Book Review – World War Z – Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book! It is definitely a niche interest, but planted in the mainstream by a successful zombie-afficionado who knows how to grab commercial appeal.
The novel is a documentary style collection of incident reports from the great Zombie apocolypse. When the zombies begin to take over the world, world agencies act to curb, prevent and destroy the menace using both kind and questionable means.
What I genuinely enjoyed despite myself, was the collection of reports accumulated by the narrator as an excuse to act out the “what if?” scenarios we have all talked about over beer. What would you do in the event of a zombie plague? Would you do like documented report F did, or would you be quarantined like documented survivor 118 was – or maybe you’d capitalise on the woe like such and such a person did? This is the premise for Brook’s text. He gives you multiple accounts from varied sources on government actions and public reactions. He lets the fictional survivors tell their story, the one you thought would save your life should the unthinkable happen – and then he lets the reader have the gory details of failure time and time again.
As a schlock novel, it works really well, and is a fast read. I got through this one mighty fast, and that is a good thing as it really did drag me in despite myself! I like the clean, impressionable style of the narrator, a hint of innocence lost as the accounts begin to build up. The persona of each survivor are vivid enough that you buy into their experiences easily, and what they leave unsaid is as loud as their words. Brooks certainly knows how to handle suspense in this format, but waits until just the right time before teeing up the more emotional and terrifying histories recorded with varying degrees of passion, loss and numbed anger.
After getting through the text, a friend gave me the audiotext version of the book. I’m not a huge fan of such audiobooks on the whole, but the production values and actors hired for each persona and character was through the roof! I would easily reccomend this for people who enjoy the audio version of books, but I would caution that the delivery is less thrilling than the direct read itself. World War Z works well on both mediums, but there is a sense of something lost in the recorded delivery compared to the eerie feeling you get scanning through the transcripts of the novel directly.
I think that this is one definitely worthy of a brief read if you have just a casual interest in the world of zombie hordes and post-apocolyptic turmoil, but if you have more than a passing interest, you’d be hard put to find anyone with a better knowledge of the source material, or the ability to tell a ripping good yarn.

View all my reviews

Gaming news…nothing this week!  Due to other commitments, this and next week are not going to be gaming weeks – and maybe that is a good thing, as I have just received my first ever Forge World purchase in the post!  My lovely Fimir are going to need some TLC in the coming week or two to get ready for the table – and they are really gorgeous models!  I only hope my paint job will do them justice!  I usually go from GW blueprints or follow the fluff to get a predictable colour scheme, so these completely new and unspecific models force me to figure out what to do myself.  To boot, I’ve received my long awaited Mangler Squigs.  I played with a loan of a unit a few weeks back and was rightly impressed with their potential.  True, they’ll get shot down before they get too far, but that at least takes pressure off of my movment 4 troops – and – in the event that they make it to the enemy…I love the squigs, so help me they are so unpredictable, the really make the game interesting!  Speaking of which, today’s Forgeworld newsletter has just alerted me to the preorder of this little beaut – http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/New_Stuff/COLOSSAL_SQUIG.html – the Colossal Squig from the Monstrous Arcanum.  I’m looking forward to some day fielding this fellow for a giggle, but for now, I’ve plenty to be busy with and not a lot of funds left to worry about spending more!  Take it easy all, and talk soon!

shane

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