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Author Topic: Max Brooks scores a head-shot with "World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie Wars"  (Read 818 times)

mattormeg

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I'm an enormous fan of zombies, and regularly rise to stagger off to my local bookstore and devour whatever products I can find that are related to the genre, be they movies, comics, games or novels.
I had consumed Brooks' first book, "The Zombie Survival Guide" with gusto a couple of years back, and have been eagerly awaiting the release of his newest book, "World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie Wars."
I am very happy to report that this book was not - as I had feared - dead on arrival. Far from it.
WWZ is an incredible book, a genre-bending thrill-ride that enmeshes the best parts of the post-apocalyptic survival and zombie genres in a compellingly readable format.
In what could best be described as a "mockumentary style," WWZ collects "interviews" with dozens of people, heroes, villains, saints and sinners who lived through a world-wide uprising of the hungry, living dead.
The novel tells this story chronologically, with an interview at each stage of the epidemic, from unscrupulous drug manufacturers who take advantage of people's fears to every day men and women who survive the best way that they can.
The earliest manifestations of the coming plague are seen among a group of hapless Chinese villagers. When their government attempts to cover up the peril brewing within their borders, it quickly spirals out of control. Soon, outbreaks are seen everywhere and in every part of the world. The book follows this outbreak to the very end, with a tale of a world nearly overrun if not for the ragtag bands of citizen-soldiers who stood their ground against the restless dead.
WWZ lags in one or two places, but as a collection, it overall succeeds in keeping the readers attention to the very end of the novel.
If you're a fan of zombies, like myself, you're probably going to really enjoy this book. For those of you who run zombie-based roleplaying games like "Year of the Zombie" or "All Flesh Must be Eaten," you probably couldn't buy a better sourcebook anywhere, because a clever gamemaster could base a rousing adventure around each of the interviews, using the details for plot and the characters as NPCs.
Even if you're not a fan of this genre, you may still enjoy this novel. It can be read as a biting satire of the "bird flu" scare specifically, and of America's current Culture of Fear specifically.

jrients

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World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie Wars
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 09:17:55 AM »
Thanks so much for the review!  I had no idea this book existed.
Jeff Rients
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mattormeg

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World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie Wars
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 07:01:26 PM »
Quote from: jrients
Thanks so much for the review!  I had no idea this book existed.


I'm glad to be of service. I'm a big fan of your site, by the way.