Adult · Books

World War Z


The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. “World War Z” is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years. 

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War. 

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”


I had to read this book for an Apocalypse class. I enjoyed it but I think because of the limited time and the forced read that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have. The pace was a bit slow at times. Also, some of the political terms and things went over my head.

In general I enjoyed the concept of the book and I liked that the book was told in many different people’s perspectives. It made it a bit less overwhelming, and really added to the depth of the story. A zombie virus may not be real but in a catastrophe like the war could happen in real life. Government plays a large role in it. I do think the writing was really good. I can’t imagine having to have written that, especially with so many different characters. Trying to write with that many different voices sounds incredibly difficult and time consuming.

I just wish the pacing was a bit faster. The cover is fine. I like it a lot better than the movie cover. (Naturally)

I give this book a 4/5. I wouldn’t read it again but it was a bit better than I thought it would be. I am happy I was forced to read it because it was interesting. The book was certainly better than the movie, as usual but in this case it was significantly better. I hope people read the book before discounting it because of the movie.


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