Tuesday, June 18, 2013

{Book Review} World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
by Max Brooks
Publisher: Crown
Released: September 12th 2006
Genre: Fiction_ Adult: Post-Apocalyptic, horror, zombie
How I got it: Bought

The 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.

Review: I flip flopped on buying this book for a while, then bought it because it was on sale at Target.
World War Z was not what I expected, it was more a collection of short stories. Each chapter is a different persons tale of what happened during the zombie war. The stories were intense. For me they read just like real tales of war, violent, gruesome and highly emotional. Mr Brooks' world building was amazing, he created, or perhaps rebuilt a world, after a global catastrophe. The stories span from China to the US and many countries in between. Each was about the terrifying ordeal of the dead returning to feast on the living. Some stories were military and some from citizens, yet all were riveting.
I liked the wide range of tales given not only views from the army facing down the enemies, but also how Joe Shmoe dealt with their loved ones coming back. I found one of the last stories to be the most facinating. I takes place in the ocean where the zombies are still trudging across the bottom and the interviewer is in the sub and sees what the undersea workers are dealing with. I thought that was really cool.
I do need to say, while I really enjoyed the book I don't think it was worth all the hype. It is kind of original in it's delivery, but not so much the zombie "genre".


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