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.
It is common knowledge amongst my closest friends, and family that I have one true fear... not spiders, mice or snakes. Not even death really... but zombies. Or the idea of zombies. They say it is irrational, even a little crazy to have such a fear. But heck, biological warfare could potentially make this a possibility.. anyone watch Resident Evil? You just never know, people. You just never know.
In this novel I read of my fear. Human survivor numbers, in comparison to the total population prior to the decade long war, could be viewed as near extinction! Max Brooks is an agent for the United Nations, traveling the globe, interviewing such survivors of various nationalities and religions about their experiences during this war.
The novel opens up with an outbreak in a small Chinese town, where a doctor is taken to 'Patient 0' in the hopes of identifying the 'disease'. It just so happens that it's a very young boy, shackled by the villagers in a shed or hut. This boy is so hungry and savage, it tears its own arm off in order to get closer to the doctor that stares at it in horror. Very zombielicious!!!
This book is presented as a documentary, with Brooks interviewing various people, including military officials. The documentary style threw me off initially, as I had never read a novel set up this way, but quickly got into the flow of the structure.
Why only 4 stars though? It is not a testament to the story or the skill of writing, because it was superb. Just a reader's personal preference. Much of this book was very militant, with lots of well researched military weaponry and methods of attack, and which though understandable, elicits some yawning out of this reader. I was way more interested to read some good zombie killing. And ohh yes, folks. Lots and lots that fall beautifully in that category.
I have learned a lot from reading this novel. I learned that I need to read the Zombie Survival Guide ASAP! And I must get my hands on a paperback copy so I can throw that in a backpack along with a couple of guns, ammo, a couple of knifes, a few cans of beans and Chunky Soup, can opener, bandages.. you get the drift. Let's not forget the very sharp sword on my back, cause I may have to lop some zombie heads through the air. (ERIN, can you NOT just give me one of yours for Christmas? Pretty please?) AND, I need to track down that Bear Grylls episode of urban disaster survival and commit it to memory.
But if all goes to hell, I will just have to pull the ultimate weapon out of my arsenal.
That's right. I've got Chuck Norris. You are screwed Zombies... You are screwed.
To make matters sweeter, soon to be a movie at your local theater, starring none other than Brad Pitt as Max Brooks. Alright!
4 out of 5 zombies. Not too shabby!!