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

World War Z by Max Brooks
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's review
Oct 12, 2011

it was amazing

World War Z is at once brilliant and terrifying, zombie horror on a geo-political scale and yet retaining enough humanity through its personal stories of survival to bring it close to home. Told through the individual stories of survivors from across the globe and from various stations in (their former) life, it traces mankind's war with zombies form its early beginnings to its climactic conclusion. While fragmented and short, often leaving the reader wanting more, collectively, these stories frame a relatively complete narrative of "World War Z" from various perspectives. My main criticism of the book, and it is a small and insignificant one, is that some of these stories are so rich, the characters so interesting, their accounts so compelling, they deserve their own complete story or zombie movie themselves. Some readers may not like all the politics and military elements, yet they make the story real that it would be just another man vs. zombie story without them. The battles with the zombies are realistic and scary and will stick with you after reading. Though this is more than a horror or action story.Though a cliche, it is a story about the triumph of the human spirit. It is also a story about the failure of government, military institutions,and social order itself failing in the face of an insurmountable threat. That is the ultimate appeal and underpining theme of many dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories: the power and potential of the individual over social and institutional constructs that only crumble when challenged by a threat not in the rule book. A great read for fans of horror and the powerful way it can mirror reality right back to us.
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Fanny Excellent review Jason, as always! I'm wondering now, with a movie in the works, how they can ever do justice to the complexities of the book. I guess we will just have to find out when it is in theatres.
An interesting thing I heard recently is that millions of people have been having zombie nightmares. There has to be some universal fear of the undead walking again that causes this! I think it's a phenomena and would love to know more about it. Anyway, great review son :o)

Jason I do not completely understand the obsession with zombies. I do not necessarily think it has much to do with the actual dead but rather the living. The fear of zombies lies in the fact that ultimately, zombies represent us. We fear we ARE mindless automatons in the cogs of a heartless system. Yes, they are scary in of themselves, but all enduring horror - which zombies most certainly are, reflect something primal and fundamental. It is interesting to contemplate.

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