World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Lonks is 40% done with her goal of 100 books—and she's finally reviewing her first ZOMBIE novel!—Sparkitors
Author: Max Brooks
Reason for Reading: My older brother gave me this book a couple weeks ago. He loves Max Brooks’ collection of zombie books, including The Zombie Survival Guide, and has always had a rather strange fascination with the living dead. We have a running joke in my family about how we will all survive the zombie apocalypse because we are so knowledgeable about zombies. My brother said this was a fascinating read and that he thought I’d enjoy it.
Quote: “I wonder what future generations will say about us. My grandparents suffered through the Depression, World War II, then came home to build the greatest middle class in human history. Lord knows they weren’t perfect, but they sure came closest to the American dream. Then my parents’ generation came along and [messed] it all up—the baby boomers, the “me” generation. And then you got us. Yeah, we stopped the zombie menace, but we’re the ones who let it become a menace in the first place. At least we’re cleaning up our own mess, and maybe that’s the best epitaph to hope for. ‘Generation Z, they cleaned up their own mess.’”
Copyright Date: 2006
Length: 342 pages
Genre: Horror War Fiction (I totally just made that up.)
Rating (out of 10 stars): 5 stars
Summary: It’s been ten years since the United States declared victory in the fight against the living dead. The population has declined greatly and for those who survived, life has changed drastically. The man who compiled the final report on the affects of the war collected many first hand accounts of all fronts of the Zombie War. From government officials, military personnel, and civilians all across the world, World War Z is a chronicle of the war from those who saw the front lines.
Review: You think I’m crazy, don’t you? You’re wondering why on earth I would read a book about zombies. I thought it was a little strange, too, but I’m willing to try just about anything. And, you know what? I was pleasantly surprised.
World War Z was far from the best book I’ve ever read. Some parts dragged for me, and a lot of it bored me. The book is basically a collection of short stories about the “zombie wars.” There are three different types of stories: the politician’s perspective, the military perspective, and the civilian perspective. The majority of the stories were military, followed by political, then civilian. In my opinion, the political stories where very, very, very boring because I really didn’t care. The military stories were better, but, as I’ve said before, tactics and battle techniques are my absolute least favorite thing to read. I loved the civilian stories, because I could actually relate to them. The single story about a teenage girl was my favorite in the entire book.
However, the thing that impressed me about the book was the obvious amount of research that went into the book. In order to predict how dozens of completely different cultures would react to a zombie apocalypse, you’d have to really understand those cultures. Having just finished AP World History, and being fascinated by different cultures (I’m actually considering a career in anthropology), I found Brooks’ predictions to be very plausible. It was an interesting thing to study, but that was not enough to make the book entertaining.
Recommendation: World War Z had a lot of interesting content, but a lot of bored me as well. However, I know several people who really enjoyed this book, so maybe it just wasn’t for me. If any of it sounds interesting to you, I urge you to try it. It’s definitely a well-written book, but it didn’t interest me.
We LOVE zombies and we are feel woefully under-prepared for the coming zombie apocalypse. This just moved to the top of our "Must Read" list.
Related post: One Year, 100 Books