Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – A Discussion (May Contain Spoilers!)

20130728_150002I often struggle to decide what to do first; watch the movie or read the book.

For Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion I watched the movie before reading the book.  I really enjoyed the movie and thought that Nicholas Hoult portrayed the Zombie R character perfectly.

The movie did not spoil the story line when I finally got around to reading the book.  In fact it actually enhanced the reading experience as it allowed me to concentrate on reading the words which is what I am trying to do more of thanks to Francine Prose‘s ‘Reading like a writer (see blog entry).

There were differences between the book and the movie and most did not bother me.  However I did find that R having a wife and kids (in the book) slightly unnecessary to the overall plot.  It was an interesting idea though.

I found this book quite touching and beautiful which sounds strange given the fact that people’s brains and limbs were being eaten.  It was such an interesting take on the typical zombie genre and gave me hope that if we ever encounter a dreaded Zombie apocalypse we would get through it as a human race.

Marion has quite a skill in making the horrific seem more poetic and I am interested to read more of his work.  The New Hunger (the prequel to Warm Bodies) has been released as an ebook.  I am not accustomed to reading in this format but will have give it a go for curiosities sake.

Quotes

* ‘There is no ideal world for you to wait around for. The world is always just what it is now, and it’s up to you how you respond to it.’

* ‘What wonderful thing didn’t start out scary?’

* ‘I’m dead, but it’s not so bad.’

* ‘We will be the cure.  Because we want it.’

* ‘Laughter.  Another first for me.’

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Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose – A Review

Reading Like a Writer

Reading Like a Writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading Like a Writer‘ was one of the most helpful writing guides that I have read thus far.  It is by no means a simple how to guide on how to be a better writer.  Instead Francine Pose guides you through extracts of well written literature and cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words.  She explains that a good writer makes sure that each and every word in the story has a purpose.

Although it is not an easy feat to attempt to write as well as the authors discussed in the book (even a bit daunting), Prose has inspired me to be a better writer and at the same time a better reader.

Notes & Quotes

* ‘You can assume that if a writer’s work has survived for centuries, there are reasons why this is so.’ – Prose highlights that reading or re-reading the classics is as beneficial as reading the modern novel.

* Skimming is not my friend.  Yes I have a lot of books to read in my life time but as Prose advises ‘Skimming just won’t suffice if we hope to extract one fraction of what a writer’s words can teach us about how to use the language’

* Telling Vs Showing – ‘don’t tell us a character is happy, show us.’  There are however still occasions when telling is far more effective and time saving.

* Paragraphs – ‘A new paragraph is a wonderful thing.  It lets you quietly change the rhythm, and it can be like a flash of lightening that shows the same landscape from a different aspect.’ – Babel

* Don’t leave out the details! – ‘Details are what persuade us that someone is telling the truth.’  We need to trust the writer is in control.

More New Books!

20130712_150618A teacher on holidays in a bookstore is a dangerous combination.  I need to get my read on!

New Purchases:

* Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion

* In The Shadows of Blackbirds – Cat Winters

* Reading Like a WriterFrancine Prose

* Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan

The Turning by Francine Prose – A Discussion (Contains Spoilers)

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A new ghost story to add to my collection.

Discussion Notes:

* I liked the way the author combined modern technology with the old way of living – The main character (Jack) types and prints his letters to his girlfriend but still has to send it via snail mail

* A haunted house is always a good hook for me – especially if it is painted black.

* A good introduction to the story – travelling to an isolated island on a boat

* The story is told through letters from Jack to his girlfriend.  I liked this technique as you can get a glimpse into Jack’s most intimate thoughts.

* Not as scary as I would have liked  but I did appreciate the imagery Prose created and the ending left you guessing if the ghosts were real or just in Jack’s head.

Has any one else read any good new ghost stories lately?