BTP Book Club discussion

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
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World War Z by Max Brooks

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Teresa Arauco | 13 comments Mod
Book 19 Big Ten Book Club

We are meeting on Monday, June 29 at 6pm

To those not on Facebook, Todd will text you the Zoom URL.

~ See you then!


Teresa Arauco | 13 comments Mod
Hello! Here are the discussion questions for next Monday's discussion.

1. What did you think about the “interspersed interviews with many different people” method of storytelling, as opposed to the typical close-up horror/action tropes of the genre? (The movie adaptation of Brook’s World War Z, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_W...) has largely been panned as a generic “hero guy shoots swarming zombies” movie with little relation to the source material.)

2. Do you think the portrayal of the generally-competent responses of most governments is reasonable, especially those that reacted before the Great Panic?

3. The nations that seemed to weather the zombie war best were the ones that acted quickly and somewhat brutally (South Africa and Israel). Given that these measures were apparently not absolutely necessary for the survival of at least some people, were they justified? If you were in charge, would you enact something like the Redeker Plan?

4. Which character did you like the most/least? Which did you identify with the most/least?

5. As humanity begins to fight back against the zombies, there is a gap between what is safest and what political leaders say is psychologically necessary for the survival of humanity. This is probably best exemplified by the interview with the man who fought in the Paris catacombs. What do you think about this tension? How would our real society feel about this tension?

6. Any other ways in which the zombie war is similar to the pandemic we’re currently going through? Different?

7. Zombie fiction was extremely popular ~10 years ago, and though the hype has died down a little, it’s still a persistent genre. What is it about zombies that we can’t stop returning to?

8. Before this book, Max Brooks wrote, “The Zombie Survival Guide”… what gap do you think he is trying to bridge?

9. Apocalyptic lit invites us to troubleshoot unimaginable threats, like people giving up hope. What other threats does this book bring to light?

10. In the book, the U.N. deemed “opinions and feelings” collected in the narrator’s interviews as unnecessary for their report—why were these (feelings and opinions) as important as facts to the narrator?


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