Max Brooks - World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

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A Must-Read for Horror and Zombie Fans

Jun 8, 2008 (Updated Jun 8, 2008)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Zombie wars are shown from many different POV's across the world.

Cons:Some stories could have been elaborated on.

The Bottom Line: A great book for anyone who loves zombies. Page-turner.


Someone had told me this book would be hard to follow without first reading Brooks’ other book, The Zombie Survival Guide. Well, I had already finished WWZ before I even realized there was another book. I followed it just fine, so if you haven’t read The Zombie Survival Guide yet, I would say don’t worry about it.

The interesting thing about WWZ is that it’s written as if it were non-fiction. The zombie wars lasted for ten years, and another ten years after they have ended, Brooks is traveling around the world interviewing people about their experiences before, after, and during the war. Most of the time it doesn’t feel like reading an interview, however. The interviewees usually give long responses, so most of the book feels like a collection of short stories told in the first person.

The people Brooks interviews are quite varied. One is a Japanese computer nerd who never leaves his room. Almost too late he realizes he’s the only one left in his building. Another a pilot whose plane is delivering supplies when it crashes, leaving her forced to find her way to safety through the zombie infested swamps. Still more involve government and military officials and their take on how slow moving corpses managed to overpower most of humanity. These explanations I found quite interesting. Bad military strategies, government cover-ups, fake cures, and bad information all piled on top of each other and nearly caused the end of the human race. One of my favorites covered how a bunch of celebrities tried to survive the zombie apocalypse in a fortified mansion while making a reality show of the whole thing.

Some of the stories were suspenseful, others were intriguing. My favorite thing about this book is that it had what most zombie movies lacked. A world view. In most zombie stories, it only focuses on a small area or group of people. WWZ gives us a glimpse of the zombie wars across the world, and shows us how different countries reacted to it. Attacks on neighboring countries, evacuations, and underground bunkers were some of the scenarios played out in different countries.

There are some graphic scenes in this book. The descriptions of zombies and zombie-related violence can get pretty gruesome, and there are also scenes dealing with suicide. But if you could handle Dawn of the Dead or Shaun of the Dead, you can probably handle this.


Recommend this product? Yes


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