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

World War Z by Max Brooks
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011, 5-star
Read from July 27 to August 04, 2011

I never ever would have thought to read this book if it hadn't been for Robopocalypse, which has had a heavy advertising campaign over the past couple of months. So heavy, in fact, that my own father used the Barnes & Noble credit I gave him for father's day to buy it for his Nook, which was a choice he regretted. I flipped through it a bit--it's terrible. But it worked out for me because while looking at the Robopocalypse reviews I found a bunch of people whose opinions I trust saying that it sucked, but World War Z was amazing. And it really is.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I had always assumed it was a typical zombie book aimed at the 18-24 male set, destined for a big-screen treatment by Michael Bay. But it's not. There's a fair amount of gore, but to me, the zombies were far less important than the story of what happened to the humans and their social structure when confronted with them. Maybe I'd call this the thinking person's zombie book. Or maybe that's an obnoxious thing to say, I don't know.

Most of the complaints I've seen about it have been about the book being boring, or the characters one-dimensional and stuff like that. Because of the structure of the book you stay with each character for only a few pages, so it's not a traditional novel where you get to know the characters well and follow their complete story arc. You already know that they survive, so that particular tension is missing. So if you pick this book up, going "yeah, zombies!" you might be disappointed. If you pick it up going "yeah, international politics!" you'll probably love it.

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