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Good Books: World War Z

So as I said in the first post, one of the things I plan to do with this blog is review nerdy things (ie pretty much anything a guy like me would like). This can include books, video games, films, and what have you. Since I am an amateur writer, most of the things I will focus on will be the writing quality of what I review. For books that's a no brainer, but since a lot of the video games I love have good writing (not all of them, but a lot of the ones I like do) and the same goes for films, comics, and so on.

So I decided I'd review a book I enjoyed first and go over why I enjoyed it. I'll try not to go too in depth since I don't want to spoil any of the things I like for people who have not seen them. Also my review style may not be the most professional since I don't consider myself a very professional person. Still I hope you enjoy it.

Anyway, the name of the book is World War Z by Max Brook (who happens to be the son of Mel Brooks, director of Young Frankenstein, which is neat).

World-war-z

Now, I'm sure many of you have seen movies about zombies before or played games where you fight zombies. I'm sure a lot of you enjoy them (I certainly do, since Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite comedies and Left 4 Dead is one of my current favorite multiplayer games). But are you really scared by zombie movies? Some of them really are frightening (Dawn of the Dead being the one everyone usually defaults too) but most really don't do a good job of conveying that zombies are appearing all over the world and showing the consequences of it.

That's what this book is all about. It's written as a series of fictional interviews with people who survived a zombie outbreak that was a worldwide pandemic that was about a decade in length. You get the sense that every character interviewed has been through hell and each tells their widely different experiences as they saw it through their own eyes.

I will not mince words, people. This book is horrifying. It is terrifying. It reads like what would ACTUALLY happen to the world if suddenly there were zombies. How the governments all over the world would react, how some amoral scumbags would try to profit from it, how peoples families and lives would be completely shattered by it, how people had to go through day after day not sure if they would live and how some people wished they hadn't. This is probably the most realistic fictional work I have ever seen that basically conveys the world nearly coming to an end, each person describing all the frightening things that happened through their own eyes with genuine dialogue that rings as true as if you or I were talking. And the fact it realistically shows how the world would go down the crapper so quick and the consequences of what is essentially a worldwide mass hysteria taking over on top of zombies is a very involving, engrossing, and genuinely scary work.

Maybe some of you don't get how scary this is, so I'm going to explain it to you. Imagine the scariest thing you have ever seen. Go ahead, I'll wait. Here, I'll do it too.

Pennywise01

JESUS CHRIST!

…now, where was I? Okay, imagine the scariest thing ever. Now imagine a whole world full of those things. And that everyone in the whole world was just as scared of that thing as you are. And the world was overrun with those things for TEN YEARS and everyone had to do whatever they could to survive. Imagined that? Good. Okay, World War Z is about as scary as that happening twice in a row.

World War Z is a great book. The best thing a book can do is draw you into a world and have you believe that, given the right circumstances, this could happen and the characters would really react this way. It makes you believe that if zombies happened, this is almost exactly what would occur. It's a good page turner cause you just HAVE to see how people got through this, you just have to see what happened in other places around the world, even though it is scary as hell.

I recommend this book for pretty much any fan of sci-fi, horror, fantasy, or people who just like stuff with zombies. Also, if you're a writer who wants to see a good example of writing horror in an effective way, this is the best example of horror fiction I've read in a while. So pick up this book. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Just don't expect to be able to sleep any time soon…

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Categories: Books Tags: , , , , , , ,
  1. December 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I love that book! And the Zombie Survival Guide! Max Brooks actually came and did a presentation about them while i was still at RPI. it was SO COOL. He basically did a lecture about surviving the zombie apocalypse. And signed our books xD

  2. December 15, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    That actually is pretty awesome. XD

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