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So chilling, it makes you wonder WHEN the zombies will attack, not IF
World War Z - Max Brooks
Member Name: SpiderJamb
World War Z - Max Brooks
Advantages: Lots of different stories and experiences compiled in one book
Disadvantages: Some of the more political aspects weren't as interesting to me
World War Z is the follow-up to Max Brook's hugely successful novel, The Zombie Survival Guide, which was a straight-laced survival guide for a hypothetical zombie apocalypse, steeped in such realism that it could genuinely be used for that purpose, rather than as entertainment. World War Z follows this idea of an ultra-realistic approach to the fantastical element of a world-wide zombie uprising by combining war stories from a wide range of individuals from across the globe, and their personal experiences during the war against the undead.
It took me a while to get around to actually reading this book, as I was a little sceptical about whether a collection of individual personal accounts of a zombie apocalypse would work better than a traditional single-view narrative, but the format was actually really effective. It allowed for brief glimpses into different levels of experiences, that sometimes left you wanting more, and for those less interesting excerpts, it wasn't long until the book moved onto something else.
My favourite moments were the ground-level zombie accounts, as opposed to the more political and over-reaching descriptions. One specific part that stuck out for me was the Japanese Otaku, who spent his time sheltered from the attacks online, until his power cuts out and he realises his parents are missing and he has to escape his apartment block, using bed sheets out of the window. It was visually effective, and I could imagine it as part of a zombie-film.
Whilst some readers would find terror in the meticulously researched governmental reactions to such an outbreak, and possibly links to the ill-planning of recent natural disasters - I personally found it hopeful that, if we ever did come under a zombie attack, we would eventually be able to overcome the insurmountable odds and begin to rebuild civilisation, whereas most other zombie media leads towards the gradual extinction of the human race.
There is a film adaptation in the works, which I am unsure about. It could work well as a series of vignettes, each with different tones, actors and locations - more of a documentary feel than an action movie, in the same way that the book itself doesn't feel like fiction. But, with Brad Pitt announced as the lead character, I can't see them not utilising him heavily and making him the focus, which is not the case with the interviewer in the books. I have concerns that this will end up like 2012 - with Brad Pitt trying to save his family during the end of the world, rather than a realistic and gritty look at the near-end of the world.
This Review originally appeared on my blog
Summary: A great read and a totally unique approach to the zombie horror genre