Book Review: World War Z
 By Dave Dreher

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Sep 17, 2006, 7:3 pm

Okay zombie fans, I have a treat for you.

I just got done reading what just may well be the BEST piece of zombie fiction ever put to paper.  I know what you’re thinking, pretty hefty praise but I’m telling you World War Z is an amazing addition to the zombie subgenre.

Penned by Max Brooks whom you may remember gave us The Zombie Survival Guide a few years back has returned to horror literature and has spewed forth a gift for all of us.

I remember when Zombie Survival Guide came out it was being touted as a satire, supposedly funny and witty, which it was at points.  When I read it though it came across as a much more serious piece of work.  It was incredibly apparent that Brooks had painstakingly researched the subject matter and you know what?  If the dead did rise you could have used this handbook to save your life. 

With World War Z Brooks ups the ante a bit and delivers a third person narrative presented as a series of interviews with folks who lived through what was almost the end of mankind.

We are taken by the hand and lead through the discovery of Patient Zero and the government cover up that followed.  Then we talk to doctors, scientists and other medical minds (who originally diagnosis it as “rabies”) and learn all about the short comings and underground money being made there.  We also speak to military men, police, first responders and the like who tell a grisly tale of pain, death and destruction.

I think what impresses me most with this novel is how intelligent it is.  Brooks pulls no punches and his opinions come through loud and clear.  Great attention is paid to detail be it in the way he describes a particularly nasty attack or in the way he describes the scum that find a way to profit off the pain and death of others.

A lot of parallels can be drawn between what happens in the book and what a lot of folks feel is happening every day in the streets of the US, should one wish to do so.

After reading Max’s take on the zombie apocalypse it is no wonder we were reporting earlier this year on the bid war going on between several major Hollywood heavy hitters for the film rights.  The movie that will be made from this will need to be huge in both scope and grandeur to do the text justice.  Let’s hope they spend some money on it.

World War Z is for me what Land of the Dead should have been.  A definitive intelligent take on a world gone mad that is politically insightful, opinionated and not afraid to look into the dark places that most would probably avoid.

Job well done Mr. Brooks.

World War Z is available right now at your local bookseller and you need to jump in your car right now and drive there and pick this baby up.  Just clear an evening because once you start reading, you’re not going to stop till it’s over.

World War Z is also available as an audio book which I have not yet heard but is apparently quite amazing.  I am going to try and get my hands on one and will let you know what I think soon.

Also, I was able to sit down for a little one on one with Max this past weekend.  I will be posting the interview in a few days.  In the meantime, go get the book.


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