“World War Z” by Max Brooks.


This was not the book I was intending to review this week, but sadly my day just didn’t allow for the little extra time I needed to finish reading it. Arg! That has to be the most frustrating thing ever. So, I promise to have it done for next week!

But that’s not to belittle the book that I am going to review!

For anyone that has seen the movie, this book will be too slow paced for you. The movie sets it up like you’re following the life of a journalist as he battles incredibly fast zombies while trying to find out whats happening. And Brad Pitt.

The book is set up in a before-during-after format. The whole thing is written AFTER the zombie apocalypse to give a wide view of everything that happened. It isn’t written like a standard novel either, you have to piece together the story line from type-written audio interviews. To me this gave the book a more ‘realistic’ feel (I know, realistic does not equal zombies, just bare with me) because you weren’t following some Hero through his journey of self discovery and loss. You’re just reading hundreds of people’s memories and thoughts on the plague.

The interviewer sits with people and asks them questions about HOW the virus started, HOW it spread. You learns through many people that symptoms started popping up in small villages where people were falling sick and attacking others. Then you learn when it spread how the government stepped in, what they did when they could no longer control the spread of the disease.

I remember one part quite vividly. I love zombie’s, I love everything about them; the movies, the history, and the culture. But the recollection in the book of people being dragged from boats and from shores by the thousands of zombies that were in the water has stuck with me and it’s the only time the thought of zombies has scared me. They couldn’t swim, so they just waited under the dark water for someone to pass them trying to flee to freedom. You couldn’t see them or hear them like the running zombies. They were just there. Waiting. I read this book years ago and I still get nervous when I’m in murky water.

Because it’s after the apocalypse you don’t get that sense of dread like reading a story as it happens. You know the Interviewer is safe, zombie’s are dealt with, and the world is rebuilding. This is more a book for the curious. A way to see inside Max Brooks head to see how he thinks the apocalypse will go.

He covers military involvement, government response, and civilian impact. No one is left out. So you get many views on the zombies, which makes it very interesting. I know I keep saying that, but sometimes it’s nice to read a book that’s not going rip out your heart and stomp on it while laughing maniacally. It’s a detachment so you can get absorbed in JUST the story. And since the interviews are only in order of which part of the apocalypse they were in, you have to pay close attention and mentally organize a time-line.

It’s a thinking book.

Because of that, this is not a book for everyone. I don’t want anyone to go into this book expecting the movie, and miss out on a very well crafted and inventive zombie book. Even with it’s slower pace, I still found it a page turner. You never get quite enough information to develop a full theory, so I was reading incredibly fast just to find out who was interviewed next so I can learn more about the zombies.

I apologize for the lateness of everything. I’ve had a hectic past three days and fitting projects in and around everything it a little difficult (And my mother called while editing Asteria’s post and I don’t think anyone is crazy enough to ignore a phone-call from a mother).

Today was late, but next week should be back to normal.

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