I was completely obsessed with this book after reading it. I recommended it to EVERYONE. I even talked to my daughter's school about having her class read it. Not only was it a great zombie book, but it was also a great sociology book on how different countries respond to emergency situations.
This book easily is in my top ten favorite books of all time.
And I have yet to find anything comparable in zombie fiction, but I'm always on the lookout.
While not a zombie book, have you read I Am Legend by Richard Matheson? It's amazing.
I have read I am Legend, but it's been a while. I really liked that as well. I enjoy all kinds of post-apocalyptic stuff, whether it's Zombies and Vampires, or something like S.M. Stirling's Dies the Fire. As long as it's a premise I can believe in and the survivors reactions make sense.
Best zombie fiction ever?
Okay, I admit it. I'm a little obsessed about the subject of zombies. I have been ever since I saw the original "Night of the Living Dead" at the age of thirteen. I've read a lot of fictional zombie stories, and mostly come away disappointed. But World War Z has renewed my faith in the genre. If you've read the book, what did you think? Have you read anything on Zombies that you liked better?
This is a review I did for the audio version and thought i would share it.
I love audio books as they make a long journey in the car a lot easier and on my way home this weekend I decided to look for something new. I wanted to find a book I had not heard and one that I had not read yet. This presents a bit of a problem when going to most book stores, especially when it comes to sci-fi. Well I went to Hastings and was rather disappointed with their selection. Some Terry Brooks, and um William Shatner, didn't make for a huge selection. Just when I was about to give up, I ran accross this book by Max Brooks, who is also the author of the "THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE".
There are a lot of reasons I like this book. The first is rather obvious as it is science fiction about an apocalypse from start to finish and I have always loved zombie movies. The next reason may be what one refers to as a sharing of the first person perspective that interested me. You have the interviewer, which is the author himself, laying out the reason why he was interviewing these people who survived the global Zombie War, who were from a wide diaspora of humanity. This last word was what is most important to the author. He had been assigned by the new UN to document the why, the how, the where and the who of the War and its outcome. Unfortunately for him the UN said his documentation was "too human". He lays the foundation for the interviews that follow. You also don't hear very much from him. He explains only what he needs to about the people he is speaking to, sparing us long dialogues or anything that might detract from what the characters were telling him.
Another thing this book has going for is is Brooks' study of not only human nature when faced with something as terrible as the destabilization and ruin of our world, but what that change would actually mean. He brings the irony of what would be a new political reality by examining the political history of our planet. For instance, after the zombies started their rampage many in Florida and other parts of the US tried to escape to Cuba. Many attempted to make this crossing on rafts, which is quite ironic and such a role reversal that it fits perfectly into the new reality he creates for us in the tellings. The entire book is filled with this kind of irony and one can tell that the author spent considerable time blending our politics and history into his characters.
His characters were another facet of this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I envy his character development, which is only enhanced by a very diverse cast of people doing the reading for this audio version. How many times do you actually get to hear Alan Alda and Henry Rollins perform anywhere near each other, much less in a book? His choice of actors and actresses was a good one. Their accents, attitudes and superb elocution made it even better. Here's the list of players.
Max Brooks as Max Brooks
Alan Alda as Arthur Sinclair
Carl Reiner as Jurgen Warbrunn
Jurgen Prochnow as Philip Adler
Waleed Zuiater as Saladin Kader
Dean Edwards as Joe Muhammad
Michelle Kholos as Jesika Hendricks
Maz Jobrani as Ahmed Farahnakian
Mark Hamill as Todd Wainio
Henry Rollins as T. Sean Collins
Eamonn Walker as David Allen Forbes and Xolelwa Azania
Ajay Naidu as Ajay Shah
John Turturro as Seryosha Garcia Alvarez
Rob Reiner as "The Whacko"
Jay O'Sanders as Bob Archer
Dennis Boutsikaris as General Travis D'Ambrosia
Becky Ann Baker as Christina Eliopolis
Steve Park as Kwang Jingshu
Frank Kamai as Nury Televaldi and Tomonaga
John McElroy as Ernesto Olguin
If you enjoy apocalyptic tales, zombies and a fresh approach to thinking about a story then I know you will enjoy this as much as I did.
· Hardcover: 352 pages
· Publisher: Crown (September 12, 2006)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0307346609
· ISBN-13: 978-0307346605
· Published by Random House Audio
· 5 CDs, 6 Hours
A great twist on horror fiction, and well executed.
Ok, 50 pages in (well more now... I was in the air when I hit 50 pages).....
When I first heard of this book, I knew I had to read it. The premise was very similar to a book called War Day that I've always loved, the retelling of a fictional conflict and it's after-effects on society. That one dealt with a limited cold-war based nuclear conflict, this one deals with a zombie attack. Personally, I'm not sure which one is more 'impossible' in this day and age.
While the fictional author wrote a note explaining that he was trying to keep his personal opinions as removed as possible, it is one of the things that is nagging at me a little, the lack of personal feelings and discussion is a bit off-putting. The bolded section talking about who is being spoken too could have just used a little fleshing out.
My only other big issue so far is the... well... patchwork feeling. I mean, I understand a global issue like this is going to hope from one part of the world to another, but I can't help but feel that if it could have been written just a little differently to make it a more... solidified narrative.
That said, I'm still reading and thoroughly enjoying the book.
An entertaining read if one can get accustomed to the narrative structure, which is a series of questions asked by the narrator to various survivors of the zombie war. In the end, I really enjoyed it. I agree with Pete's comment.
It is a little tricky to get used to the narrative, true Brandy.
I really enjoyed it though, and felt that Brooks really put a lot of thought and effort into planning in such depth the behaviour of the zombies, and the geopolitical atmosphere. Definitely one of my favourite books.
Could anyone tell me if "The Zombie Survival Guide" is as good as this? :)
I thought this was actually put together very well. Much more than just a zombie story, and no, it's not a "zombie survival guide" so to speak. The depth of explanation in regards to the social, political, and environmental upheaval was more than I have ever really seen in this type of genre...more thought provovking than the original "Dawn of the Dead" by a long shot. And really, this isn't about zombies per se, but more of the reaction and result of a world almost lost to total annihilation by a force that seems to be unstoppable.
Ah, no that's not what I meant, Brooks is also the author of The Zombie Survival Guide, I wasn't saying that this was it ;)
I totally agree. I think the zombies and the threat of a complete loss of humanity and "life" is really just a catalyst for investigating the human condition. This is not a book about zombies, it's a book about people. What is scarier than a threat that claims everything we love? Turning everything we love into the enemy. Gah. Love this book.
on wikipedia, it reads that Brad Pitt purchased the rights to make the movie..
Oral histories, when done correctly, are great, and this fictional one is outstanding. I can see an incredibly naive reader believing this was actual history. Very well done, and highly, highly recommended.
I agree with your post, and there were times when reading where I had to remind myself that all of the people, and events, and whatnot were ficional. What an imagination!
I have read and own bothe "the Zombie Survival guide" and "World War Z" and I think they are both excellent books. They have done very well indeed and they match original stories "The Night of the Living Dead" and the original "Dawn of the Dead". Like Zombies don't move fast, but slow. The heart stops beating therefore the body starts to deteriorates and therefore cannot move as fast as in the new version of the "Dawn of the Dead". In other words I like a little more realisim that the movies don't show.
Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed this book. It is a "guided narrative" of interviews with survivors of and participants in a World War against Zombies. Told by "the Chairperson" that his report is too intimate, with too many opinions and too many feelings, the narrator "cleans" up his after-action official report and then turns around and narrates this story with the opinions, feelings and intimacy he was forced to remove from his report. Hard to describe...not gory, bloody or graphic...
Zombies are impossible, max brooks is a faggot.
You're maturity is appreciated
um Ashley. Zombies can be possible. and you suck!! Max Brooks is a very talented writer. he made the book as real as possible. if you can't see that, you are a horrible reader.
I ran this through the herp derp filter, but it overloaded.
Ashley, You SUCK!!!
They just announced Brad Pitt would be starring in this. Not sure who he'd play, unless it was the guy who interviewed everyone... and the film was a series of flashbacks.
Isn't it "Muad'dib"? http://duckduckgo.com/?q=muad%27dib
Is there a release date for this book's movie?
On its page, this book is categorized as "Books › Entertainment › Humor › Satire" and "Books › Entertainment › Humor › Satire, General." I just finished reading it and don't see how in the world it could be considered humorous or any form of satire. Its written as a straight piece of alternate historical fiction not as comedy...
Something has been announced for the film? I thought it wasn't a full film based on WWZ but a small part of it.
I really didn't like this book at all. I felt like I was reading a history book. I enjoyed the questions that were being asked, but that's about it.
I love Zombie movies and graphic novels but fully expected to read five pages of this and put it down and not look back. What happened was, I simply never put it down. BRILLIANT.
I loved the political take on a world plague. We all better learn to get on and soon. You never know when your friends might turn into fleash eating zombies.
It's a movie
My 10-year old son wants to read this. What do you think is the appropriate age for this book?