World War Z

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

By: Max Brooks

Challenge: The Dystopia Challenge 2012

Published: 2006

# of pages: 342

Official description:

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’?”

My opinion: My husband and I recently came up with our zombie plan (we also have an EMP plan and a general apocalypse plan). I had already had one for awhile and I don't know what possessed me to share my plan with my husband. But thankfully he didn't think I was crazy, he went along with it! So now we're always adding to our plans and I decided to read this book to come up with ideas.

After I started I found out that Brooks has another book, The Zombie Survival Guide. But World War Z was an interesting read and I loved how it was structured to be so real. It's written in a series of interviews that take place all over the world. Brooks has constructed an entire history that the reader slowly learns about through the interviews.

It isn't perfect, but I was impressed with the depth of the plot and the different voices that are presented. I recommend this to adults who enjoy post-apocalyptic/dystopian/zombie books.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Unique story (both plot and writing style), may be hard for some people to "get into" since there is no central character, a few typos (including one that made things confusing)

Other reviews:

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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