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Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

in a sentence or so: the human race survived a zombie war, but only just. one man interviews survivors to explain how this happened and to preserve the narrative for future generations.

recognizing the survival of the human race against the walking dead as something near miraculous, Brooks walks the reader through several phases of 'The Crisis'. starting with warnings, leading to blame, The Great Panic, the eventual turn of the tide and how the human race ultimately came out in the end. through a series of personal interviews, we learn more about how the world, and our civilized society, handled the dead coming back to life.

i've heard great things about this book, but outside of "it's good" and "it's about zombies", i wasn't sure what to expect. i was pleasantly surprised to find the interviews of different people as a way to explain motivations, details of events, and survival techniques during the war. this is a work of fiction that feels as if it's from a parallel universe, or the future. the authentic human responses and completely plausible societal challenges at a world-wide threat to existence were completely absorbing. there were events that were referenced by different interviewees that helped to connect all of their stories together and created a convincing fictional documentary.

somewhere between a documentary, a collective memoir, and a (fictional) historical document, this book perfectly balances human emotional response with creative plot and plenty of morally gray conundrums. i was seriously impressed with the writing from so many unique voices, and even more so when the plot kept propelling itself forward.

if you're looking for a book that's rich in human emotion, challenges the way you think about society, and takes the walking dead as a catalyst for complete chaos in our world, give this one a try. i have no doubt you'll appreciate what the author is doing with this book.

fave quote: "A lie? It's okay. You can say it. Yes, they were lies and sometimes that's not a bad thing. Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they're used." (166)

fix er up: this definitely took me longer to read than expected. there were times i wanted to skip ahead but forced myself to stick with the pace of the book. i'm glad i did.

title: World War Z
author: Max Brooks
genre: Zombie, Adult Fiction, Contemporary
publishing info: Crown Publishers, 2006

[ftc notice: I received a copy of this book from my library. YAY libraries!]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. yes, it is good. apparently they are making it into a movie with brad pitt but are in the process of removing everything that made the book unique and worthwhile. tis a shame. it deserves better.

  2. it does deserve better - although i can definitely see the challenges of making this a movie. perhaps a reminder that not every good book needs to be a movie.

  3. This is one of those books that I have been meaning to read forever! kinda happy I saw your review, a nice reminder to pick it up.


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