World War Z – Review

Currently on Loan from the Library:

 Hell is Empty by: Craig Johnson

 Bel Canto by: Ann Pratchett

 The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by: Andrew Sean Greer

 Breaking Point by: C.J. Box

 The Poisonwood Bible by: Barbara Kingslover (The book club selection for this month.  Sadly, I am underwhelmed. Also, I think I may have read part of it before, and quit.)


Other Books I’m Reading: 

Anathem by: Neal Stephenson

It took me two years to give in and buy a copy of World War Z.  I had it on hold at our old library in Virginia for almost a year.  Their waiting list was long, and the copy kept getting lost.  So when we moved it was one of the very first things I requested from the new library.  Again with the waiting and the lost copies.  So finally I found a ten dollar copy at the Sam Walton family foundation, and bought the darn thing.  I admit I was a little snarly about the whole thing.  These days I usually only buy hard copy after I’ve decided I love the book and want it around the house.  The thing that finally broke me was seeing trailers for World War Z the movie.  It seemed important to read the book first.  

 I’ve got to say, Max Brooks got the book pitch perfect.  The premiss of World War Z is that a United Nations observer did interviews for a report to the United Nations.   Then he was upset when the committee he was reporting to only wanted his facts and figures.  So he complied a book of the interviews himself.

All of the interview subjects have unique voices and experiences.  All of them are believable, from the doctor in China who is confronted with some of the first cases to the veteran of the Paris underground battles once the living start to try and retake the world.  I think the thing that really sells the book is that Brooks committed to his zombies.  They are what they are all through the book.  They don’t suddenly develop special powers or speed.  They are slow moving killing machines that don’t need to eat, or breath, or think.  They aren’t bright, but they are dedicated, and you have to kill the brain to kill the beast.  Brooks set the rules, and he plays by those rules.

The obeying of the rules, gives so much power to the details of each interview.  It never occurred to me that something that didn’t need to breathe could live forever under water.  It occurred to Brooks.  Thus, the very scary roaming sea hordes that rise from the tide.  Also watch for the two guys who decide to clean up Japan, and the pilot who is downed in hostile territory.

The other thing I really like about this book is that there is some question about the survival of the human race.  As long as there are zombies, there is the very real chance of another outbreak.  Hum.  Food for thought.

There are random bloody body parts, and gross descriptions throughout the book.  I’m not usually one to be sensitive to such scenes and even I got the icks on occasion.  So sensitive readers beware.  This is also, thankfully, not a book with a love story, so don’t be looking for that.

I’ll be interested to see what Forster does with his fast moving zombies, and his underlying search for the source of the infection.  To be honest, I’m not holding out much hope for him.  I think I’ll be waiting for that one on Netflix.

Favorite Scene:  The interview in Siberia with Father Sergei Ryzhkov is complete and utter brilliance.  


Favorite Quote: “So typically Norteamericano, reaching for the stars with their asses still stuck in the mud.”


Enjoyability: Five stars with a heavy ick factor.  


Where to read this book:  Not at night before bed.  


Further reading:  I have to finish The Poisonwood Bible.  I’m on a deadline.  



Posted on August 8, 2013, in Fiction, fun, Reading, review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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