Sunday, November 26, 2006

Book Review: "World War Z"

One of the positives about flying home to visit the family for Thanksgiving is the loads of reading time one can accomplished on a plane. To that end, I picked up, read, and finished World War Z by Max Brooks. Max is the son of movie director Mel Brooks, and you can see that they share a humor bone. Though this book is not zany by any means, it does have some humorous moments and serves a dark comedy from time to time.

It presents the outbreak and resulting war against zombies. However, unlike a conventional story, it is told as an oral history, from many different view points. And not just American ones either, from China's role in the outbreak, to how Israel coped with the impeding war, all of which rang true. You could almost hear the desperation and the sorrow in the people's recollections, and it wasn't like these people were even real! The full story is never told, as with most oral histories the focus is on personal history. What little global history is revealed, it is uncovered in bits and pieces, with one event mentioned in passing, only to be talked about later in the book.

This might sound like a backhanded compliment, but I mean it in the highest regard: halfway through the novel, I was picturing it as a movie. In my imagination, I pictured myself visually seeing some of the events that "happened" during the war. I got giddy. I could see the book work more as a miniseries or a TV drama, with an ensemble cast that rotates season to season as the outbreak manifests itself and war begins.

I fell so much in love with the book, I actually picked up Max Brooks' first novel, also zombie themed, The Zombie Survival Guide. I would recommend anyone with a zombie, apocalypse, or alternate history fetish to pick up World War Z.

4 1/2 Infected Zombies out of 5.


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