Published in: 2006
Edition read: E-book
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.
Well…. this wasn’t what I expected at all. I expected a story, but this isn’t a story. It’s a recollection of events by various ‘survivors’ of the Zombie war, collated by the author. It’s… really bad actually. I thought it would revolve around a small group of people- it doesn’t. It revolves around like 50 different characters who each tell their own 10 page story of just a small part or event that occurred during the however many years this zombie thing happened. The small stories all do add up to a bigger story and tell the events that happened around the world during this war, but it’s really disjointed and hard to follow, the story jumps from person to person and country to country with no real continuity. One moment you are reading about someone in a submarine, the next they are in space, the next they are in the middle of the desert shooting at zombies, the next there is a family fleeing to canada, the next there is a group of people trying to kill children in a church to save them from the zombies… confused? That’s how the book works.
In short, I didn’t enjoy it. I forced myself to finish it, as I do with all books I dislike, hoping it’d get better (it doesn’t) and then feeling overjoyed when I’d finally finished the damn thing because I wouldn’t have to keep reading this really disappointing and depressing book.
So… there is also a movie version of this story, which I had never seen but really wanted to, but after reading this book I was like hell no. Now, reading a synopsis for the movie, it sounds COMPLETELY different to the book- a family travels the world to find a cure for the zombie virus. Totally not the book, not at all. Turns out it is a film inspired by the novel, so not an actual movie version of the book, thank Batman for that!
World War Z rating: 2/10.
Would I re-read it? No
Who would I recommend it to? Unknown. It’s not something I would recommend to fans of zombies and supernatural/fantasy/paranormal genres because it’s more about human suffering than anything. So… yeah, I wouldn’t be recommending this to anyone if I was honest.