World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

The end is near...

The end is near…

My rating* – 5

“The end was near.” -Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead‘?” – Book Description courtesy Amazon.

We had nationwide power outage from a little after midnight until morning on March 29th this year and my first message to my family was “ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!!!” To say I’m intrigued by zombies will be putting it mildly. Ghosts and demons and clowns that live in sewers scare the crap out of me but voracious zombies I’m ok with. Go figure. And while I haven’t seen the movie and I have no particular interest in seeing it either…I simply LOVED the book. Yup, that’s right I gave it a 5 because I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Max Brooks can tell a zombie story! Told documentary style, which I suppose is what an “oral history” would be, Brooks spanned the globe getting Z-War accounts from different people, from different time periods during the war. I was enthralled from “Patient Zero” all the way to the end. It was a hard to put down book. I devoured it…cuz…BRAINS!!! There is a particularly horrifying underwater scene, that stayed with me.

And of course there are people who will argue whether zombies could actually exist or not, all I’m gonna say is when the zombie apocalypse begins, this Trini is gonna be prepared. Here’s a scary-as-eff fun fact for you: Scientists recently found a “zombie bacteria”.

Solanum aint too far behind if you ask me.

Yes, the book lacks a central character to follow or care about, which is the reason I’m not interested in seeing the movie…because what is Pitt’s role really? This is no Night of the Living Dead, or rather The Walking Dead which I am a huge fan of! We’re not following a group of survivors, trying to live in a flesh-eating-zombie world, where the government and society have crumbled and technology is a thing of the past. We get to follow Brooks/UN PostWar Commissioner who in my opinion was the central character in this “documentary” as he focuses on survivors around the world ten years after the war. We find out how technology failed them back then, why governments collapsed and why zombies ate most of the world.

Brooks explores hefty themes like fear, education vs superstition, warfare (the arms and ammunitions described are simply breath-taking), politics and most importantly how we deal with change. There were grave consequences on a worldwide scale because of how change was dealt with. Some of these consequences the world is still dealing with by the end of the book because there are still some places under the control of zombies.

Brooks scores on originality and message and now that I know that we eventually win the Zombie War…I plan to read The Zombie Survival Guide…because I wanna live to blog about it!!!

***UPDATE***
Looks like I wont be seeing the movie after all. This review says it all.

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*my personal quality ratings are the scores I give books on a scale of 0-5 based on my personal opinion of a book. 0 is “birdcage liner” and 5 is “off-the-hook good”

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