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

World War Z by Max Brooks
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Nov 06, 2010

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bookshelves: zombies, horror, post-apocalyptic, speculative-fiction
Read on July 22, 2012

World War Z uses an interesting concept: the idea of collecting an oral history about something that didn't really happen. I like the idea of this in itself -- Ursula Le Guin's Always Coming Home convinced me of that -- and thought this was a fair enough attempt at it. The political scenarios are well thought out, and the consequences of all sorts of different actions and ideas are traced through to their conclusions. It really could happen this way, and it really could be recorded this way --

By a biased, probably white, male, of course. It'd be really clever if Max Brooks wrote it that way on purpose: male interviewees outnumbering the female, political bias on the part of the archivist, etc.

It'd be nice to think it was done that way on purpose, even, but I can't quite buy that, cleverly put together as the whole thing is. Cracks show, like the general evenness of tone: all the different narrators sound very similar, the political slant is nearly all one way, etc. It remains obviously a book by a single author. Still, it's a fun central conceit, and though I began to get a bit bored of it by the end, it was an interesting take on a what-might-be.
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message 1: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Nice review. You're the first person I have read/heard who has pointed out the "sameness" of the different narrators. I'll keep this in mind when I get around to reading the book.


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