World War Z(a pre-review)

 

                I can’t properly call this a full review, as I have not yet finished reading the book; however, I wanted to get a review of some sort out there and I am so far enjoying this read. The title is “World War Z” written by Max Brooks. The premise is an oral history, a collection of short interviews, of the great zombie war.

                When I first saw this book at my friend Nathan’s house I thought it was going to be one of two things; It would either be a novelized “dawn of the dead” or some sort of parody. I was expecting either horror survival, or comedy. What I found instead was a book that if it weren’t for the constant mention of the living dead would read like a real historical account of world events. To be truthful it does read like a real historical account of world events. That is to say, the style of writing and the voices of the individual characters (mind you, the book is written as a series of interviews, giving the testimony of many individuals) lend to it a realism that is only broken by the juxtaposition of walking corpses.

                At this time I am approximately halfway through the book, and though it is not perfect by any means, thus far Mr. Brooks has managed to give each character a distinct voice of his own. Each account, even when describing the same events gives a different perspective, a different “feel” if you will. One could say that the zombie hordes are simply a backdrop, as the focus is not so much on the undead, but on the human drama that unfolds in the face of a perpetually impending catastrophe.

                This, I believe is the greatest achievement of this work of literature; It has managed to take a genre of storytelling that often focuses on our fear of the inevitability of death and expanded it to examine how we as people react to each other in the face of impending doom. Mr. Brooks focuses less on the livings interactions with the dead, and instead delves into their thoughts and feelings and actions toward other people.

                I am looking forward to finishing this novel and will be giving my final impressions once I do. As of right now, I recommend picking it up even if you aren’t a fan of zombies or horror. I believe that it would make an interesting read for history buffs or students of human nature from all walks of life.

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