I never did review Elantris after I was done listening to it on audio. Now that Mr. X is reading it, my interest is renewed. It has been fun hearing him speculate about various outcomes of the book. I started listening to Elantris shortly after I met Mr. X and throughout the experience I continued to recommend the book to him. Brandon Sanderson has created a unique world both inside and outside of the city of Elantris. When I heard Sanderson talking about the book at the LTUE symposium he said that Elantris is essentially a city of zombies. Once of city of power and strength, the inhabitants are now weak, endlessly hungry, and subjected to endless suffering.
Though to call them zombies would not be apparent from the outset, having this as a lenses through which to view the book provides a unique perspective. Because while many in Elantris act like zombies, we are able to hear a story from the inside. Zombie books are always written from the point of view of the human and I have always been curious about the mindset of the zombie. The characters always seem to speculate about their lack of thought and individuality. But it is curious to read Elantris as seeing into the mind of a zombie, or perhaps into the mind of a person the moment before zombification.
When discussing this issue with Mr. X, he seemed to think there was a definite case to be made for at least on of the gangs within Elantris. They had total disregard for almost everyone and were mindless and thoughtless. All the people in Elantris are somehow dead and alive at the same time. And this struggle is the core of zombies.
For more about this book, please check out Mr. X’s excellent review.