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

World War Z by Max Brooks
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's review
May 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, kat-s-book-reviews

At this current moment in time my husband and I do not actually have a working will. We are the legal definition of intestate. We have not yet made any preparations for our death and we only have life insurance/house insurance because his mother organized the whole damn thing (come to mention it she is also the reason we have electricity, water and a phone line - the internet though was all us because we'd die without it.)

So believe me when I say that we don't organize... anything. Except our zombie kit. That's right. We have a zombie kit. Should zombies suddenly strike while I type out this review we would be able to take our son and get in our car and drive away without a backward glance. Everything we need is in the boot of the car. If we're holed up inside the house we have our second zombie kit to live off of and use to defend ourselves. We have several plans in place as to where to go, what to do if we're separated at time of crisis, who we're taking with us, how we'll stay in contact etc.

Some may call his paranoia. Some may call this stupidity. Do you know what I call these naysayers?

Zombie food.

It is this obsessive and weird need to ensure survival during a zombie apocalypse, despite every rational reason to believe that all our efforts are for naught, that has made me the prime candidate and target group of this book.

It is not the norm of the zombie genre. In general a zombie movie tends to be about a small group of individuals against the undead hordes looking to floss with intestines.

This book is not about a small group of individuals - it is about a large collection of humanity. This book is how HUMANITY would survive and deal with a zombie infestation. It is a collection of small, broken narratives from people all over the world, across many social, economic and political classes.

Some of them were amazing, others horrifying. Some were inspirational, others so depressing or introspective that I wondered if there was any hope.

I would argue that many of the "voices" from certain nationalities were not really very accurate and didn't really match the cultural region they came from - but I'm lazy. Either you "get" the voice of the narratives or you don't.

This book was a fascinating, thoughtful read in a field that I'm personally obsessed with. I could easily understand how those who've never stayed up until three in the morning, drunk off their heads with a group of people yelling that if they head into the city then they're zombie meat (Zombie meat I say! You ridiculous idiots!) probably will find this book a hard read.

It's also a difficult read in the sense that you are continually sucked into one story, only to have it end abruptly and shift to another. I kept getting frustrated and wanting to scream, "No! Go back! I want to know what else happened!" but alas. It's like little snap shots from all over the world, except when it comes to several of the snapshots, I'd really rather see the whole picture.

Other than that, I loved it. I had a hoot reading it. It gave me plenty of fodder with which to have many drunken debates with my husband, brothers and friends.

Much to their disgust...

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Reading Progress

May 11, 2010 – Shelved
May 14, 2010 – Started Reading
May 16, 2010 –
0.0% "Really enjoying so far!"
May 18, 2010 – Finished Reading
October 7, 2010 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction
October 7, 2010 – Shelved as: kat-s-book-reviews

Comments (showing 1-29 of 29) (29 new)

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Aerin I have no zombie kit! Must rectify immediately...

Kat Kennedy Yes, Aerin! You have to be prepared for these things! It's simply negligence and a passivity towards survival NOT to have a zombie kit ready and on the go.

Penny I love that you have a zombie kit. Such a hilarious/awesome/fun/incredibly practical idea. It's funny how plausible zombies seem to me now. Like, it really could happen. Now that I'm reading the zombie survival guide, I've found myself wondering about my chances of survival if zombies were to attack at any given moment.

Anyway, your book review made me think of a hilarious review of a nightstand that converts into a shield and weapon in case you're attacked by zombies at night. Check it out:


P.S. I love the bloggess.

message 4: by Jami (new)

Jami Hilarious! Probably the best review I've read. Two enthusiastic thumbs up! Now if you'll excuse me . . . it appears I have a zombie kit to prepare.

Kat Kennedy Ah! Penny! That was freakin' hilarious! I need to get me a riot gun! Unfortunately that's not so legal in Australia...

I mean, given the heavy gun restrictions and their general lack of availability to the Australian population, I have deduced that in the event of a zombie apocalypse... we're FFFAAAAAAARKKKEDD!

Jami, I'm so glad that my review inspired you to prepare a Zombie Kit. There's no shame in being prepared for the worst! See you on the other side, my friend! When all those Naysayers of the Zombie apocalypse can say is, "Ggggrrrr... Brains!" and we're sipping mai tais, we'll SEE who's crazy, delusional and paranoid!

Okay, it will probably still be us because it'll be a Zombie Apocalypse... But at least crazy, delusional and paranoid pays off then!

message 6: by Pickles (last edited May 25, 2010 11:37AM) (new) - added it

Pickles We don't have a zombie kit (yet), but we totally had a survival plan for how we would defend our old house (what we would do, where we would hide, etc). Now that we're moving, we'll have to come up with a new plan. I just got my copy of The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead yesterday and I'm going to have to read it soon. I've also had this book on my Amazon wish-list for a while. I want to buy it eventually.

While my husband doesn't truly believe in the eventuality of a Zombie Apocalypse, I'm more of a believer. LOL. They're creating living cells right now! It's only a matter of time. My husband does think that if the economy gets worse, we will be at risk from the people who are jobless, hungry, and desperate, so he's willing to go along with my zombie survival plans because they could work in that scenario, too.

message 7: by Ian (new) - added it

Ian "Marvin" Zabala-Graye Kat, I don't have a zombie kit. What's in one? Do they have them in the middle aisle at Aldi?
Concerned GoodReader

Lily at Bookluvrs Haven I thought I was the only one that thought of zombie kits...


Kat Kennedy No, Ian, alas they don't. But a zombie kit comprises of some basic weapons: cricket bat, shovel, (if you were in America is could also comprise of a shotgun)

Bottled water, canned food, leather jackets, pants, boots, flashlights, emergency flares, a gong, etc.

No, Lily. Definitely not alone.

message 10: by Missy (new)

Missy LaRae LOVE THIS I am going to totally buy this and give it away as gifts. I HEART zombies :-)

message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda The Book Slayer Kat I loved your review! It makes more sense to me about your Zombie kit after reading this review. :0) I don't have a Zombie kit but I do have a To Go Bag that is always accessible no matter where we go.

message 12: by Amanda (new)

Amanda The Book Slayer Oh hubby says this is a great book as well!

message 13: by Shelley (new)

Shelley In my area there is an abundance of two things, bars and cemeteries. My husband is convinced we're doomed.

Kat Kennedy You are. I'm glad I got to know you before the apocalypse. Bless you and good luck.

message 15: by Shelley (new)

Shelley LOL, but nervously.

Kat Kennedy I don't think they take us seriously, Archer. Much to their detriment.

Kat Kennedy I do. I think it's pretty obvious that I have put a button load of thought into Zombies.

message 18: by Missy (last edited Apr 20, 2012 05:51AM) (new)

Missy LaRae Four flack vests, helmets, bats, and lots of guns and knives...... Our plan is to hop a ship, and terrorize the coast.... My bf and I have discussed this at length.

message 19: by Shelley (new)

Shelley I hadn't even thought of hopping a boat. Not a bad idea. Too bad my closest body of water is the Mississippi river. I'm pretty sure one day it will be the river water that will start the zombie apocalypse.

message 20: by Missy (new)

Missy LaRae @Shelley Yeah we've thought about it, hopping on a large yacht, then creating a floatilla of yachts and barges and ships..... We have our emergency plan firmly in place :-) Thankfully we live right on the Florida coast so there's no shortage of boats!

You may be right though, my bf works on a barge all day and they're dredging up the dirt to lay a pipeline, and the DIRT is contaminated so they have to put it on a barge and take it to a waste facility to dump. They can't just put it back in the river because it would contaminate the water.


message 21: by Jennifer D (new) - added it

Jennifer D Love this review! I too have discussed the possibility of a zombie apocalypse with my boyfriend and my best friend.... My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy and as a result of that, I will leave his ass to be eaten by zombies while my best friend and I make our escape!!

Tricia Best review EVER! I have had so many zombie conversations with people, it borders on ridiculousness. It's nice to know I can let my freak flag fly amongst other....survival enthusiasts....yeah that sounds good.
Jennifer: I should have known YOU would comment on this! Being said best friend, I totally support everything in that statement! Just know that I will be substantially more careful with a Katana than I am with those cursed badminton rackets!

message 23: by ZA (new) - rated it 5 stars

ZA Oh please tell us what is in your zombie kit!

Tracy Oh my...loved this review. I think I need to make a zombie kit.

message 25: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Oh, Honorable Zombie Expert, do you have a favorite Zombie novel that you would recommend? This one's on my reading list, but I'm wondering if there is one that made it to 5 stars...

Celine Great idea!
Note to myself: Make zombie kit immediately (2)
You're brilliant!

message 27: by Desiree (new) - added it

Desiree Please tell us what's in your zombie kit. Very eager to hear!

Quinn If you're self-conscious about referring to your zombie kit, you always call it your 'bug-out' bag. basically the same thing, but you don't sound as crazy. lol.

message 29: by SUNJATA (new)

SUNJATA I think about it too and it's horrifying. My thought is to procure a weapon, food, and a body of water to boat into and avoid the walking dead. Surely they cannot swim. Other than that, my zombie kit is being carried by others who have one. So I'll take theirs.

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