Review: World War Z – Max Brooks


Goodreads: 4.04

Amazon: 4.3

My Rating: 8/10

World War Z reads like a history source book. It tells the story of a zombie apocalypse that wrecked the world, and all human spirit… It has been 12 years since the day people commonly see as the end of the zombie war. Humanity is slowly on the mend, and many people are called in for interviews to share their side of the story. We learn little about why the war happened, but we see government attempts to cover up the true extent of the danger, we follow a doctor through the journey of seeing an early zombie. We hear of children murdered by their own parents to spare them of a second life, countless hearsay of the colder places being the only salvation, and learn of one man’s change of heart. Before the war he hated dogs – yet as he tells the story, his best friend curls up to sleep on his lap.

In short, the only cohesive narrative of the book is the beginning of the zombie war through to the end. It is like a collection of short stories, written in their peculiar interview style. There is a massive attention to detail in the writing, and whilst it is a little technical, with many different gun types and army equipment talked about, this does not detract from the quality of the story telling. They only show the amount of research and effort put into producing the novel.

There was a huge variation of stories, from government officials to pilots to everyday people, to people who fought the zombies to those who fled north – every inch is covered, and the book drips with accuracy. Not everyone is a hero, and there is plenty of evidence in the books for this, but the part that saddened (and affected me the most) was:

I could hear them from my bedroom window. All day, all night. Just puppies, you know, a couple of weeks old. Scared little babies screaming for their mommies, for anyone, to please come and save them.

I heard them die, one by one, as their water bottles ran out.

Later, the speaker says he could have done something. But could he? Would he, even if he could?

That’s the type of novel this is. It made me think, and even as I am writing this review, my stomach twists with unease. I am a lover of animals, but in a situation where going outside could get me killed, would I risk it?

This poignant, thought provoking book couldn’t have accurately been made into a film. I just know it. It doesn’t follow one, complete personal narrative, and none of the stories interlock, and many of them take part in different countries (although there is a big focus on the US, due to their large military and population). I loved this book, and I want others to love it as much as I did. So go, read it!

(It’s not all about dying puppies, I swear)


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