I’m reviewing my advance reader’s edition of World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War for two reasons:
- I just finished reading it this afternoon and I want to write my review while everything it still fresh.
- Today is the birthday of Mel Brooks, father of the author, Max Brooks
Also, before I dive into the meat of things, two caveats:
- I have not read Brooks’ previous Zombie effort, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead
- I have not read Monster Island by David Wellington
Ok, having gotten that out of the way, I have to say I really enjoyed this book. Couldn’t put it down. Read it straight through in about a weeks time.
Ask my wife. She’s been complaining about my absorption into the world war of the undead, but got a little squeamish as I dissected the plot last night in bed.
Definitely worth reading.
I highly reccommend the book for two reasons:
- The narrative structure.
- It’s not a gory, slasher book.
The whole thing is a collection of “interviews” conducted by a researcher with survivors of World War Z.
The format gives Brooks a lot of opportunities to explore different aspects of the conflict, from many different perspectives and voices.
The whole thing, while it does have a chronological component, feels like a really excellent group of short stories on the same subject.
If you’re not a fan of horror movies, I think you’ll actually enjoy this book. Most of the “action” centers around the people and their experiences/relationships and not on the tide of the undead overtaking the globe.
That said, I think there’s enough detail and description to keep sci-fi/horror folks happy. I know I dug it.
There’s some other cool stuff, but I don’t want to spoil the book. Mostly, I’m just impressed at the entire world that Brooks has created.
His gravitas and tone give the book a scope outside of just a zombie book.
But then again, horror is never just about the death, it’s more about the humanity, and World War Z is no different.
Buy it for the zombies, stay for the revealing, humanistic prose. (I’m no dust-jacket author, but I play one on this blog.)
Considering the success of Brooks’ first Zombie book and the buzz surrounding Monster Island, I think the fall release of World War Z should be a good one.
Oh, and if I feel bold sometime in the future, I’ll try to finagle an interview, some more swag or something. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: I should probably note two other pertinent facts, since I’m given to ordered lists today:
- The new book doesn’t have any of the humor or pseudo-science of the first book.
- Brad Pitt’s production company already owns the rights to the movie.
I’m going on knowledge of The Zombie Survival Guide gleaned online. None of the specifics from that book make it to World War Z.
In fact, the greatest bits of the book are the uncertainty of the “infection” even after the war is over.
And there is humor, just not the same kind, I’m guessing, as The Zombie Survival Guide. This is a serious book.