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Brains: A Zombie Memoir Paperback – 25 May 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Eos (25 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061974056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061974052
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,118,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By El Kevino on 3 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a sucker for anything undead related but I'd grown tired of all the "woe-is-me, I'm a poor human" angle that most media had saturated in, so I was on side for this book before I'd even opened it.

I mean who wouldn't appreciate shufflers forming their own little group of survivors, with each having their own particular skillset, just like so many other humans band together in just about every other book/film/story there is about the oncoming zombie apocalypse?

This book reads like a film script and I mean that in the most positive sense. It thunders along at great pace and was as viscereal and evocative as any great book should be. It was also intensely funny making me laugh aloud many times.

Only complaint? Too short - I didn't want it to end. But in many ways that only meant it didn't outstay it's welcome.

If you like zombies and the social commentary that should come with stories of this ilk then you'll rate Brains: A Zombie Memoir highly.

Read it before the film comes out. Trust me, that's on it's way...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Gladstone on 11 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I've not read that many zombie books but i can say this is my fave. Its a really good idea to tell the story of a zombie outbreak told from the zombies point of view. If you into zombies then you will love this book you wont be didapointed.
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Format: Paperback
Great twist on the standard zombie story. I didn't want it to end. And well written too! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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By kirsty williams on 16 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such a great book, thoroughly enjoyed it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 38 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Reading with Tequila 29 May 2010
By Jennifer Sicurella - Published on
Format: Paperback
Brains: A Zombie Memoir is told unique as it is told through a zombie's perspective. The book's hilarious, starting off with Geraldo Rivera interviewing a zombie and riddled with pop culture references. The humor continues throughout the novel, but lessens towards the middle of the book once the zombies have to start actively focusing on survival.

A few of the zombies, the ones primary to the story, are self-aware. One is fast, one can speak, one can perform first aid, one can shoot and the main character can write. There is also a pregnant zombie that ultimately has to give birth.

Robin Becker's book is based on a strange premise, making it rather different from other books in the genre. The reader is put into a zombie's head, thinking a zombie's thoughts. I'm a huge zombie fan, but never once did I ever consider the world through their eyes. Jack, zombie who had a Ph.D. in life, leads the self-aware zombies. He learns along the way that once people became zombies, the playing field was level. There were no class or race distinction. It was quite interesting to see the subtle message among the gore.

Brains: A Zombie Memoir is a light, quick read that allows you to shamble a mile in a zombie's shoes.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Give Me a Z! 2 July 2010
By Stephen Parrish - Published on
Format: Paperback
A band of zombies who, surprising even to them, can think, plan, and communicate, embarks on a journey to negotiate with their maker, the Chicago scientist who invented the virus infecting them. Along the way they must evade capture by armed citizens and militias; the virus is transmitted through biting, and the country is being overrun. They must also feed an insatiable appetite for living flesh and an epicurean taste for brains.

BRAINS is every bit as funny as its premise demands. The humor is bold, sassy, and never tires as the story proceeds. Author Robin Becker, a teacher of writing, is in complete command of the language. Numerous references to pop culture create an air of irreverence and sarcasm that lend themselves naturally to the outrageous scenario. Told from the perspective of the zombies, in particular the former college professor who leads them after first devouring his wife, BRAINS is a ground breaking contribution to the genre. I was rooting for the walking dead and couldn't wait to learn whether their mission would succeed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A New Zombie Perspective - must read! 15 Feb. 2011
By Bill Nelson of WeZombie - Published on
Format: Paperback
Another debut author novel, another novel from the zombie perspective, another great read. Lately there are lot of debut zombie authors and a lot of new books coming from the zombie perspective, and yet I am still being surprised because each one of these novels are completely different and provide a new perspective that hasn't been done before. With her book Brains, Becker has written a funny yet heartwarming story and has managed to turn a zombie into a hero.

The book opens with college professor Jack Barnes and his wife fighting off a zombie horde attacking their house in a small Missouri town, and they're running out of luck. They retreat to the basement and lock themselves in (I know better, but they didn't) and of course things go bad. It turns out the professor has already been bitten in the fighting and now he is locked in the basement with his wife. There is a funny but sad dialogue between them as they figure out that this is not a good situation. I enjoyed the dialogue, but wish it would have ended better. The result is that zombie Jack Barnes is born and he found something to eat as soon as he turned. The amazing thing about zombie Jack is that he can still think and even write - he begins a diary of his zombie life and this is the zombie memoir mentioned in the title - a very clever premise.

Jack wanders aimlessly with other zombies, but immediately notices how he is different from the other zombies who seem not able to dodge a weapon or hide from their attackers. They provide good cover until he finds a home in a pickup bed under a tarp, and gets driven to a truck stop where he meets a pregnant girl named Eve that he had just bitten, and they head off together, walking through cornfields and roads - anywhere to get away from the truck stop. They run across an army unit, get captured and caged with some other zombies who had been captured.

It turns out that in this cage are some mindless zombies but also a few that are different like Jack. One, named Joan, was a nurse and still could think and heal the wounds of the zombies, and another named Guts could think and also had the coordination to move fast on his feet. Jack was able to draw pictures of an escape plan and relate that to the other zombies and they did manage to escape. During the escape, one of the soldiers turned into a zombie but could still manage to talk - he joined the group along with Jack. Thus began the journey by a rag-tag team of super-zombies who travel to try and find someone in authority to let them know that they are thinking, capable zombies who should not be killed.

The story is very entertaining, has a sense of humor, and is one of those books you don't want to put down. It's an easy read of 180 or so pages, and will leave you with an entirely different point of view of the coming zombie apocalypse. This is another must-read for anyone who is into the zombie thing, and a great read for anyone else. Recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Original and interesting, a bit slow 8 Nov. 2013
By StephTheBookworm - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was certainly a unique twist on the zombie genre which I’ve come to love in recent months. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this was literary zombie fiction. It wasn’t all blood and guts, though it did include a lot of both. It was smart too, and satirical. The story is mostly about Jack, trying to find his place in the world now that the world, and himself, have both changed drastically. He understands that zombies are different, and that they aren’t accepted (because they eat HUMANS!), but he strives to change all that and he chronicles the journey in his memoir. The zombies in this story garnered friendships, felt emotions such as friendship and animosity, and schemed plenty too. Not only did they crave brains, they HAD brains too.

All that said, I thought this book was pretty funny at times. Not ‘laugh out loud’ funny, but silly and fun. It was incredibly original and interesting. Despite all of this, I didn’t LOVE the book. I did enjoy it for the most part, but felt that it could be a bit slow moving at times, and wasn’t as developed as it could have been. I liked the characters, particularly Ros, the speaking zombie who had some pretty good one-liners, but would have liked to see more character development, maybe a little more back story for some of them.

I’d recommend this one if you’re a zombie fan looking for something different.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3 Stars 2 Jun. 2010
By KindleVixen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Brains offers an interesting take on the zombies, or at least I think it does. I have to admit, I don't read a lot of zombie books... something about the rotting flesh that does me in. Yet, I had heard good things about this book and it was a quick read (only 182 pages) so I jumped on board the zombie train. Unfortunately, this book was just OK - it had it's moments, but overall I was left wanting more.

Jack Barnes is a well educated professor who suddenly finds himself a zombie. Yet, he isnt a mindless brain eating zombie, he has somehow retained his ability to think and to write. He sets off trying to find other zombies like himself and ends up creating his own little zombie family, ready to show the world they can co-exist with humans.

Overall Jack is an interesting guy, if you can overlook the fact he comes across as kind of a jerk before he was zombified. His, and perhaps this book's, downfall is the way he narrates the story. The narration is filled with pop culture references and one line zingers. Granted some are funny, but a lot of them felt forced just for the sake of trying to be funny and turned me off to his character. Add in that he is kind of a jerk when he talks about his wife and I soon found him to be a pretty unlikeable character. I did warm up to him as he warmed up to his new zombie family, but it was a little too late. What I enjoyed most about the story was the cast of characters he collects around him - they are a merry band of misfits and I would have love to get inside their heads and see some of the story from their perspective.

In addition to an unlikable main character, I found the story to be slow. I wanted more to happen... its only 182 pages but I found myself yawning at page 100. Even in the end, I felt the plot just kind of went pfffft. There was a small climax but it was more of a speed bump and all of a sudden the book was over.

So, I have am complaining about all of these things... why am I giving it a 3?? Well even with these faults it was a decent read. It was quick and there were some moments where I laughed out loud. Robin Becker is certainly a talented writer and the idea is one I would love to see expanded on with a bit better story line. As it is, I had some problems with it stylistically - but you may not. I can certainly see the potential for the idea and the writer behind it. The end is a bit open ended, allowing room for a sequel. If there is one I will certainly pick it up to see where it goes.
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