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Book Review - World War Z

 Sunday, 24 October 2010

Yeesh it's been waaay too long since I did a book review, I am sorry although I'm probably gonna be just as bad throughout November when NaNoWriMo is fully underway. I've had a very strange two days of reading, on Friday night I finished the book I'm about to review and then today I procrastinated my french work with the book I will hopefully review later this week. The second book was *so* different to the first it's actually quite comical. But anyway back to work!

Title: World War Z
Author: Max Brooks
Date: 22/10/2010 PM
Source: Borrowed from Library
Description: 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. (Description taken from Goodreads)

My review
Well dang what can I say? I've not read that many zombie books but you can be damn sure that this is gonna be the one that I will use as the standard for every one I read in the future. When a work of *fiction* is so realistic that you have to mentally remind yourself that the world has not been ravaged by a apocalyptic zombie plague then you know you're onto a winner.

This marvel of a book is written as a series of interviews with survivors of "World War Z" from all across the world. The author Max Brooks (another "survivor") was determined to get accounts from people who saw some of the most important moments of the war from the Chinese Doctor who saw Patient Zero - a 12 year old boy who was bitten by something in a lake - to the people who several years after the main War ended are still clearing the land above the snowline where zombies lay frozen until the ground thaws when they'll come back to life *ahem* unlife. 

The sheer scope and scale of this book is amazing, there is so much detail in the political machinations during all stages of the War that you could almost imagine those countries actually taking similar courses of action in the case of a zombie outbreak. The explanations of the spread of the disease ring scarily true - people fleeing infected areas unaware that they had the virus themselves and getting far enough to cause a breakout in an entirely new place when they finally die and reanimate. I think that this book would be an invaluable source of information in the event *god forbid* that a zombiefying virus ever appears.

What really sent shivers down my spine while reading this was how few people survived this global war, the idea that these lucky souls have no clue as to what happened to everyone they ever knew, unless of course they had to kill their own family when they reanimated. It's truly horrifying to think about how our whole society would collapse if this were ever to happen - I'm honestly a bit scared that everyone in North Korea would disappear like it occurs in the book and I'd kinda like to know whether anyone dared to look [Not exactly a spoiler but by the end of the book you still don't know what happened to the 38 million strong population]. *shudders*

So if you ever feel the need to terrify yourself so thoroughly that you actually begin to fear the appearance of a zombie plague (I know I'm thinking about stocking up on shovels and pickaxes just in case) then pick up this book. It's a perfect example of how brilliant dystopian and apocalyptic novels can be - a mixture of fear and realism so potent that you feel as though you're reading a history book from the future.

Max Brooks I applaud you for cranking my apocalypse paranoia levels up to "Shit we're all gonna die!" mode. In my opinion the books that cause you to either burst out in hysterical laughter, dissolve into a sobbing mess, or shrivel into a quivering ball of bat-shit scaredy-cat are the books that everyone should be reading.

My Rating: 5 Brains out of 5 (hehe zombies... brains... :P)

So if you haven't read it yet, get on it now! Halloween is coming up and it's the perfect book to get you in the spooky mood.
And on that note I'm gonna try to sleep now... whilst very firmly keeping all thoughts of zombies far from my mind lol.


Jennie 24 October 2010 at 01:33  

I thought it was a very interesting take on Zombies...the full world view of it. Not something done all the time!

Karen 26 October 2010 at 04:03  

The cashier at B&N recommended this to me. What is the print like in this book? I have a hard time with small print...

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