Review: World War Z – Max Brooks

It goes by many names: “The Crisis,” “The Dark Years,” “The Walking Plague,” as well as newer and more “hip” titles such as “World War Z” or “Z War One.” I personally dislike this last moniker as it implies an inevitable “Z War Two.” For me, it will always be “The Zombie War.”

I bought the book on a whim. Until I started reading it I was afraid that I had wasted my five bucks. Great myths and genres always have a higher than normal chance of being bastardized. Zombies, vampires and the like are creatures with a deep mythos about them and that mythos has been abused again and again in film and literature. So, yeah, I was worried I had wasted five bucks.

The book is written as a historical account of a world-wide zombie outbreak and the war that followed. The narrator travels the world after the war ends, collecting stories from different survivors, gathering a wide view of what the war was like for people in different stations and nations and cultures.

It was a good read. Gritty and realistic but not overtly depressing, as a world-wide zombie invasion would be. My only struggle was the complete lack of any real protagonist to fall in love with. But the originality of the storytelling made up for it with me. It was a risky book to write, I think, being so very different. But it was a risk that paid off. Five bucks well spent.

Quotes:

Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature. I don’t blame anyone for not believing.

Imagine a group of people all staring at writing on a wall, everyone congratulating one another on reading the words correctly. But behind that group is a mirror whose image shows the writing’s true message. No one looks at the mirror. No one thinks it’s necessary.

We were taught since birth to bear the burden of our grandfathers’ shame. We were taught that, even if we wore a uniform, that our first sworn duty was to our conscience, no matter what the consequences.

Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they’re used.