Monday Book Review: World War Z

Let me reiterate, Book Review. This is not the Brad Pitt action movie. All commentary will be about the book World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. It was actually a discussion on Facebook about how the movie resembled the book only in name that persuaded me to pick up the book while at the library with my son(in other words I didn’t have time to look for books for myself and needed to grab something as I walked by the “good reads” shelf on my way to check out).

I was surprised to discover, I really liked this book. Partly because it is extremely well written. It’s also a fabulous pastiche of an oral history, which I love as well. The historian in me could really buy the style and tone of the work as an authentic oral history. The war historian in me was thrilled with the first person accounts from not only soldiers but those in occupied territories (so to speak) and the aftermath of war.

The book takes place after the majority of the war. An interviewer for the United Nations Postwar Commission spends years traveling and talking to people about their lives before the war, during the war, and then after the war. That first person up close trauma is what grips me. Certain stories still cling to my mind. The young hacker who takes weeks to slowly lower himself down from balcony to balcony to escape the high rise he lived in, after he finally realizes something has happened, no one is logging in, the internet is not working. He has no idea what happened to his family or friends. He can only focus on the effort to get free. Heavy, heavy stuff.

℘℘℘℘℘ – 5 pages. I loved it. Checked for other things by the author but sadly there is nothing I am interested in. I would probably read this again except…It’s been almost two years since I read this book and I still have nightmares about Zombies. When the dog barks in the middle of the night and I get up to look outside, I think about how indefensible my home is should it come to that. Too much glass. Too easy to breach. What this says to me, is the book, whether you like zombie novels or not (I don’t), is powerful. It’s commentary on the survival of man, the ineffectiveness of government to protect us, and the need to accept there will always be winners and losers in the battle for life, is powerful.

All that said, honey, I’d like throwing knives for Christmas this year….

2 thoughts on “Monday Book Review: World War Z

  1. Thanks for the review. While I know I’ll probably avoid the movie and am still debating about the book, I’ve had the audiobook version on my wishlist for a while. Based on your review, I think I know what I’m getting tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

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