WORLD WAR Z
An Oral History of the Zombie War
- Max Brooks -
Now I get the whole zombie craze. Now I get the questions posted in forums and on facebook status updates asking how you'd fight off a zombie? Or your preferred weapon to decap a zombie? You know the questions I'm referring to?
Part end of the world story and part zombie horror flick, this book is hard to label. It is structured like a historical textbook, looking back at WWZ or the world war against the zombies. There are facts and timelines, but mostly interviews with survivors. It was so well done I almost felt like I was reading (or in my case listening to) a true, researched, fact checked, non-fiction. Maybe even as additional reading for a history 408 class at a local college, or something. It was so good it gave me the creeps...and a slightly restless night.
What made me think it was real was the beginning. The zombies start appearing like a sickness or plague. Nobody seems to take it that seriously. Which makes sense. What government or news media is going to take stories of the undead walking around infecting people in rural China seriously? But, then when they finally do, it's too late. The plague spreads too fast to control and before you know it there are cases around the entire world.
Through the interviews we get an idea of how different places dealt with the zombies, how zombies behaved, how they could be killed, why they moaned...you get an almost scientific look into zombies. We also get many views of how the plague spread, what the world was like when it peaked, and how the survivors banned together to eventually win the war against them.
If you enjoy apocalypse books like The Postman or The Road you'll like this one. There was gruesome accounts of zombies eating guts and sick stuff like that, but, mostly the writing was about how the world changed and how the survivors were dealing with this new world.
I listened to the audiobook and have to say I think it could be better than the written one. Since the set up of the book is mostly interviews the audiobook has different voices for the different characters. That bumped it up a notch making it feel genuine and real. It felt like I was listening to the audio of a documentary.
Before hearing this book I had no knowledge of zombies, other than they make a good halloween costume, but now I feel educated. Yes, educated. One should know a bit about zombies...just in case.