Book #89

World War Z by Max Brooks

It began with rumors from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality.

Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.

I’ll readily admit I hold no love for any type of zombie fiction. There’s no particular reason, it just does nothing for me. The draw for me with World War Z was the unique style. Writing in the form of interviews, which take place with survivors of the zombie war, Brooks intrigued me with this novel way of spanning culture, demographics, and experience.

And it is good for hearing lots of different views on what happened, how it happened differently depending on which country you were in, how much money you had, how much advance notice you were blessed with.

What really disappointed me were the voices themselves. Despite his interviewees holding a huge host of differences amongst them, each of these voices sounded the same to me. Nothing sounded varied, or distinguished; all of these stories could have been told by the same person as far as I was concerned. I have been told the audiobook helps to remedy this as it comes with a whole cast of voices, but on page it was utterly monotone for me.

As the majority of Brooks’s voices were from a military or political origin, we heard a lot about the measures taken to contain the infection, reduce the spread, and basically just blast the brains out of these old grey ghouls. Fine. I was far more interested in the lives of normal people who had to flee; how they coped, how relationships broke down, how they felt, what they left behind. This was few and far between, with only one interview springing to mind which was looking into real lives. Of course, a very personal preference, but I could’ve done without the in-depth descriptions of weaponry and assault vehicles.

No more zombie fiction for this girl.