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Group Reads > April 2010 Group Read: World War Z ***SPOILERS***

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message 1: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments Hope Jason doesn't mind me creating this thread a little early. Lots of people have already read this and some have just finished--you know, you pick it up and can't put it down--and would like to discuss it.


message 2: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (ShaunJeffrey) | 321 comments Only my humble opinion, but I couldn't get into it at all and gave up on reading it.


message 3: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (GuidoHenkel) | 258 comments To me, "World War Z" is the perfect example to show that it is equally important how you tell a story, as the story itself.

It is clearly a product of the Internet society of today, the way the book strings together unrelated snippets of tidbits and information to create a bigger picture. It is how we pretty much gather our own information every day. A bit here, a bit there - and all of it with a strong bias.

I'm about halfway through the book and I enjoy it quite a bit, although I can't exactly put my finger on what it is that I like so much. I think it is the variety, the different voices, etc.

I am definitely glad that I picked it up.


message 4: by LinBee (new)

LinBee Oh, I am going to read this again. Looking forward to it! I think I'll do the book on cd this time, it sounds like it will be good too.


message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1620 comments I actually read it a couple years ago and thought it was fun but also had a few flaws. I could definitely see where he was going with it and enjoyed the idea of an anthology of different experiences. It also offers some very good points about how it could go if it happened in the real world. It's honestly a bit more realistic than most books about zombie apocalypses, it lends it some credibility. I think honestly that it's war story format just ran thin on me toward the end and i pushed myself through the last bit to finish even though i enjoyed the rest of it a lot.


message 6: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments Book on CD is great, Lin.

Only my humble opinion, but I couldn't get into it at all and gave up on reading it.

Hey, mister, this is great WWZ. Not Brief History of the Dead!


message 7: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (ShaunJeffrey) | 321 comments Tressa wrote: "Hey, mister, this is great WWZ. Not Brief History of the Dead!"

I know. Sorry! I'm not doing so well with these monthly reads so far :(


message 8: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (Perseverance) | 16 comments I really enjoyed it. I liked the sort of documentary feel it had. It's been a while since I read it, so I'm looking forward with interest to the discussions that ensue.


message 9: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (GuidoHenkel) | 258 comments I agree, Pamela. It does feel like a documentary. Reading through these tidbits, it feels as if this could *really* have happened.


message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1620 comments Guido wrote: "I agree, Pamela. It does feel like a documentary. Reading through these tidbits, it feels as if this could *really* have happened."

exactly


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 2496 comments LinBee wrote: "Oh, I am going to read this again. Looking forward to it! I think I'll do the book on cd this time, it sounds like it will be good too."

Linbee, and anyone else that might audio this book, I would warn you that the the audio version is an abridged version of the story. It doesn't take a way from the audio version being super creepy and well done with multiple readers whose names you'll recognize, but I spent time after having read the book waiting to hear certain parts of the book that weren't included which sucked :(


message 12: by Angie (new)

Angie Love love love this book!!! I am going to get it out to look through it tonight!


message 13: by LinBee (new)

LinBee Rachel wrote: "Linbee, and anyone else that might audio this book, I would warn you that the the audio version is an abridged version of the story."

Thanks for the heads up. I looked, and ours says Unabridged, but I will pay close attention to see. I ordered the book and the audio, so I can always do both, and refer back and forth.


message 14: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 922 comments I liked this one well enough, but do have the complaint that due to the style of the book, I never cared one bit for any of the characters. I wasn't ever scared either, because you never actually got to "know" the characters involved. Well written and interesting, but not scary.


message 15: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (GuidoHenkel) | 258 comments Well, yes, due to its nature it doesn't have a story arch, no character progression and no real characters to latch on to, I agree. Like Pamela points out above, that makes it feel a lot like a documentary - detached and observing rather than intimately involving.

I do love the variety of viewpoints, though, and most importantly, I love the many voices for each of the recounts. Brooks does an amazing job, finding the right tone and things to say for each of these characters. The kids sound like kids, the guy from India sounds like, well, a guy from India with the unspoken accent rambling around in one's head by the power of the sentence structure alone. This flexibility and ability to find the right voice for every character is quite remarkable.


message 16: by Elena (new)

Elena | 46 comments I read this last summer.
This is a good book but not what I expected. There is no tension, no climax, no protagonists. It is written in the forms of interviews of people around the world, after the war with the zombies was over. There are some of these interviews that have little mention of the zombies. Still, the interviews are very interesting, with footnotes and everything, and at some points I forgot it was all fiction...


message 17: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments Right on, Guido. I connected quickly with the characters because they were us, kwim? In every country; in ever class; in every race; in every gender, zombies were changing our way of life and we had to band together to fight them. Brooks did a marvelous job in short, tight sequences getting right to the point of each person's story. I loved it.


message 18: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 922 comments Don't get me wrong, I liked the book, just not as much as the rest of the world.
I also think Brooks has slit his own throat now and is fast on the way to pigeon-holing himself ala Romero. The guy has done nothing BUT zombie stuff since this came out. Good writer, but people will soon only be expecting zombies from him, or he will start to look like a one trick pony. A snazzy trick pony, but still.


message 19: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments I agree about the one-trick-pony comment. I haven't even read any other of his zombie stuff. Why should I? He's already topped himself with WWZ.


message 20: by Angie (new)

Angie I am still dying to know...what happened to North Korea? Do you think maybe the government did like a mass killing? To make sure that another country would never help them nor would their civilians go anywhere else?

I think there are only two other Zombie books by the author right? I Zombie guide (which isn't really a book but lists) and then a graphic novel. Right?


message 21: by D4ngerousBeans (new)

D4ngerousBeans | 275 comments My copy has just arrived from Amazon , so as soon as I finish the Jasper Ffordes - Lost in a good Book , which is definately not Horror I`ll get right to it ,


message 22: by Tina (new)

Tina | 3 comments I enjoyed WWZ much more than the Zombie Guide. In fact, if you read WWZ, there's no need to read the Zombie Guide because it covers the same ideas. What I am most impressed by the story was the inclusion of existing politics into the storyline, such as the dynamics of smuggling people out of China and the need in the US to make a grand stand for the media. I agree with Angie about wanting to know what happened to North Korea.


message 23: by Carlie (new)

Carlie | 4 comments Loved this book. Looking for suggestions on what to read that is as interesting or better.
I'm worried though that I may be more of a zombie afficionado rather than horror afficionado when it comes to books. But if it's good, I will love it.


message 24: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1620 comments Carlie wrote: "Loved this book. Looking for suggestions on what to read that is as interesting or better.
I'm worried though that I may be more of a zombie afficionado rather than horror afficionado when it c..."


There's a bunch of zombie fiction out there both in comics and fiction. I left you a comment with a few suggestions in the introduce yourself thread


message 25: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments Carlie, if you're like me you'll read all you can about zombies and then get tired of them and hunt for something new to pique your interest. David Wellington and Brian Keene have some very good zombie novels.


message 26: by LinBee (new)

LinBee I didn't read the Survival guide, couldn't get through it, liked WWZ better. But the graphic novel is worth looking at as it discusses zombie attacks pre-dating WWZ. It actually quite interesting imo.


message 27: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (delphyne) | 40 comments I'm about 3/4 into WWZ. I think my expectations were too high for this one. I like a lot of the accounts, but I'm not getting "pulled" into it. It must be the lack of connection to the characters as well as the lack of suspense.


message 28: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 922 comments I think that is what happened for me, the word was so high on it that I felt a little let down. Great book, but I wanted more scare and suspence.


message 29: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments WWZ reads more like a history book about an historical event. I thought it was very suspenseful, but in a different way than one of Keene's zombie novels.


message 30: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (Perseverance) | 16 comments I actually read the Survival Guide first. I would recommend that order to others as well. It just made things flow more, to me.


message 31: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (GuidoHenkel) | 258 comments When reading the book I am constantly reminded of George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead." There is a part in the movie towards the beginning where he essentially shows how America is overrun by the zombies and you have these survivors taking them down. Rednecks, having BBQs while doing target practice on advancing zombies etc.

To me "World War Z" reproduces a lot of the emotion and atmosphere that segment in the film had.


message 32: by Scott (new)

Scott Baker | 189 comments Angie wrote: "I am still dying to know...what happened to North Korea? Do you think maybe the government did like a mass killing? To make sure that another country would never help them nor would their civilians..."

The North Korea chapter hooked me. I've followed that country for years, and the thought of what happened in those underground facilities when the outbreak erupted fascinates me. It would be a great way to do a sequel (not that Brooks shud ruin WWZ by trying to repeat it).


message 33: by Scott (new)

Scott Baker | 189 comments Angie wrote: "I am still dying to know...what happened to North Korea? Do you think maybe the government did like a mass killing? To make sure that another country would never help them nor would their civilians..."

Brooks' fisrt book was the ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE, which was a parody. After WWZ he published a graphic novel detailing zombie outbreaks throughout history.


message 34: by Jakob (new)

Jakob | 86 comments I like how the book was pretty much a collection of short stories that came together to create a larger picture. Reminded me of Asimov's I, Robot.


message 35: by Les (new)

Les Gehman | 30 comments I'm about 100 pages into it and am really enjoying the story. My only complaint so far is that all of the different "voices" sound too similar. I realize that it's very hard to create a distinctive voice for each of the many narrators, but they all sound the same to me.


message 36: by Les (new)

Les Gehman | 30 comments O.K. I finished the book today and really enjoyed it. Here's my final review:

As the title says, this is an oral history of the zombie war. And a good one at that. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end. I accomplishes its mission in providing the reader with a very wide variety of views (often conflicting) on the war against the zombies.

My only possible complaint against this book is that the "voices" of the narrators seemed to all be the same. I realize that it's extremely difficult to give a character a "voice" in 2, 3, or 4 pages, but I felt that Brooks could have done a better job distinguishing between the various characters telling their stories.

That said, I still believe that this is one of the very best zombie books out there. It not only details the surprise that people experienced when the dead came back to life, but it also accentuates the creativity of the survivors in their war against the dead.

All in all, I highly recommend this book to everyone of generation Z, (and others) prepared to do battle with the living dead.
-----
Agree? Disagree? Let's get some discussion going...


message 37: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments Les, I never thought the narrator's voices were so similar I couldn't tell them apart from one chapter to the next. Some characters were in the military, male and female; one woman talked about fleeing with her family; one Japanese teenager escaped his apartment by hooking up with a blind man. I thought all the characters were unique and had different tales to tell.


message 38: by Debra (new)

Debra Harrison (BookCollecting101) | 15 comments I read WWZ some time ago and really enhoyed it. I especially liked the "reports" nature of the author's device which were often tied together in interesting ways. I have long been fascinated with post apocolyptic fiction (perhaps starting with Arthur C. Clarke's Childhhood's End). I love the ingenuity shown in this genre of the survivors. The hope that there are survivors at all is great. All in all, I thought this was a very creatively written, fun book.


message 39: by LinBee (new)

LinBee Well, Rachel, you were correct. They did abridge the book for the audio. They skipped over some of the good parts! Oh well, I have the hard cover copy too, so I just read the parts they skipped. I do enjoy the audio though! I love the different accents and voices.


message 40: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1620 comments Tressa wrote: "Les, I never thought the narrator's voices were so similar I couldn't tell them apart from one chapter to the next. Some characters were in the military, male and female; one woman talked about fle..."

The Otaku and the blind man were my favorites in this one. There were lots of moments that stuck though like the idea of the cold gettign to them and the military vs zombies in New York I think it was.


message 41: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments I thought the blind man and the teen were a little comic bookish to me. The blind man seemed like some kind of superhero.

The cold could freeze a zombie, but it--or parts of it--would just thaw in the spring and start snapping and grabbing.

My favorite part of the book was the Battle of Yonkers. That was very well done and showed just how tense the zombie situation was. If the military was overrun...


message 42: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) | 1620 comments Tressa wrote: "I thought the blind man and the teen were a little comic bookish to me. The blind man seemed like some kind of superhero.

The cold could freeze a zombie, but it--or parts of it--would just thaw i..."


Yonkers that's the name! Yeah that was really powerful scene.

Well I read manga and watch anime and my brother is an Otaku so I know a few people that are a bit like like him. As for the blind man he reminded me of anime characters and so he was fun for me.


message 43: by LinBee (new)

LinBee I thought the blind man was amazing. I'm sure there are people in the world just like him! I liked the kid too, even if he was a bit anti-social. (lol, like this group!) It probably saved him.


message 44: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments Oh, the blind man kicked ass. No doubt. I just thought it was a little unbelievable...in a zombie novel. Yeah, sounds stupid to my ears, too.

Lin, I thought about how the teen's anti-social nature (or is that a-social, lol?) saved him since he holed up in his apartment for so long. But unfortunately, like we all do, he had to leave. :-/


message 45: by Jakob (new)

Jakob | 86 comments I started reading the survival guide but found it boring. WWZ is definitely worth reading though :) He based the idea on a book written about world war two where the author took real interviews with survivors and other people connected to the war. So basically WWZ seems to be a blend of the survival guide and this other book.


message 46: by StephanieT (new)

StephanieT | 883 comments "He based the idea on a book written about world war two where the author took real interviews with survivors and other people"

The Good War by Studs Terkel.
How can you not like a name like Studs Terkel??
It was a good book, my grandpa had an beat up paperback copy that I almost finished reading before it disintegrated.
That book made a real impact on me.

A zombie loving friend gave me a copy of WWZ to read, I didn't get into it, so I got the audio recording. It's abridged, but was very palatable. I'm not sure if that counts towards a monthly read or not...


message 47: by Jakob (new)

Jakob | 86 comments I listened to it on audio as well. I regret that it was abridged but I enjoyed it very much. Most of my leisure reading is on audio these days since it's a nice break from all the reading I do for school.


message 48: by StephanieT (new)

StephanieT | 883 comments I listen to them at work. I'm in a small department, and my two cube mates hate each other, so it's completely silent all day long. Audio books save me from insanity.


message 49: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23494 comments I call listening to an audio the same as "reading." You're learning the story and that's what counts. It's not like reading is that big a deal at our ages. Not some feat of strength or endurance to be admired.


message 50: by Jakob (new)

Jakob | 86 comments exactly :)


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