The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”
Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.
World War Z is what started my personal zombie craze. I have read this book every year since I picked it up and I have gone through about 8 copies. Every time someone asks me for a book recommendation I point them to World War Z – or I give them my current copy.
The zombie plague in World War Z could be replaced with any other widespread epidemic of catastrophic proportions and people who aren’t into the whole zombie craze would probably dig it just as much. Personally I love how this book switches perspective every chapter. The different stories of each individual weaves together to tell the complete tale. Some made me laugh and others made my cry. – but importantly they each had their own flavor.
If you don’t mind that it is essentially mini stories to make up the one story then you will thoroughly enjoy World War Z. The transition between each character is done so well I only wish the book was twice as fat! I’ve seen other authors try to do this and they come no where near executing it successfully the way Max Brooks has done. This book is due to be made into a movie in 2012!!
You must read World War Z! – if you don’t I’ll drooooool on you….
Find World War Z by Max Brooks: GOODREADS
* Personally purchased copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.