World War Z

World War Z

By Max Brooks

This is a collection of oral recollections about the (obviously fictional for those of you who might not be too bright) zombie war that the entire world population experienced. This was my second time reading this book- the first time, I could only get so far before I got too frustrated… but I’ll get into that later.

This is the most comprehensive, logical, thorough zombie-apocalypse that I have ever seen or read. Brooks took a lot of time and research in developing a very realistic approach to what would actually happen if there was a zombie outbreak. He covers world military, politics, social experiences, trauma, animal/environmental… any perspective you could imagine, he’s got an explanation for what would happen and what would need to happen in order for people to survive/adapt.

This book had some really awesome zombie scenes- some that were completely unique in a genre where you might think there could only be so many scenarios for getting eaten alive or defending yourself against the undead. Whenever there were scenes that directly related to the zombies and the fight for survival, I was captivated and felt my heart racing when I imagined myself in those situations. He painted the pictures vividly and I appreciate that he has such a clear vision of what he wants zombies to be/how they function and that he explains these ideals in such a creative way. Does anyone appreciate zombies more than Max Brooks- I don’t think so. If you are in the mood for an intense zombie-read, this is the book for you.

BUT- having said that- you might remember that I said this was the second time I read this because the first time, I just couldn’t do it. This is not a casual, oh I’m in the mood for a fun little zombie book sort of book. Brooks takes zombies seriously- VERY SERIOUSLY. On my first read, I was overwhelmed because I expected the sort of light-hearted horror present in most zombie films. World War Z is written in the same light someone might expect from a novel about the holocaust or an actual World War. While the zombie sections are super entertaining, there are COUNTLESS sections that are so seriously discussing politics and other social issues on the outside of the action- to be frank- these sections are boring. Completely and totally boring. It’s very odd to have sections of intense action book-ended with sections about technical language regarding international relations and political nitpicking.

So, this is not a light read and sometimes, if you get bogged down by the serious tone, you might feel mildly insane carrying around such a serious book about something so clearly not serious. Having read this (combined with Daniel’s reports on Brooks’ other book, The Zombie Survival Guide) I am convinced that Brooks genuinely believes that zombies are not only real, but not an issue to scoff at. I wonder if his intention is not to entertain but to warn- as one might for an unknown disease. I want to talk with him to find out if this really is a great sense of humor or, to be blunt, delusion. Delusion might be more fun.

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