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

World War Z by Max Brooks
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Dec 30, 10

bookshelves: fiction, historical-fiction

Zombies are an excellent "theme", for lack of a better word. They single-handedly encompass ideas of total war, widespread panic, the apocalypse, the Inquisition and many other deadly threats. In the majority of the zombie films that I've seen, the central plot focuses on one person or a group of people attempting to survive in this threatening world where friends become foes with a simple bite. This is not the case in Max Brooks' World War Z. This book, structured to look and feel like audio transcripts of interviews, Brooks takes on the zombie apocalypse from a macro point of view, detailing everything from the specific military tactics used to combat the threat to geopolitical shifts in power.

This latter part is what makes the book unique. I've gotten used to zombie stories being told through individual filters, usually involving that primal desire to survive and not get bitten. Here, though, Brooks goes into the global effect by discussing multiple countries' vastly different reactions and responses to the pandemic. With a keen eye for characterizing current political trends, Brooks goes into countries that would be considered geographically and politically privileged against the zombie infestation such as North Korea and Cuba. The book certainly doesn't shy away from drawing parallels between zombies and the general degradation of the environment, pointing fingers at the current generation for sitting complacently while it happened. It's this explicit political slant that makes this book different from anything I've read so far.

But the book isn't perfect. Since it's about zombies it's at least "good" and I wasn't ever bored reading this because it's impossible to doze off when characters are relating their encounters with the vast hordes of the undead. However, just as I was getting interested and involved with that specific interviewee, Brooks abandons him or her, changes focus and location and gives readers a completely new person to digest. Since each individual interview ranges from three to eight pages in length, we are given just enough to make a superficial connection to the subject only to be torn away and thrown into another hostile environment. I suppose you can say this is fitting, because while living in a zombie-infested world, you can't ever give yourself time to get comfortable. But still, just as things were getting really interesting, we'd leave.

I have to praise Brooks for his research of various world cultures, countries’ geographies and current geopolitical attitudes. The global nature of this catastrophe is very well examined, feeling absolutely ubiquitous by the novel’s end. However, for my personal tastes, I would have liked a more focused filter – perhaps fewer interviews and a greater emphasis on each. But that’s just me.
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message 1: by Tania (new)

Tania De acuerdo, no he leído el libro pero siempre me pasa que no me gusta el libro que no profundiza en sus personajes y salta de uno a otro.


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