Review #28: World War Z by Max Brooks

20 Apr

So, I’m  really behind on the zombies thing.  I promise it’s near the top of my to-watch list (after The Shield)….but I haven’t seen The Walking Dead yet.  Never read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Even the horror movies I watch don’t feature zombies – I’m strictly a ghosts, monsters and vampires kind of girl.  But I’ve finally gotten around to reading World War Z, even if it is five years after the rest of the world.

This book was awesome. You know those incredibly long, weirdly specific and just plain hilarious conversations you have with your friends about the actual logistics of the zombie apocalypse (or about vampires or ghosts existing, or if there were X-Men living among us….etc.)?  This is that conversation, perfectly transcribed, in book form. Except the narrator asks far more probing questions of his subjects than I could ever come up with, and he covers every possible scenario that might occur during a zombie apocalypse.

You want to know how you would fare in the zombie apocalypse?

You’d die. Brooks interviews every possible survivor – upper level government officials, doctors, military strategists, infantrymen, documentary film makers, celebrities, security guards, business men, children.  And every story has one theme: everyone dies, unless you’re smart or lucky.

Brooks also covers a whole host of topics I’d never considered.  For example, the quisling phenomena, where people lose their minds and begin acting like zombies.  And the actual strategies of how humans beat out the zombies are particularly creative, and terrifying, like using live humans as bait.  I also really liked the stories about the zombies incredible ability to thrive; even when they were dumped by the boat load into the ocean to drown, or they were bombed with nuclear weapons, they would come crawling back out, dripping wet or covered in flames, looking for human flesh.

I think what makes this book so universally appealing is that it feels real, or as real as it can be. The way the media can’t decide on a consistent story about the zombies, the way traffic crawls north as people try to freeze the zombies out, the way people pretend the zombies aren’t coming and live in blissful ignorance, and the way human war erupts as everyone tries to point fingers. God forbid, if the zombie apocalypse were to happen, this is pretty much a play by play of how it would go down.

Like the other Cannonball reviewers (here, here and here), I’m concerned about the movie adaptation.  Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos star, and its unclear to me how there can be a “star.” This book is presented as a collection of interviews and short stories – I think translating that to a cohesive narrative might be difficult.  That, added to the fact that this movie has been languishing in post-production limbo for a while, makes me nervous. But let’s be real. Brad Pitt fighting zombies? I’m totally in.


4 Responses to “Review #28: World War Z by Max Brooks”

  1. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your
    sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later. All the best


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