This is, without a doubt, the best apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic novel I have ever read. If you are after a zombie horror, you will be seriously disappointed, because the zombies themselves are not prominent characters i this book.
Instead, Brooks presents us with a series of interviews ten years after the war has ended. Unlike many post-apocalyptic novels, World War Z presents us with a global picture of events. We see interviews with people from many countries, many age groups, many careers, many socio-economic groups - giving a total picture of what was happening everywhere to everyone.
The subtitle of this book describes it as an oral history and this description is fitting.The story does not have a traditional plot, in the sense of one story, revolving around one character, with one clear beginning, middle and end. Instead, it consists of lots of mini-stories, with each interview presenting another piece to the puzzle.
I was particularly impressed with the author's ability to present each interview in a genuine voice suitable to the purported character. Every one of these interviews is entirely believable and it is this believability that adds to the sense of tension this book creates.
I have seen some people complain about the sheer volume of characters, stating that this affected their ability to engage. I would like to humbly disagree. While it is true that I cannot remember all of the names, I do not consider this to be an essential element to compassion or empathy. I, myself, fully engaged with each and every character in this book, to the point that I found myself emotionally immersed in their stories I won't spoil the story by stating what happened, but one interview with a dog handler, actually had me in tears.
Another thing I liked about this book is the underlying political commentary. Whether you agree or disagree with the messages being presented, they will surely catch your interest.
In fact, I suspect that this one of those onion books that needs to be read and re-read to grasp all of the underlying commentary. I will certainly be re-reading my copy. In fact, I hope to get my hands on the audio-book, which, I am told, is read by a full cast of characters. I feel that this will bring even more depth to an already brilliant story.
I do not know whether it is the writing skill of Max Brooks, the unique format of this book, or the incredible realism therein (or perhaps a combination of all three) but this was, by far, the scariest zombie novel I have ever read.
I highly recommend it to absolutely everybody!show more
by Nurture Waratah