I ve broken my cardinal rule for reading books just before the movie comes out This rule I ve alluded to is the following I don t read the book directly before the movie at least 1 year before or it must be read after or just wait on the movies The reason for this is that I want to enjoy the story through both mediums and if you read the book just before the movie, you ve set yourself up to be a critic analyzing everything and complaining about every detail that s inevitably left out, but which isoften than not necessary for the medium.
If you read the book at least a year before, at least with my shoddy memory, the movie becomes a happy time of fond remembrances Oh yeah, I remember that part, so cool Yay Happy In this instance, I hear the movie doesn t quite follow the book exactly and what else can that mean than that it s a typical zombie movie I don t think I ve ruined much here.
You know, it could have been partly because of all the hype, but I didn t love this book I didn t hate it either, which makes these the hardest reviews to write, but I think I have a few ideas why World War Z just didn t work all that well for me.
I m studying for the bar at the moment, so you get an extremely well organized review at least with headings aplenty since that s how my brain is thinking at the moment The PlotDoesn t really exist Yeah, there s a loose series of events that defines the book, or the Zombie War, but it s told through interviews with different survivors from different countries And they re short too, I even checked this with the book paper form Each interview amounts to a page or two, maybe 5 max Each tends to discuss a certain important event, which ends up getting referred to by characters later in the book and often mentioned by the one directly following.
It s extremely clever and lets you see how well developed this whole idea is.
It s extremely cleverMax Brooks has literally thought of everything when it comes to a war against zombies I thought the same in my reading of The Zombie Survival Guide, and it goes just as well here EVERYTHING He goes into why tanks are all but useless against hordes of zombies because you have to take out their heads Anything else, and they ll still shamble and probably even becomedangerous when you trip over them on the ground The airforce is just as useless because it s so much money and effort for such a little amount of good Better spent on a bunch of soldiers with tons of amo He even goes into better strategies for fighting this war, why the zombies are such a good enemy because they don t need to be bred, fed, or led as I ll let the book explain Very clever and not even pretentious about it Just captivating And this isn t the only thing I liked although we re getting into the middle ground because I didn t love the audio either.
The AudioOne of the things that got me excited to listen to this on audio was that it s read by a full cast That means they re trying REALLY hard and that tends to be a good thing, especially if you don t like one or two of the voices, it s okay, it s only temporary With just one narrator, that can really kill a book I mentioned that this is told through many different people in different countries and they have actors like Rob Reiner and John Turturro Even Max Brooks himself plays the part of the interviewer John Turturro from The Big Lebowski Very cooluntil the point of distraction There are so many different countries represented that the accents started to distract heavily from the story I found myself pondering why the German guy had such a heavy accent on his R s and yet could perfectly pronounce TH every time And this was just the one guy One of the benefits of a single narrator is that even when they do an accent, it s easier to understand because English is their primary language The audio s great for the most part, outside of that little niggle about the accents, but one thing I absolutely HATE about it isit s abridged AbridgedI would probably never forgive myself if I listened to this abridged audio version and never actually read the entire book if I actually thought that mattered Maybe others are better sleuths than myself, but I can t find a reading of World War Z that s not abridged At the same, after having read the book, the abridged version seems to do enough justice to the entirety of the novel, what with how it is organized, that it just cuts out a few of the interviews.
Normally this is heresy, but I can live with it for this one time only.
What I didn t likeI think the thing that just makes this an okay to good book for me is that while it s style and organization is unique and highly clever, it also takes away from my ability to care Without just following one person or a group of people, there s no attachment to any specific person The Movie Brad Pitt will make everything better After writing the above, I actually do think the movie will make it all better It seems like it will be following one single person and that s what this reader needs Movie s set for a June 2013 release Here s the trailer too.
In the end in the sense of my final feelings not any post apocalyptic sense Let s just say, if we ever do get into a Zombie War, you better have a copy of World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide on you Someone s already gone through the effort of thinking up EVERY situation that can occur, what s effective, what s not and put it down in words No sense reinventing the wheel.
While an entertaining idea and clever execution, these were the exact things that made World War Z a book I could never love It s worth a read if only to see how in depth you have not thought about zombies.
3 out of 5 Stars Recommended with Reservations The movie, an updateI just wanted to make a quick note about the movie I m happy to say I called it correctly I enjoyed the movie muchthan the book even though you can really only say the movie is a loose adaptation if you can even say that I thought it was much better to visit all those countries through the single character of the UN agent as opposed to interviews of random characters I felt for him trying to protect his family, I rooted for him when he was in danger, and it had the same effect of exploring the reaction of different cultures to a much smaller degree of course And it actually scared me, which for a zombie book, was completely lacking in WWZ.
The book of war, the one we ve been writing since one ape slapped another was completely useless in this situation We had to write a new one from scratch With most apocalyptic situations, I think the hardest part to deal with is that there are no wrong decisions or right decisions There are simply too many variables to consider if your ultimate goal is to survive The most meticulously planned strategies can still result in failure You make the best decisions you can and then hope for a bit of luck Should we barricade ourselves hoping to be saved, or go North hoping the zombies will eventually become popsicles when winter hits Are we safer in the underground tunnels of Paris or on a cruise ship or living in the woods by ourselves Whatever decision you make, you must think long game and short game The short game, the immediate concerns, involve food, water, and shelter The short and long game both come into play when trying to figure out how to avoid becoming zombie chow Once you survive the first wave of contagion, then what This book is written as an investigative report, collecting all the experiences of survivors from around the world Different cultures reacted differently to the apocalypse Some weresuccessful than others The learning curve, unfortunately, has to be short with apocalyptic situations, especially if the hope is to actually salvage civilisation The lights go out, and many of the comforts we ve become accustomed to are gone instantly, and the possessions that have come to define us, such as electronic devices, suddenly become useless If the whole idea of a zombie apocalypse is too wild a concept for you to grasp, you might be relieved that for the most part the zombies are really just part of the background What Max Brooks is really dealing with goes well beyond the concept of zombies and focuseson how people survived the collapse of civilisation He could have used microbes or conventional war or a devastating meteorite hitting the earth or any of the other fascinating concepts that people have come up with as ways to end the world It reads like books of a similar nature that collect the stories of people who survived World War Two The scope is huge and impressive Brooks addresses aspects about a zombie apocalypse that I have never thought about before QuislingsYeah, you know, the people that went nutballs and started acting like zombiesOk, I ve read a handful of zombie books, not enough to make myself an expert, but certainly enough to have some background on the lore of a zombie apocalypse WTH Now Brooks didn t just make this term up It is a term from WW2 A quisling is a person who collaborates with an enemy occupying force The word originates from the Norwegian war time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime during the Second World War The minds of survivors, I m sure, snapped in all kinds of strange and wonderful and terrifying ways, but unfortunately pretending to be a zombie was a quick way to find yourselfwelldead First, any reasonably sane human who notices you lurching toward them, performing your very best mimicry of the undead, will smash your brain Second, you don t blend with the zombies They know you are alive You become a zombie delight People also just went to sleep perfectly healthy and didn t wake up This was called ADS, short for Asymptomatic Demise Syndrome or Apocalyptic Despair SyndromeIt killed as many people in those early stalemate months as hunger, disease, interhuman violence, or the living deadI ve heard of things like this happening to people who experience long term stress situations The body just reaches a point where the brain decides to just shut down the power to the spacecraft and let the mind drift away RIPPeople will put up with a lot as long as there is hope that someday their situation will improve Babies die when they are not held People die when things become hopeless Brooks also told stories about zombies underwater WTH Yeah, people reanimated as the living dead on ships and eventually managed to fall off the ship in the water It wasn t unusual for zombies to just walk out of the water onto beaches or grab divers or attack fishermen in boats Somehow they arescary underwater than on land It gives me the shivers just thinking about it I m having a Jaws flashback During and after WWZ, people had to relearn things that our grandparents and great grandparents knew A chimney sweepI help keep my neighbors warm he said proudly.
A cobblerYou see those shoes I made them A shepherdThat sweater, that s my sheep s wool A gardener farmerLike that corn My gardenThat was the upshot of alocalized system It gave people the opportunity to see the fruits of their labor, it gave them a sense of individual pride to know they were making a clear, concrete contribution to victory, and it gave me a wonderful feeling that I was part of that I needed that feeling It kept me sane for the other part of my job The other part of his job killing zombies Several of the survivors talked about how important it was not to think of them as people or of who they were or of who they might have become They couldn t see them as people or what they were doing was genocide This is by far the most serious zombie book I ve ever read The stories are compelling This is a panoramic view of a society in crises The observations are thoughtful The writing is convincing By the end I had the feeling I d just read a history book, not a speculative zombie apocalyptic book The book is unfilmable, but the movie industry knew a catchy title when they saw one They certainly borrowed aspects from the book, but really the movie should be considered a completely different entity The zombies in Brooks book are the George Romero lurching, yucky living dead In the movie, they are super charged, fast moving, aggressive, nasty creatures The virus in the movie is fast acting Someone bitten is transformed within seconds In the book, the virus takes much longer to take effect Did it bother me that the director Marc Forster took such liberties Not one bite bit I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was thoroughly entertained I certainly intend to watch the movie again So read the book to discover new depths to an overly exploited genre, and watch the movie to experience a whirlwind of fear and dread Just a suggestion, have someone else hold the popcorn If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at An Alternate Cover For This Isbn Can Be Found HereThe Zombie War Came Unthinkably Close To Eradicating Humanity Max Brooks, Driven By The Urgency Of Preserving The Acid Etched First Hand Experiences Of The Survivors From Those Apocalyptic Years, Traveled Across The United States Of America And Throughout The World, From Decimated Cities That Once Teemed With Upwards Of Thirty Million Souls To The Most Remote And Inhospitable Areas Of The Planet He Recorded The Testimony Of Men, Women, And Sometimes Children Who Came Face To Face With The Living, Or At Least The Undead, Hell Of That Dreadful Time World War Z Is The Result Never Before Have We Had Access To A Document That So Powerfully Conveys The Depth Of Fear And Horror, And Also The Ineradicable Spirit Of Resistance, That Gripped Human Society Through The Plague Years Ranging From The Now Infamous Village Of New Dachang In The United Federation Of China, Where The Epidemiological Trail Began With The Twelve Year Old Patient Zero, To The Unnamed Northern Forests Where Untold Numbers Sought A Terrible And Temporary Refuge In The Cold, To The United States Of Southern Africa, Where The Redeker Plan Provided Hope For Humanity At An Unspeakable Price, To The West Of The Rockies Redoubt Where The North American Tide Finally Started To Turn, This Invaluable Chronicle Reflects The Full Scope And Duration Of The Zombie War Most Of All, The Book Captures With Haunting Immediacy The Human Dimension Of This Epochal Event Facing The Often Raw And Vivid Nature Of These Personal Accounts Requires A Degree Of Courage On The Part Of The Reader, But The Effort Is Invaluable Because, As Mr Brooks Says In His Introduction, By Excluding The Human Factor, Aren T We Risking The Kind Of Personal Detachment From History That May, Heaven Forbid, Lead Us One Day To Repeat It And In The End, Isn T The Human Factor The Only True Difference Between Us And The Enemy We Now Refer To As The Living Dead Note Some Of The Numerical And Factual Material Contained In This Edition Was Previously Published Under The Auspices Of The United Nations Postwar Commission Eyewitness Reports From The First Truly Global War I Found Patient Zero Behind The Locked Door Of An Abandoned Apartment Across Town His Wrists And Feet Were Bound With Plastic Packing Twine Although He D Rubbed Off The Skin Around His Bonds, There Was No Blood There Was Also No Blood On His Other Wounds He Was Writhing Like An Animal A Gag Muffled His Growls At First The Villagers Tried To Hold Me Back They Warned Me Not To Touch Him, That He Was Cursed I Shrugged Them Off And Reached For My Mask And Gloves The Boy S Skin Was Cold And Gray I Could Find Neither His Heartbeat Nor His Pulse Dr Kwang Jingshu, Greater Chongqing, United Federation Of China Shock And Awe Perfect Name But What If The Enemy Can T Be Shocked And Awed Not Just Won T, But Biologically Can T That S What Happened That Day Outside New York City, That S The Failure That Almost Lost Us The Whole Damn War The Fact That We Couldn T Shock And Awe Zack Boomeranged Right Back In Our Faces And Actually Allowed Zack To Shock And Awe Us They Re Not Afraid No Matter What We Do, No Matter How Many We Kill, They Will Never, Ever Be Afraid Todd Wainio, Former US Army Infantryman And Veteran Of The Battle Of Yonkers Two Hundred Million Zombies Who Can Even Visualize That Type Of Number, Let Alone Combat It For The First Time In History, We Faced An Enemy That Was Actively Waging Total War They Had No Limits Of Endurance They Would Never Negotiate, Never Surrender They Would Fight Until The Very End Because, Unlike Us, Every Single One Of Them, Every Second Of Every Day, Was Devoted To Consuming All Life On Earth General Travis D Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe Humanity survived Zombie apacolypse Like after any great tragedy, the government wants a record Max Brooks is their oral historian Only, when he hands his documents, the bureaucracy whittles it down to the bare facts Humans, over every nation,dragged their bone weary bodies through this war They are now faced with the numbing task of rebuilding society They deserve to have their stories told So, he publishes the true account of World War Z.
Told in a series of vignettes, we listen in on interviews as Brooks travels both the country and the world And one thing is certain, life with zombiesis a chilling taleThe monsters that rose from the dead, they are nothing compared to the ones we carry in our hearts The vignettes are absolutely riveting There s a bit of the regular zombie murder mayhem but the story focuses on the human side of things How the survivors, survived There s the blind man who fought off a hoard with nothan a blunt staff Some people lost their minds succumbing to tree belief that they have joined the dead There s the unintentionally cannibalistic family and so muchMost people don t believe something can happen until it already has.
Audiobook comments read by Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, Rob Reiner, Mark Hamill, Alfred Molina, Simon Pegg, Henry Rollins and Martin Scorsese Highly recommended you listen to this novel it s a quality production Every voice is country specific and the actors read very convincingly It feels like I m next to Max as he interviews the survivors.
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reads Happy Reading I just can t get on this bandwagon The pseudo government reports the book is written in handicap it in many ways First, there are no protagonists to grow with, no story arc, no climax, etc You know what s going to happen from day one there was a world crisis involving zombies and at least some people live to tell the tale The sure knowledge of the outcome deflates any tension and book feels flacid The pseudo scientific jargon is a poor imitation my sister, a nurse, tossed aside Brooks other Zombie manfesto in disgust within the first few pages and this one fairs no better and there are far too many emotional pauses and descriptive introductions for what amounts to an addendum to a government study of events The thing that put me over the edge with this book is the inconsistency one chapter has a boy with bloody knuckles sliding his hands about in zombie goo and remaining uninfected and in the next chapter there is an expression of gratitutde that no one exposed to detrius from a headshot has open wounds to be infected through What editor let that get by On top of that, racial, national stereotypes abound and are crude and unappealing Brooks is obviously a big fan of Israel, as they are the heroes of the day, even going so far as to selflessly save Palestinian refugees yeah, right and remnants of South Africa s apartheid system are given a reprieve due to their pragmatism Russians are wacky comrades, Chinamen are inscrutable and Americans are cowboys weakened by education and consumerism Ugh.
I won t recommend this book to anyone, even a die hard zombie fan, lest World War Z ruin the genre for them forever.
At this current moment in time my husband and I do not actually have a working will We are the legal definition of intestate We have not yet made any preparations for our death and we only have life insurance house insurance because his mother organized the whole damn thing come to mention it she is also the reason we have electricity, water and a phone line the internet though was all us because we d die without it So believe me when I say that we don t organize anything Except our zombie kit That s right We have a zombie kit Should zombies suddenly strike while I type out this review we would be able to take our son and get in our car and drive away without a backward glance Everything we need is in the boot of the car If we re holed up inside the house we have our second zombie kit to live off of and use to defend ourselves We have several plans in place as to where to go, what to do if we re separated at time of crisis, who we re taking with us, how we ll stay in contact etc.
Some may call his paranoia Some may call this stupidity Do you know what I call these naysayers Zombie food.
It is this obsessive and weird need to ensure survival during a zombie apocalypse, despite every rational reason to believe that all our efforts are for naught, that has made me the prime candidate and target group of this book It is not the norm of the zombie genre In general a zombie movie tends to be about a small group of individuals against the undead hordes looking to floss with intestines This book is not about a small group of individuals it is about a large collection of humanity This book is how HUMANITY would survive and deal with a zombie infestation It is a collection of small, broken narratives from people all over the world, across many social, economic and political classes Some of them were amazing, others horrifying Some were inspirational, others so depressing or introspective that I wondered if there was any hope.
I would argue that many of the voices from certain nationalities were not really very accurate and didn t really match the cultural region they came from but I m lazy Either you get the voice of the narratives or you don t.
This book was a fascinating, thoughtful read in a field that I m personally obsessed with I could easily understand how those who ve never stayed up until three in the morning, drunk off their heads with a group of people yelling that if they head into the city then they re zombie meat Zombie meat I say You ridiculous idiots probably will find this book a hard read.
It s also a difficult read in the sense that you are continually sucked into one story, only to have it end abruptly and shift to another I kept getting frustrated and wanting to scream, No Go back I want to know what else happened but alas It s like little snap shots from all over the world, except when it comes to several of the snapshots, I d really rather see the whole picture.
Other than that, I loved it I had a hoot reading it It gave me plenty of fodder with which to have many drunken debates with my husband, brothers and friends.
Much to their disgust So, I ve seen the movie several times when it was on TV, and I have to say that I even watched a scene or two a couple of dozen times on Youtube Yes, the action and visuals are fantastic Okay, except the one where the guy tears his own tooth, yuck But after reading the comments where people were angry at the movie, saying that it does not hold a candle to the book, I knew I had to read it And yes, I do agree that the only things the movie took from the book were the zombies and Israel building a wall Oh, and the title.
Right away, I was very surprised by the format of this book it was not all what I was expecting And theI think about it I believe it would be better if I picked up an audiobook instead of a book Yeah, shocking, I never thought I would say such a thing Every interview is done with a different person, so, soon I stopped paying attention to their names, so when they again appeared later in the book I had a hard time connecting them with their previous chapters Also, like one third into the book, I got stuck after several boring chapters where I seriously considered DNFing this book, but then I pushed through, and yes, it was worth it I loved that we got to see how so many different parts of the world battled with the zombies The different approaches, what do to the countries, did they go all savage Did they bomb their own people Did they just lose all control That was fantastic to watch.
And surprisingly, this book made me even laugh I just loved the boy who almost missed the zombies because he was focused on his computer I did not expect that That s the one thing you can always depend on as we re fighting on war, we re always preparing for the next one.
I did not very much grasp how they were suddenly able to fight the zombies when they previously failed with much better equipment but alright But I have to say that zombie cleaning is funny to imagine Especially of those underwater, I bet it will be fun if a zombie managed to get stuck in the Mariana Trench However, the scene I was sort of hoped for was post war when some scientists have a zombie in a lab for studying, that would be fantastic I honestly would love to see some experiments on these creatures The book stated that it seemed that the state of the zombies deteriorated, but I wonder what would happen if they maybe starved for years So many possibilities What sort of surprised me is that I expected that when the humans would go so close to extinction that the environment would get better, no factories running, no one is dumping anything in the water etc but it was otherwise and it sort of made sense There had to be so many fires it s terrifying to imagine But I wonder about the impact of all those nukes used And that s another thing I wish was different, the last part was sort of jumping from character to character, for short conclusions but I would love to seeabout the brand new world Honestly, I think I would be able to read a book dedicated to each country Especially Russia, Iceland and Israel would be interesting Also, I wish we really knew what happened in North Korea I also wonder about Patient Zero, because when the doctor in China informed his friend, they knew what was going on, the military seemed ready for what was happening there That does not seem like the first caseOverall, the book is 3,5 5 for me I think I will get the audiobook to see if I ll like that format better.
this book is about zombies the same way the bible is about god they are mostly background actors who are the reason other characters do what they do and occasionally they will rarrrr in and kill a bunch of people because they cant help it, but mostly they are an invisible presence, always to be feared but never given a voice this whole book takes place after the zombies have already destroyed most of the world and is a collection of the testimonials of hundreds of different characters detailing their experiences with the zombie outbreak, and how they have survived because of this, there arent really any action scenes, or any immediate terror this book isabout politics and global concerns and human nature and dissatisfaction with the way the government handles natural disasters and im gonna say it, im gonna say it the zeitgeist woohoo than it is about man eating corpses it takes into account so many different aspects of post zombie experience that i never would have considered like what will the actors do now and what happens if a zombie gets on board your boat and how will this affect the rest of the food chain very multi faceted, if not what i was expecting also interesting the role of castles in a zombie holocaust, and the underground tunnels in paris unsafe so for people like alfonso, who do not enter a room without first considering their escape routes should zombies attack, this could give some interesting perspectives about what may have been overlooked, and provide some good food for thought brains are for thought brains are zombie food you do the math.
uh oh book avalanche maybelatercome to my blog My full review of this book is longer than Goodreads word count limitations find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.
com Anytime I hear of some funny, gimmicky book suddenly becoming popular among the hipster set, I always squint my eyes and brace myself for the worst because usually when it comes to such books, the worst is all you can expect to find, an endless series of fluffy pop culture pieces designed specifically for crafty point of purchase display at your favorite corporate superstore, and then a year later to be forgotten by society altogether And so it s been in the last six months as I ve heardandabout this book World War Z An Oral History of the Zombie War, which supposedly is a hilarious actual oral history about an apocalyptic war with the undead that supposedly almost wiped out the human race as we know it even worse, that it had been inspired by an actual gimmicky point of purchase humor book, the dreadful Zombie Survival Guide from a few years ago which had been published specifically and only to make a quick buck off the overly specific survival guide craze of the early 2000s And even worse than all this, the author of both is Max Brooks, as in the son of comedy legend Mel Brooks and if the son of a comedy legend is trawling the literary gutters of gimmicky point of purchase humor books, the chances usually are likely that they have nothing of particular interest to say.
So what a surprise, then, to read the book myself this month, and realize that it s not a gimmicky throwaway humor book at all, but rather a serious and astute look at the next 50 years of global politics, using a zombie outbreak as a metaphorical stand in for any of the pervasive challenges facing us as an international culture these days terrorism, global warming, disease, natural disasters , showing with the precision of a policy analyst just how profoundly the old way of doing things is set to fail in the near future when some of these challenges finally become crises It is in fact an astoundingly intelligent book, as real as any essay by Seth Godin or Malcolm Gladwell, basically imagining the debacle of New Orleans multiplied by a million, then imagining what would happen if the Bushists were to react to such a thing in the same way and evenastounding, Brooks posits that maybe the real key to these future challenges lies with the citizens of third world countries, in that they are open to greater and faster adaptability than any fat, lazy, middle class American or European ever could be Oh yeah, and it s got face eating zombies too Did I mention the face eating zombies Because that s the thing to always remember, that this comes from an author who has spent nearly his entire life in the world of comedy and gimmicky projects, not only from family connections but also his own job as a staff writer at Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 03 that no matter how smart World War Z gets and it gets awfully smart at points , it is still ultimately a fake oral history of an apocalyptic zombie war that supposedly takes place just five or ten years from now, starting as these messes often do as a series of isolated outbreaks in remote third world villages And in fact this is where Brooks first starts getting his political digs in, right from the first page of the manuscript itself, by using the initial spread of the zombie virus to comment on the way such past epidemics like HIV have been dealt with by the corrupt old white males who used to be in charge of things basically, by ignoring the issue as long as it wasn t affecting fellow white males, then only paying attention after it s become an unstoppable epidemic In Brooks world, just like the real one of pre 9 11 intelligence gathering, we see that a few government smarties from around the world really were able to catch the implications of this mysterious new virus while it was still theoretically controllable just that their memos and papers went ignored for political reasons by those actually in charge, as well as getting lost in the vast bureaucratic shuffle that the Cold War has created in the Western military industrial complex.
That s probably the most pleasurable part of the first half, to tell you the truth, and by pleasurable I mean witty and humorous in a bleak, horrifying, schauenfreude kind of way of watching the virus becomeandof a threat, of watching entire cities start to go under because of the zombie epidemic, then watching Brooks paint an extremely thinly veiled portrait of how the Bush administration would deal with such a situation, and by extension any government ruled by a small cabal of backwards, power hungry religious fundamentalists And in this, then, World War Z suddenly shifts from a critique about AIDS to a critique about Iraq, showing how in both situations the Middle East and zombies, that is the real priority of the people currently in charge is to justify all the trillions of dollars spent at traditional weapon manufacturing companies under the old Cold War system companies, by the way, where all the people in charge have lucrative executive jobs when they re not being the people in charge , leading to such ridiculous situations as a full on tank and aircraft charge mostly for the benefit of the lapdog press outlets who are there covering the first grand assault In Iraq, unfortunately, we found that a billion dollars in tanks still can t stop a teenage girl with a bomb strapped to her chest and metaphorically that might be the most chilling scene in the entirety of World War Z as well, the press friendly zombie response set up by the Bush led government in New York s Yonkers neighborhood, done not for good strategic reasons but rather to show off the billions of dollars in weapons the government had recently acquired, leading to a virtual slaughter of all the soldiers and journalists there by the chaotic zombie hoard that eventually arrives.
This, then, gets us into the first futuristic posit of Brooks in the novel to not have actually happened in real life yet the Great Panic, that is, when the vast majority of humans suddenly lose faith in whatever government was formerly running their section of the world, and where mass anarchy and chaos leads to the accidental and human on human deaths of several hundreds of millions ofpeople And again, by detailing a fictional tragedy like a global zombie epidemic, and the complete failure of a Bush type administration to adequately respond to it, Brooks is eerily predicting here such real situations like last week s complete meltdown of Bear Stearns the fifth largest investment bank in the entire United States , leading many to start wondering for the first time what exactly would happen if the US dollar itself was to experience the same kind of whirlwind collapse, a collapse that happens so fast in a single business day in the case of Bear Stearns that no one in the endless red tape of the government itself has time to actually respond to it Brooks answer here is roughly the same one Cormac McCarthy proposed in last year s Pulitzer winning The Road chaos, bloodshed, violence, inhumanity, an everyone for themselves mentality from the very people we trusted to lead us in such times of crisis Make no mistake, this is a damning and devastating critique of the corrupt conservatives currently in charge of things a book that uses the detritus of popular culture to masquerade as a funny and gross book about zombies, but like the best fantastical literature in history is in fact a prescient look at our current society It s unbelievable, in fact, how entertaining and engrossing this novel is throughout its middle, given how this is usually the part of any book that is the slowest and least interesting here Brooks uses the naturally slow middle of his own story to make the majority of his political points, and to get into a really wonky side of global politics that is sure to satisfy all you hardcore policy junkies as well as military fetishists.
Because that s the final thing important to understand about World War Z, is that it s a novel with a truly global scope Brooks here takes on not only what such a zombie epidemic would do to our familiar US of A, but also how such an epidemic would spread in the village centric rural areas of southeast Asia, the infrastructure poor wastelands of Russia and , and especially how each society fights the epidemic in slightly different ways, some withsuccess than others For example, Brooks posits that in such places as India, population density is just too high to do much of any good in his fictional world history, such countries are basically decimated by such a catastrophe, with there basically being few humans even left in India by the time everything is over Other countries, though, used to picking up as a nation and fleeing for other lands, survive the zombie outbreaks quite well those who are already used to being refugees, for example, see not too much of a difference in their usual lifestyle from this latest turn in events, ironically making them the societies most suited for survival in such a world This is opposed to all the clueless middle class Americans in the novel, for example, who in a panic make for the wilds of northern Canada, in the blind hope that the winter weather will freeze the zombies into non action although that turns out to be true, poor planning unfortunately results in the deaths of tens of millions of people anyway, from hypothermia and starvation and plain ol mass murder And this is ultimately what I mean by this book being such a politically astute one because as
Despite the fact that Max Brooks used to write for SNL, and also happens to be Mel Brooks son, this book isn t funny, nor is it meant to be Max Brooks tells this story through a series of interviews given by survivors of The Great Panic, or World War Z the Z stands for Zombie, in case you didn t, you know, put two and two together.
The interviewees come from different parts of the world and they tell their accounts of what happened to them, what they thought when they first heard of what was first referred to as African Rabies what happened when the Great Panic started in their part of the world A lot of these stories are sad and or terrifying, but mostly I found them incredibly intriguing Before I go on I need to add that I totally geek out over documentaries, and this book were it in movie form would be a documentary I m one that appreciates the method Max Brooks uses to tell this story To me the beginning of this book hasto do with the way things are done in this world politics wise than anything else Of course, as the book goes on andandgovernments are collapsing due to the fact that zombies are basically taking over the world, we get a good look at human nature during times of crisis I found the whole thing fascinating.
Hardcore zombie lovers need to know that this isn t a book that follows one set of characters, though some interviews have been broken up, and so a few characters are featured in this bookthan once Rather it is one story told by several different people There is continuity in the order in which the stories are told to us, and sometimes one survivor s account answers a question that was raised by another survivor.
All that said, there is quite a bit of zombie slaying action Lots of blood and guts and gore We get to learn how best to stop a zombie and let me assure you, there are many ways We also learn about newest in improvised zombie killing weaponry and effective warfare techniques to decimate a raging out of control zombie population But seriously, I loved reading it, everything in this whole entire book Me A church going mother of three Although, yeah, I m not your typical church going mother of three But still P.
S I d have finished this book a long time ago had it not been for my husband, who kept stealing this book away from me so he could read it too He s really liking it, btw UPDATE 11 10 12 About a year ago I bought the audiobook from Audible only to discover, after purchasing, that it was the abridged version I soon found out that was all they had to offer which was quite disappointing because some of my favorite eyewitness accounts from the book were not included I ve since heard from the World War Z s Facebook page that they are going to make an unabridged version I am unaware of when it will be available for purchase That said, I did end up liking the abridged audiobook well enough The performances are pretty top notch To those who have zero sense of humor, it must be said I m kidding, I don t do any drugs, and you need to chill.