R is a zombie. He wanders around doing zombie things: shuffling, groaning and eating brains. He doesn’t remember his name, except that it began with an R, or his life before he died but figures he was probably a businessman of some sort since he’s wearing a suit and tie. He has a sort-of best friend, M, and he “lives” in an airplane, his hobbies listening to records and collecting odds and ends from his trips into the city for food.
When he meets living girl Julie on one of those hunting trips, R somehow wants to get to know her rather than eat her (though he does kill her boyfriend and eat his brains, thus giving him knowledge about her through the memories of her boyfriend). He keeps her safe from the other zombies and brings her back to his airplane. Even more strangely, the two form a connection, and that connection sends ripples through the whole community of dead and living alike.
In an unusual turn of events, this is a book I read after seeing the movie, and I was even more surprised to find I preferred the film. The film is cleaner (not nearly as much language as the book) and has a sweeter side to it than the book; the book is harsher and the characters have rougher edges. Even so, I liked reading the book to find out a little bit more about what happens to R and Julie as they fall in love in a most unlikely romance. On one hand, it could be said that the book is unoriginal because it’s just another love story between a human and a supernatural being (yes, I’m talking about Twilight and all its many imitators), but at the same time, the story is clever and witty and the writing pretty good.
All the same, I am looking forward to seeing the movie again on DVD.
Rated: High, for about 40 uses of strong language and other uses of milder language. There is, of course, some violence and gore, but not a ton, and some references to sex, though no real details.