Monday, October 16, 2006

"World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" and "The Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks

I received "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" and its predecessor "The Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft)as belated birthday presents recently. The former is an oral history in the models of Studs Terkel's numerous books and Sir General John Hackett's "The Third World War" and the latter is a straight up guide on how to survive the zombie apocalypse.

"World War Z" is a blast. Through a series of interviews with a cast of character ranging from Chinese public health officials to con men, politicians and soldiers, Brooks creates a vivid picture of the emergence, spread and onslaught of zombies on the entire world. His logic of how a virus based zombie apocalypse would spread is ingenious and actually logical. The depiction of how governments would respond is also evilly logical and something I found cold enough to be believable.

"The Zombie Survival Guide" on the other hand is a bit of a bust. It's too dry and too long to really be any fun. There is a section at the end detailing zombie outbreaks over the last four millenia that's fun but it's not enough to salvage the rest of the book's tedium.

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