Zombies are pretty sweet right? For decade after decade zombie films have held the attention of people everywhere, especially in the good ol’ U S of A. It’s safe to say that Americans have a pretty hardcore obsession with the idea of a zombie apocalypse, and there’s no shortage of killer zombie films or games out there. But what about the 1% of Americans that still read books for entertainment? Are there any awesome zombie books? You’d better believe it.
I love zombie movies. They’re gory, brutal, and on occasion very disturbing. Before I had read “World War Z” I had a really hard time believing that the genre could make the leap from the big screen to printed paper. I seriously could not have been more mislead.
Max Brooks has set up “World War Z” as an expansion on his first zombie book “The Zombie Survival Guide.” The basic idea is that a disease known as “Solanum” has begun reanimating human beings as flesh starved zombies. Sounds pretty familiar, am I right? The familiar concept quickly spirals into an utterly perfect story following the human struggle to outmatch the “zombies.”
The book is formatted as an “oral history,” meaning that the book is a series of fictional interviews with survivors of the zombie war. The list of survivors shows great depth and is very well made. You’re given a broad view of the entire conflict as it engulfs the globe as you hear the stories of soldiers, astronauts, and every day civilians trying to survive the undead threat.
While the format is creative and allows the book to cover the entire war without seeming too scattered, it’s very obvious that every story is written by one person. That’s a given of course, but when a soldier from Russia uses similar language to a Japanese elder things tend to get a little weird.
Aside from this small quirk the book manages to maintain momentum fairly well. Most chapters are exciting enough to keep you turning page after page, but there are a few parts that are more reserved in their scare tactics. These are placed at appropriate junctions, and the book never really comes to a complete stop anywhere.
It’s hard to imagine a book terrifying you, especially coming from an author who made his first mainstream appearance with a comedic take on the zombie world, but Max Brooks has broken the barrier and produced a masterpiece of zombie literature. “World War Z” has completely exceeded my expectations, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to further satisfy their zombie cravings.
Score: 8.75/10 (Great)