Thursday, 8 August 2013

Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z by Max Brooks is more of a sociological report than a novel, beginning with the origins of the undead outbreak and taking the reader on a journey across countries as each society deals with the threat in their own way. As people join forces or cut their losses, Brooks uses the very unhuman undead to explore the human psyche, the need for survival and the lengths people will go to out of fear and desperation. After all, you may be able to avoid being bitten by a zombie, but will you manage to stay warm, find food and continue living?

Every few pages, the interviewer (who is never revealed - though I suspect may have led to the Brad Pitt character in the film adaptation) moves on to a new subject in an apparently never-ending attempt to understand what happened and how it all began. Some stories are very personal about average people surviving against all odds while others look at military personnel and officials. But each story is unique and compelling in their own right. My personal favourite involves a blind man who survived in the forest by himself!

The detail of the zombies is beautifully captured, too, as it is done through the eyes of so many different interviewees.

The interview style and the fact that the stories are broken up so regularly makes the novel something of a difficult read but it is easy to keep picking it back up and delving further into the story of a planet in crisis.
Book - 4.5 FOBLES - fascinating and beautifully crafted

Having not seen the film I am in no position to compare the two but from what I've been told, the film is massively different. Have you seen it? What did you think?

1 comment:

  1. The film shares almost nothing with the book other than a title. There are some parts about how Israel has isolated itself that are spoken almost verbatim by one character, but that's about it.
    It's a decent enough film, but the only way to do the book justice would be a TV series - each episode focusing on the story of one or two survivors.

    The best version of this story is the audiobook - specifically the full cast one that includes Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Mark Hamill, Simon Pegg and Denise Crosby. The episodic nature of the story makes it ideally suited to the format and the acting is first rate.