Sunday, 4 August 2013

World War Z by Max Brooks

This book had me hooked at the beginning. I was fascinated and horrified by the descriptions of cities fighting off millions of zombies, zombies filling the ocean, and how each country had different weapons and strategies. This book is a description of hell on earth.

Notice I said "book" not "novel." While the book is a well, written piece of fiction it is not a novel. Each interview reads more like a flash fiction short story. Sometimes the story is cut off abruptly just as it is getting good. There are no main characters. No real plot or storyline to follow.

There's also very few stories about civilians. This is what frustrated me the most. While I enjoyed reading stories about how the different militaries from different countries fought hordes of zombies, I would have liked to have read some stories about how civilians fought the zombies. The military jargon gets tiresome after awhile.

I also would have liked Brooks to have gone more into depth about which countries survived, which ones merged together, how society, government, culture and ecology changed. These were touched on but never discussed in depth. The only animals discussed were the dogs that were used to hunt zombies, the sabertooth like cats, turtles "that were as rare as unicorns," and how the zombies decimated ocean life.

What did like was how diverse the stories were. I expected the book to focus on how the United States fought the war but instead there are stories from every area of the globe. While the culture and politics was portrayed well, many characters lacked their own quirks and speech and were indistinguishable from another.

And lastly, why the heck did the American military call zombies Zack? I still can't figure that one out. I understood "G" which was short for ghouls, but Zack? It really bothered me so I Googled it and found the answer. It seems "They were called Zack just as the VC were called Charlie in Vietnam."

Overall I really liked the book. But it was so damn scary that I will definately be reading Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide. You know, just in case.

My rating is a solid  Photobucket

As for the movie, I was really excited to see the movie until I learned that the zombies are different. They are fast. I wonder if the screenwriter got the idea from a passage in the book where one guy worries that nuclear fallout will make the "zombies fast like cheetahs."