MandyM's Reviews > World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z by Max Brooks
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's review
Jan 04, 13

bookshelves: general-fiction, horror, zombies
Read from July 17, 2010 to January 04, 2013

3.5 stars. This book is written as a series of interviews with survivors of a zombie apocalypse. This is both it's best feature and it's biggest problem. The interview style gives it a gravitas and wide scope. But it also makes for frustrating reading as each story seems to suck you in only long enough to be annoyed when it's prematurely ended. The interviewer is a featureless, unknowable character who acts as the repository for all the stories but doesn't have a character or voice of his own.

My biggest peeve was the amount of crude racial and cultural stereotyping. The reasons why humankind stayed ignorant of the zombie menace for so long were particularly clunky and unbelievable and almost made me put the book down. I'm glad I didn't. Toward the end I got swept up by the narrative. Some of the interviewees started to really stand out as humans began to fight back. e.g. the Japanese otaku, the space station crew, the female pilot, the submarine crew, and the guy whose job it was to clear the underground of zombies. Also the epic world-wide scale of the emergency became more interesting to me.

There are heaps of flaws and plot holes but it's really just a great ripping yarn which is why so many people like it. Plus the zombies of course! I suspect the book will make a kick-ass movie because the storyline will be condensed and we will get to actually meet and see the responses of the interviewer (who I'm presuming is the character Brad Pitt will play). I'm looking forward to it.

Edit: Just checked out the movie trailer:
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Reading Progress

20.0% "Interview style. Just get into each story and it stops abruptly. Also not believing some of the supposed reasons that governments, media and parents refused to believe/covered up the zombies."

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