Friday, February 17, 2012

World War Z

Howdy folks. Thought I'd try something and give out a literary recommendation. The book in question is Max Brooks's "World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War".
Basically, there was a mass worldwide zombie pandemic. The world tried to solve it the same old way they deal with "others"; throw bullets and soldiers at it until one side runs out. This doesn't go so well and lasts a decade. Ten years later, Max is UN official working on a commission report about the whole thing. The book is then made up of the first hand accounts he got from interviewing various people involved in the war.

Anyone with even a basic knowledge of the horror knows that vampires and zombies are rather overused. The difference is that the quality is easier to find with vampires. Zombie flicks and the like are usually B grade at best. This book on the other hand joins George Romero's Dead series as the gold class of zombie fare.

The key to its success comes from the "oral history part". The people giving these accounts aren't the usual cast of characters of the hero, the love interest, the single mother waitress, the cute kid etc, they're actual (fictitious) people. However it's also this style that occasionally makes it a difficult read. Rather than reading like a regular novel, it's more a series of, often greatly, differing short stories with a thematic story arc. One moment you're listening to someone chuckling at having fooled the masses with a placebo, the next your listening to woman recounting her having to escape her house and become a widow at the same time.

Once again, this is the reason I'm recommending it. It's about to get a big screen adaptation that will be "in the theme of the book". In other words, they read the title and came up with their own idea. So just make sure you see it as it should be first.

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