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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War Mass Market Paperback – September 27, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Brooks, the author of the determinedly straight-faced parody The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), returns in all seriousness to the zombie theme for his second outing, a future history in the style of Theodore Judson's Fitzpatrick's War. Brooks tells the story of the world's desperate battle against the zombie threat with a series of first-person accounts "as told to the author" by various characters around the world. A Chinese doctor encounters one of the earliest zombie cases at a time when the Chinese government is ruthlessly suppressing any information about the outbreak that will soon spread across the globe. The tale then follows the outbreak via testimony of smugglers, intelligence officials, military personnel and many others who struggle to defeat the zombie menace. Despite its implausible premise and choppy delivery, the novel is surprisingly hard to put down. The subtle, and not so subtle, jabs at various contemporary politicians and policies are an added bonus. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"The Crisis" nearly wiped out humanity. Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and author of The Zombie Survival Guide, 2003) has taken it upon himself to document the "first hand" experiences and testimonies of those lucky to survive 10 years after the fictitious zombie war. Like a horror fan's version of Studs Terkel's The Good War (1984), the "historical account" format gives Brooks room to explore the zombie plague from numerous different views and characters. In a deadpan voice, Brooks exhaustively details zombie incidents from isolated attacks to full-scale military combat: "what if the enemy can't be shocked and awed? Not just won't, but biologically can't!" With the exception of a weak BAT-21 story in the second act, the "interviews" and personal accounts capture the universal fear of the collapse of society--a living nightmare in which anyone can become a mindless, insatiable predator at a moment's notice. Alas, Brad Pitt's production company has purchased the film rights to the book--while it does have a chronological element, it's more similar to a collection of short stories: it would make for an excellent 24-style TV series or an animated serial. Regardless, horror fans won't be disappointed: like George Romero's Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos. Carlos Orellana
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Through a series of `interviews' the author connects the dots of a) where and how the Z-germ spread (China, z-germ, Black-Market organs); b) the first theories and hypotheses (`African Rabies'); c) militarization, d) civilian action, e) government infighting & many other hazards of the war.
Most interesting to myself would be the theory of it all. To see the ever growing number of Undead, Ghouls, Zedheds, Z's or whatever other pseudonym they took - to get to the root of the `how' and `why' then witness the subsequent military action, both joining together and falling out of categories of people (Quasies, Ferals, Rebels) based on their psychologies. It seems that Brooks has accounted for a plethora of reactions to the war. Ranging from near immediate suicide for fear that tomorrow would be the same to psychological stalwart with the `quasies' near the middle (akin to Stockholm Syndrome). He also, albeit very late, espouses the importance of dogs (`K's') in sniffing out, baiting and reconnaissance of the Z's during the war.
The tactics of war changed and left many unprepared although it seems all too easy. Zombies are slow and `can be outdistanced at a fast walk' but the military's super-weapons were rendered useless - the Airforce was rendered good for one thing: supply drop - while hand-to-hand (with weaponry; not necessarily firearms) and the sniper mantra `one shot; one kill' were the most effective ways to eliminate the droves of Z's. It is difficult to believe that so many perished when the enemy had one advantage, and only one: pure & replenishable numbers.
While this is nothing original it was a certainly unique style with which to write the fictitious history of WWZ - each P.O.V. building on the next with a few narratives over-lapping to confirm or insult the other (political at many points) and eventually leaving off with the world in a state of relative tranquility but still suffering a few `white-zones' but attempting to get-on and rebuild.
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I will admit that I am not a huge fan of zombies. However, there are some zombie related books or shows I have enjoyed in the past.Read more