Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Book Review: World War Z

World War Z is a thoroughly enjoyable read.  If you ever watched a Zombie Apocalypse film and wondered "what happened to the army?"  This is that story and many others.

World War Z is probably the most hopeful horror book I have ever read.  Its told from the perspective of survivors of the Zombie War who were being interviewed by a reconstituted UN.  Its as horrifying as any zombie tale except you soon realize that every survivor story must have a happy ending.  Happy enough anyway.

Its very realistic once you accept the idea of a virus that can reanimate infected dead and turn them into hungry flesh eating ghouls.  They use everything from nuclear weapons to baseball bats but nothing stops the zombie hordes except geography and some very tough decisions.  Read the book to find out how.  I don't want to spoil it.

There is even a lot of Canadian content.  One story was of an early encounter with zombies as told by a soldier with the PPCLI.  Another tells of a family's early escape to Canada before "The Great Panic."  This isn't special since there are tales from every part of the earth including a civil war as fought by Chinese submarines and the plight of astronauts stranded on the International Space Station. 

Even the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) makes an appearance at The Battle of Yonkers.  Its stealth profile and surgical precision are useless against millions upon millions of undead walkers.  The Battle of Yonkers is sure to become an instant legend when the movie comes out next year.
The Battle of Yonkers

IMDB reports that the film will star Brad Pitt.  I'm not sure how they will adapt the book for the big screen.  The oral history of many different viewpoints from around the world won't lend itself well to a movie.  I'm hoping the director, budget and screenplay of the film will be as big as its main star.

In any case, World War Z is a fantastic read this Halloween.

A zombie outbreak is a useful exercise to help us think outside the box of a comfortable civilization.  Zombies allow you to think about the worst case scenario without naming an enemy.  You can laugh and joke about it without being that paranoid guy.  There are elements of society that resemble the dirty brainless shuffling mobs who want to consume everything and contribute nothing.  Some people identify with zombies (I identify some people as zombies) while others see themselves as survivors.  Which are you?  It's not going to happen of course, but you should be ready to preserve yourself and your family in the event of a catastrophe.  It could be a tornado, a tsunami, a major industrial accident, disease, shortages, a crippling attack from a hostile state or even a revolution.  Sometimes these things even come in groups as we saw in Japan.  Are you ready for the apocalypse?  Don't count on bureaucrats to save you.


DavidA said...

Loved the book. The previous Zombie Survival Guide was interesting as well. Max brooks did some graphic novels about Zombie outbreaks throughout history, with a particularly awesome set of panels covering some Roman Legionaries.

Fun Fact: Max Brooks is Mel Brooks son. Night and Day, huh?

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