Monday, October 28, 2013

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Written by: Max Brooks

First line: 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."

Why you should read this book: It's a highly readable socio-political deconstruction of global culture and military and disaster preparedness, cleverly disguised as a zombie story (cleverly disguised as an oral history). While it does have its gory moments, the story itself is about the human element, how individuals, governments, and armed forces in various countries personally experienced and responded to the walking dead, and it's much more about hope, perseverance, and the indomitability of the human spirit than it is about eating brains or scaring readers. Life persists, says this popular novel (which was made into an apparently unrelated and unwatchable Brad Pitt vehicle) although death pursues it relentlessly, and the question is not how to survive, but how much we want to survive and what we are willing to sacrifice to remain human.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Zombies, death, guns, fire, decapitation, dead animals, walls of bodies, cannibalism, lies, betrayal, abandonment, and it's still not really a horror story.

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