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World War Z by Max Brooks

World War ZA review by C J Dee
  • Page count: 420
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Broadway Paperbacks, Allen & Unwin
  • Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2/5

The world is recovering from the war against the zombies and a lone United Nations representative must track down notable survivors to complete an after action report. The UN Chairperson rejects the report citing too much of ‘the human factor’ and suggests the author create his own book to portray the human experience of the war. This is that book.

I had so much trouble finishing World War Z. It wasn’t a novel I could just sit down and read for an entire day. It felt more like a collection of disjointed very short stories that occasionally reference each other. Each character tells their own version of events with the interviewer occasionally interjecting, probing or reassuring. Because of this style of storytelling, it took me a lot longer to finish World War Z than I would have liked.

As far as zombie stories (and horror stories in general) go, World War Z wasn’t very exciting. Because the characters tell you their story from a first person perspective, you already know they get out of their potentially life-threatening situations. The stories are more often than not just a matter of how they manage to escape from or not get bitten by zombies. Most of the stories are very similar and, in this reviewer’s opinion, quickly became boring.

World War Z does raise some interesting points and speculates convincingly on how different governments and cultures may react to the threat of undead incursion. However, with each tale being told in the same monotonous tone, it is very difficult to remain engaged by the stories the characters are telling.

I would recommend this book to hardcore zombie fans or doomsday survivalists looking for some new ideas. If you’re only marginally interested in zombies or a horror fan needing a zombie fix, I’d suggest watching a Romero flick instead. It will take up much less time.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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