Book Review: ‘World War Z’ by Max Brooks

Posted: 11 June 2016 in Book reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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Synopsis

Ten years after the world was almost destroyed by zombies, a record was made to recount the stories of those who survived. To understand how such an event could come to pass, the accounts are broken up into eight sections.

Some accounts detail how the zombie apocalypse caught the whole world by surprise. How even though many countries had warnings of a strange new disease running rampart and popping up in random parts of the world, most were minimally concerned with setting up any protective measures. Maybe it had to do with the little information they had to go on, maybe it was the unbelievable details they were given, no one really knows. Whatever the reasons, when the zombies came, people were unprepared and many died.

Other accounts come from people trying to place the blame for this calamity, while others detail the panic that ensued once people realised what was happening. Insider accounts then describe how after the zombie problem was finally being recognised, various governments began coming up with plans to deal with them. At first the plans seemed extreme, but as the deaths piled up they suddenly became the only options.

The final firsthand accounts show how humanity was taken to the brink of destruction by this unbelievable enemy. Communities fall apart and countries collapse as citizens of the world do whatever they must to survive. While this compilation of experiences delivers the greatest comeback story ever, the survival of mankind wasn’t possible without unimaginable sacrifice.

My Thoughts

I had first heard of this story when Brad Pitt was trying to get it made into a movie. At that point it hadn’t really registered that it was a book. Years passed and when the movie came out, I loved it. I also learned that it was nothing like the book. Naturally. The movie is a linear story-line while the book is a collection of separate memories of people around the world. Still, both are good in their respective lights.

The story is interesting in it’s portrayal of the different points of view during the various stages of the zombie apocalypse. Some are soldiers, some professionals, and some are ordinary people. Each person, as in real life, has a story and different view of how things happened. It is also an interesting dialogue on the world and the pride and arrogance of certain countries. If you consider the current state of the world, if such a zombie apocalypse were to take place, this book would pretty much describe the events that would transpire. Sad. I also like how tasteful the storytelling is. It gives description, but not so graphic as to be disgusting. It let’s emotion drive the storytelling.

As this is a compilation of personal accounts, there is only one constant character: the narrator/interviewer. I liked how he felt the need to include the human element into an official report and when it was excluded he created the book. He also did a good job at keeping himself only minimally visible, such as when asking questions. He would have made a good journalist if he wasn’t already one.

The writing was largely great. Many different styles were used in telling the various stories, which is great since each story is a different character voice. I found most of it easy to follow and very fluid. I only struggled with a couple, but that was mostly due to story as opposed to the writing.

All in all I enjoyed the book. Not overly surprised at how different the book and movie were. It’s almost to be expected. If you have seen the movie, whether you enjoyed it or not, you should give the book a read. The rest of you, if you like zombie stories, I’m pretty sure this one will interest you. Enjoy 😉

Buy on Amazon
Buy at Barnes and Noble

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