December 21, 2013

Max Brooks – World War Z

World War Z book

Zombie lore has changed dramatically over time, but the idea of the dead coming back to life has always been in the subconscious of a finite race such as ours.  From old wives’ tales of mindless, undead slaves from the grave to George A. Romero‘s slow, shuffling moaning flesh eaters to the fast predators of 28 Days Later, zombies have permeated popular culture and each generation has evolved the zombie myth even further.

Sometimes after a few beers, my friends and I like to play this game where we tactically plan out our action plan if a zombie horde were to attack the house.  What could be turned into weapons?  What doors would need to be barricaded?  Where was the nearest Walmart to replenish our food supply and grab a few hunting rifles?

Max Brooks took our pretend zombie scenarios to the nth level by imagining an entire zombie world scenario.  Written in the form of interviews with WWZ survivors, readers can piece together the story of how the zombie infection started, the Great Panic and how the human race fought back to regain their planet.  You’ll read stories from American generals, Cuban military leaders (Cuba becomes a world power and a major hub of the human counterattack due to its strategic location and protection as an island), soldiers, strategists, presidents, civilians.  Each story recounts a different tale with a different struggle.  The book is so engrossing and thorough that I walked away believing that a World War Z type scenario could have happened in exactly the way that Max wrote it.

I haven’t seen trailers of the Brad Pitt movie adaptation, but I’d be hard pressed to believe that the level of detail in Max’s book could be captured  in a 2-hour film.  This is truly a modern day classic for horror fans.

By Virgil Wong


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