Tag Archives: Max Brooks

Review: “World War Z” by Max Brooks

Title: World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War
Author: Max Brooks
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Crown, 2006

Are you a hardcore zombie aficionado? You should read this, if only to get a break from the current mire of cookie-cutter zombie fare. Not a fan of zombies? I urge you to give this a shot. I promise you this is one zombie novel that will not fit your dismissive stereotypes. World War Z mildly grabbed my interest when I first saw it, as in “I should read that someday.” Then I reallized that Max Brooks was the son of Mel Brooks (of Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, and History Of The World: Part I fame) and my motivation to read it jumped quite a bit. Illogical? Sure, just because I’m a fan of his dad’s films doesn’t mean his writing will be any good. Nevertheless, I wanted to read this. When they released the film, I downloaded the ebook….and promptly didn’t read it until about a week ago. I wish I’d gotten around to reading it sooner, but oh well. My “to be read” list is truly epic…. I’m told that the audiobook is full-cast and includes such stars as Nathan Fillion….kinda wishing I’d gone that route, honestly. But even just the book was great.

I enjoyed this book immensely. The premise is that of an oral history, post zombie-uprising, looking back at the war. The format is of multiple interviews with various survivors, from soldiers to sailors to an astronaut, all around the world, all their individual stories adding up to the big picture of the rise and eventual fall of the living dead. The degree of research that Brooks would have had to do for this book is phenomenal, and very impressively done. The realism lent to the book by this concept is perhaps the most chilling part. Brooks knew where he wanted this to go–a worldwide outbreak–and so studied viruses and how they spread, deciding where to set his “Patient Zero” cases. From there, everything plays out believeably, from governments’ reactions to how the military would react, both initially and later on after the problem was better understood, to how individuals would cope with a world where the dead walk again. If you have read Brooks’ other book, The Zombie Survival Guide, you’ll know he has a subtle sense of humor that occasionally comes through. Less so in this book, but it’s definitely there in certain characters.

Content: Violence. This is a book about the Zombie uprising, after all. Language. Some of the characters interviewed are foul-mouthed. Mild sexual content. I honestly don’t remember any….

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