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The Folger Spotlight

'Warm Bodies' by Isaac Marion

Folger Book Club returns on Thursday, October 5 with a discussion of Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. To get ready for the conversation, we’ve compiled some introductory information on this year’s Halloween pick.

What is Warm Bodies about?

In Warm Bodies, Isaac Marion’s New York Times bestselling novel that inspired a major film, a zombie returns to humanity through an unlikely encounter with love.

“R” is having a no-life crisis–he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he’d rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization.

And then he meets a girl.

First as his captive, then his reluctant house guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R’s gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn’t want to eat this girl–although she looks delicious–he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.

Critical Reception

Without a doubt, this novel is the first I have ever read to take an overdone and cliché-theme and turn it into a deep and insightful look at life as it could be, life as it is, and what matters when seeking to preserve it. As long you don’t mind a little gore and a little cheese, it’s a great read.” The Guardian

“A jubilant story about two star-crossed lovers, one of them dead and hungry for more than love.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.” – The Book Smugglers

Why did we choose this book?

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s collection explores not only Shakespeare’s life and works, but also the plays’ historical context, source material, critical and performance histories, and the ways in which they inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists.

Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most enduring—and adaptable—plays. Marion’s novel sets the tale within a zombie dystopia, leading to a fun, irreverent horror version of the classic story of star-crossed lovers, demonstrating the creativity that can be brought to reinterpreting Shakespeare’s work. Plus, it’s a great read for Halloween!

About the author: Isaac Marion

From the author’s website

Isaac Marion’s debut novel, Warm Bodies become a New York Times Bestseller, inspired a major film, and was translated into 25 languages. He spent the next eight years writing the rest of that story over the course of four books, now concluded with The Living. He currently lives alone with his cat in a shed in the eastern Washington wilderness, battling rattlesnakes and preparing to release his new novel, The Overnoise.

Content Transparency

Warm Bodies includes references to potentially sensitive subjects. Expand below for a full list of content.

October’s Bookstore Partner

This month, we are excited to partner again with Bridge Street Books, a neighborhood bookstore with an international reputation.

Occupying a brick townhouse on Pennsylvania Ave for 40 years, Bridge Street Books stocks a wide selection of trade, university, and small press publications. They’ve got your bestsellers too! Learn more at The storefront is open from 11AM-9PM Mon-Sat and 12-9PM Sunday.  You can also order directly at, or download the audiobook version of this title from

Purchase your copy of Warm Bodies

We would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of this program

Capitol Hill Community Foundation
Junior League of Washington

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