Sunday, January 17, 2010

KINDLE REVIEW: WORLD WAR Z: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE ZOMBIE WAR

I bought this book as a gift for my 12 year old nephew. Christopher loves all things zombie and can be quite obsessed at times, has been since he was about 4. Like most boys his age, it's very difficult to get him to read when he has sports to participate in, video games to play and text's to type but a book about a zombie war, that he just might read. It worked when I gave him The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From The Living Dead, also by the surprisingly kinda cute son of Mel Brooks, Max Brooks, which you can read about here. Christopher is constantly thinking about the best way to survive - where to hide, how to kill them, what supplies to have on hand, etc. I read the book so that we could talk about it.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is written as a collection of recorded interviews of survivors. One interview can take place in the US, the next in London, followed by Japan, then on to Iceland and then India and then Chili. Each interview is only about 5-10 pages long and is with only one person. That person can be a General, a housewife, a cook or a soldier. Each interview reveals a key detail or strategy to how the zombies came to be and how we eventually won the war.

Max is a traditionalist (as am I) when it comes to zombies - no super speed or strength, can only be killed by destroying the brain, infect human through bites or blood exposure and they are relentless, driven by an unending hunger. He has taken his traditionalist views and explored just about every conceivable scenario and this is what makes this book so interesting.

Did you know that zombies freeze? That they can't swim but since they don't breath they just keep walking on the bottom of what ever body of water they're in? That most military weapons are ineffective in killing zombies because they are designed to destroy the body not the brain?

The only problem I had with this book was that it was too easy to put down because each story was independent of the other and this style also eliminated any possibility of this book being a page turner. There was no plot, no curiosity pushing or pulling you to the next page or chapter or even to the end.

5 comments:

  1. This sounds really cool. I love zombies.

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  2. ..I've always been scared by zombies!
    i can still remember when i was a child and i saw the trailer of "Zombie"...my mother had to bring me out from the theatre!

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  3. You really do post the most interesting reviews..thanx, I think I might pick this one up;)

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  4. I kept hoping for a cohesive plot and quickly became annoyed with the New Chapter/New Story format.

    Brooks (son of Mel Brooks) did much better with his first book, "The Zombie Survival Guide," a very funny tongue-in-cheek book, written like a wilderness survival guide.

    The rights have been sold to WWZ and a script is underway, though I have no idea how it can be pulled together into a narrative film. If you're looking for a terrific and original take on the genre, try Stephen King's "Cell."

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  5. Sean, that is a great thing to do with your nephew. This one is already on my "must read" list. Thanks for the review. Now I will know what to expect.

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