Carl's RIP II Challenge was the perfect opportunity for me to justify reading another "Zombie" book so soon after Monster Island. And I'm so glad I did!! I've had a few people recommend World War Z by Max Brooks (352 pgs., Crown), and for a very good reason: It's such a unique way to tell a story!!
The subtitle of this book is "An Oral History of the Zombie War". And that's exactly the way it's written. A few years after the Zombie World War, a UN postwar Commission Report was written. The author (unnamed) was upset because the report he submitted was not the report that was presented. All the "human" element was removed. This book is a compilation of that human factor. Divided into sections detailing different aspects of the war, the author gives us a look at what happened through interviews with survivors. We learn a little about the initial outbreak of the Zombie epidemic that started in China and spread rapidly worldwide. We hear horror stories from survivors of the "great panic", and what each had to do in order to be telling the tale today. We learn about different countries and how they chose to turn the tide of the war. And we learn about heroes worldwide and how they stepped up to help their fellow man survive an attack like the world has never seen.
It's hard to review this book, because there are no central characters, no plot lines, no big finishes. It is written as if it is a documentary, detailing events and people all the way down to little footnotes of "historical" fact. And it is indeed chilling. Early on, I had expected this to be a funny book, taking a stab at the paranormal genre. What else would you expect from the son of Mel Brooks, but something of a parody?? But it isn't like that at all. It is a well-thought-out and carefully plotted book, that goes into such detail, it's hard to believe World War Z is just fiction!! Each little "interview" tells it's own little story, and Brooks ties them up nicely in his presentation. Not too much drama, but just the facts. Brooks also throws in a lot of political references in how he perceives the world would change if such a catastrophe occurred. Can you imagine a world in which Cuba is the new commerce capital? And yet, he does it so smoothly and believably, it's really hard to see it as fiction! Kudos to Brooks for such a unique and down-right fascinating book!! If there ever IS a Zombie epidemic, I know who's doorstep I'm going to show up on!! Max Brooks can lead us to Victory!! 4.5/5