Review of "World War Z" by Max Brooks

I didn't buy this author's first zombie-related book, "The Zombie Survival Guide", as it was one of a spate of books attempting to follow the success of "The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook", which I enjoyed too immensely. This book, subtitled, "An Oral History of the Zombie War", is a totally different beast, and definitely worth a read.

Taking the form of a series of interviews, the book builds an overall story through brief snippets of information. You get to see the history of the overall war and its phases from so many different angles that it's difficult to get bored. Brooks wants you to see the story of the outbreak as a world event, and through his disjoint storytelling I think he succeeds. The overall story itself is also involving, drawing you into the minute details of a zombie invasion as incidental mentions and unusual experiences.

It's clear that Brooks really thought his idea through, exploring aspects and implications of a zombie event that I'd never seen discussed elsewhere. Beyond the first few days of a zombie invasion as covered by most work, Brooks covers years of effects, both personal and socio-political. The scale he's discussing goes from one person's story, to one nation's story, to a global story. It's convincing and I found it engrossing.

2008.01.03 at 12:00am EST