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

World War Z by Max Brooks
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Jun 04, 13

bookshelves: novels, verysleazyfun
Recommended for: my 15-year old former self
Read in June, 2009


To everything there is a time - a time to reap and a time to plant, a time to listen to Schoenberg and a time to listen to Lez Zeppelin, the all-girl tribute band, a time to read Marcel Proust and a time to read about zombie apocalypses. That time, for me, passed some years ago. I shouldn't've picked up this novel but I was seduced by shedloads of great reviews on this very site.

Although my copy has a front-cover blurb by Simon Pegg, it's his very own great little zom-romcom Shaun of the Dead, plus George Romero's splendid zombie trilogy which Shaun beautifully parodies, plus other movies like 28 Days Later and I Am Legend, and a thousand other post-apocalypse novels and B-movies, and plus NOW the fab series THE WALKING DEAD which I only just discovered, wow, I love it - it's all of these things which cumulatively undermine the not inconsiderable energy and sociopolitical insight of Max Brooks' own version of The War Against the People You Really Hoped You'd Never See Again. Every scene in this book we've seen or read several times before, and alas, mostly by less truthful writers. This is really an excellent novel, but for younger readers who haven't already slogged, as I have, through a lifetime of pulp.

Brooks's imagination is tough and unflinching, but you have to concede that zombie apocalypses bring out the macho in pretty much everybody. This really is a war book, chock full of pumped-up acronym-heavy military jargon. World War Z is mainly fought with TESTOSTERONE!!!

This book wanted to be for zombies what THE WIRE is for Baltimore, and for that I give it a crisp military salute and a bag of red tops. I think my 15 year old self would have rated this one four fat ones but that guy didn't have the best taste really.


That said, myself and daughter Georgia will be lurching, shambling and jerking our bodies towards the cinema when the Brad Pitt zombuster film-of-the-book is released soon. Me and Georgia love that stuff. Gwan, destroy the world again... and again...
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Ian (new) - added it

Ian Klappenskoff I'm sure your 15-year old former self is alive and well and holed up reading the contents of your verysleazyfun shelves.
You should let him out to review some of them.

Paul Bryant most of that little lot do have reviews... in fact now you mention it, did you ever look at this one? I think you'll like it!

message 3: by Ian (new) - added it

Ian Klappenskoff Ha ha. I hadn't.
One day soon, I'm going to read all of your 700 reviews in one sitting. In alphabestial order.

Paul Bryant I bet he loves it!

Tominda Adkins Great review. I'm halfway through the book and the corny war jargon is killing me. Zeke? Really?? And DeStRes??? Sounds like a shitty hip-hop group whose bio I'd rather read than finish WWZ.

Paul Bryant the movie will be better.

Rita Great review as always, though I have to say that I'm surprised by "only" 2 stars, since, after all, you have a pretty positive opinion of it! :-)

I'm currently reading this one (which is for me the the first Zombie novel I've picked up, ever), and I must say that I'm pretty impressed so far! :)

Paul Bryant Thanks - I guess the 2 stars is my own experience - I think this is a 3.5 star piece of work, probably.

Rita Paul wrote: "Thanks - I guess the 2 stars is my own experience - I think this is a 3.5 star piece of work, probably."

Thanks for the quick feedback :)

I think that I'll probably give it a "3" myself - am only half-way through.

Rachel Willis I'm about 2/3rds of the way through and will probably give it 2 stars when I finish.

Hi4340 from the tone of your review it sounds like you at least thoughtnit was average or better, im curious as to why you did not give it a higher rating?

message 12: by Paul (new) - rated it 2 stars

Paul Bryant see message 9 above !

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