Tuesday, January 29, 2008

World War Z - An oral history of the zombie war

World War Z by Max Brooks is a wonderfully inventive and entertaining writing by the son of Mel Brooks. For those who enjoy the work of George Romero, World War Z will be quite a treat. I found myself not able to put it down.

World War Z begins from the point of view of a Chinese doctor witnessing the first cases of a plague that seems to inexplicably resurrect the newly deceased as infectious cannibals. Is the plague natural or supernatural in origin? Does it even matter? Within a year the world is overcome with hordes of ravenous undead. Americans flee to refugee camps in Cuba; Europeans turn to medieval castles and weapons for defense; a confused Pakistan unleashes nuclear winter on the world. And despite the best efforts of humankind, the zombies keep coming.

At its best, World War Z is both gripping and moving. The most effective narratives in the book are those that serve as self-contained short stories: a Chinese doctor’s wartime experience saves his life during the initial outbreak; a downed pilot treks to safety through enemy territory; a young girl and her family flee north in the hope that winter will freeze the undead in their tracks. Brooks’s writing shines in these sections, which combine jolting action and social commentary and frequently end with a bittersweet, ironic twist.

For the zombie fan World War Z is wondefully entertaining. For those who enjoy adventure and horror it will be eqaully as wonderful. Check it out!

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