Friday, December 7, 2012

World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z
an oral history of the zombie war
by Max Brooks
5 stars - highly recommend, will read again

This book was a real surprise in a good way. Let's start by saying that I'm a big zombie movie fan, always have been. So of course I had to get this book, right? I was all set for a nice, campy zombie fest.

Nope, what this book really is about is how individuals and nations respond to a threat of unimaginable proportions. It's plausible and chilling.

The book is a series of interviews with survivors of the zombie war. Zombies, how to stop them? They are relentless, they never sleep, nothing kills them save the total destruction of their brains. Can't nuke 'em, can't poison 'em, can't outrun 'em.

Now, zombies are overrunning the world. What do you do? He's got stories of the early infestations, wrenching stories of government decisions to protect a few citizens and let others die, government conspiracies to keep people "calm," fruitless military attacks. You name it. There is even a chapter about zombie sniffing dogs. 

I read a book like this and I think "what would I do?" "In the event of a global crisis, would I make the call to get out of Dodge soon enough? Would I be able to survive even if I got out?" Nothing like the threat of total human destruction to bring out the worst in people. 

There are villains, politicians, military, regular people. Nobody is a hero. People just survive, at whatever cost. I'll quote from Wikipedia:

"Reviewers have noted that Brooks uses World War Z as a platform to criticize government ineptitude, corporate corruption and human short-sightedness."

Yup, all of that. You want a book that will really make you think? Look no further.

Hey, bonus, looks like they're making a movie based on the book and starring Brad Pitt. Watch the trailer here.


  1. I know somebody that this book would be perfect for! Zombies aren't usually my thing, but this one sounds pretty interesting!

  2. Tell me if you think my 13 and 16 year old sons would like it. I'm desperate here; with millions of books in the house, it's hard to find more for them. And everyone seems to love a good zombie tale.

  3. Zombies and Brad Pitt? Could it get any better, hehe. Can't wait to see that one. Colin and the boys have read the book so I'll have to dig it out and give it a go. Hope you're enjoying the Walking Dead, we sure are. No worries, and love, Carol

  4. We plan to just hurl ourselves into the volcano. And as apocalyptic disasters are more and more likely to be global as time goes by, not sure where one could escape to. The International Space Station with no re-supplies and a decaying orbit? Where are the Vulcans when we need them? [Not a zombie fan, but a huge Trekkie :) ]