Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

I finished World War Z (Horror 342 pages) by Max Brooks yesterday.

“We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z is the only record of the plague years.”

I watched the movie with the same name a few years ago and I have to honestly say that the book and the movie are completely separate entities, which really isn’t a surprise since that’s the case with most books and movies that share the same name. I definitely like this book a lot better than I liked the movie, but there really wasn’t anything wrong with the movie.

The first thing that struck me about this book is that there were no main characters. This book wasn’t done in a typical way with a selection of characters to follow through their development. It didn’t focus on just one aspect or one person or even one group of people and how they individually dealt with the zombie apocalypse, but rather demonstrated a full spectrum of experiences. That spectrum of experiences covered the entire world with a variety of cultures, which I thought was both fascinating and fantastic at the same time.

This book covers how different countries reacted in different ways to the outbreak of the zombie virus and I respected the author greatly for pulling in such a variety of different parts of the world. China, Tibet, Greece, Brazil, Israel, Palestine, the United States, Finland, India, Greenland, South Africa, Ireland, Ukraine, Canada, Micronesia, South Korea, Japan, Cuba, Australia, Chile, even the International Space Station, all had parts in this story. That’s what really made this book addictive and extremely well-done in my mind – all the different cultures and governments and how each person responded differently to the zombie apocalypse really made this a global book for me. It was remarkably refreshing to not have just a standard Western view on global events.

I like how this book is broken into sections, with each section covering a part of the story. Each of those sections followed the chronological order of exactly how an outbreak like this would cover the globe. It starts with an introduction. Normally, I don’t read introductions because I have seen them mostly used as a dialogue with the author about what the rest of the book is about and it often gives away key plot points that I don’t want to know about before I read a story. This introduction, however, was all about setting up the story. Never once does the author break from the format for this book, always treating the story as though it is a real-life account of the history of those who survived the zombie apocalypse.

After the Introduction is Warnings, then Blame, the Great Panic, Turning the Tide, Home Front USA, Around the World and Above, Total War, and Good-byes. The book is written with such a logical chronological order that it made sense and as I read, I was able to piece together a much bigger and broader picture of the global events.

This book definitely felt like an accurate example of what could or likely would happen to the entire world if an outbreak of something like this truly did happen. Overall, I very much enjoyed the book. I’m glad it’s part of my collection and I will likely read it again in the future. I think that makes this book a high three or a low four in my book. Well worth the read and very addictive.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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One Response to Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

  1. Interesting review. I might need to check this out.

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