure genius. What better place to create a sheltered community of the Living, safe from zombie attack, than a sports arena? When you stop to think about it, it's absolutely perfect. Limited entry points. Towering sides. Open to air and daylight above. Kitchens and bathrooms already inbuilt. Absolutely bloody genius.
"I suspect their stadium fortresses are becoming self-sufficient. I imagine vast gardens planted in the dugouts, bursting with carrots and beans. Cattle in the press box. Rice paddies in the outfield. We can see the largest of these citadels looming on the hazy horizon, its retractable roof open to the sun, taunting us."As the book goes on I'm sure I'll find less to say, because it'd be a shame to spoiler it when so many people, like me, will inevitably be picking the book up for the first time in the next few weeks as the film hits our screens. For now, I will just say that first impressions are excellent, that R has already met the girl who will change everything, and that I am very much looking forward to seeing what comes next for zombie life at the deserted airport. Not bad considering I was eating lunch while the first lot of arms were being chewed off and brains were being devoured, huh? :)