Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Alright, unless you're excessively squeamish or have an unusually pathetic complex about being frightened, I demand that all of you immediately get your hands on a copy of World War Z by Max Brooks. Subtitled An Oral History of the Zombie War, it's a book both Ickie and I quickly devoured, much like a zombie devours tasty brains. Once you begin, it's impossible to put down, unless you are a zombie who has just been alerted to fresh brains in the area or a live human who needs to defend yourself against a zombie onslaught.

Many of you may be thinking to yourselves, "I have no desire to read a book about a zombie apocalypse." Well, friends, that just shows how little you know. I'm not a horror movie fan, and in general I opt for dainty tea-sipping accompanied by British humor or fairy tales. Sure, on occasion I've mentioned the importance of developing my personal zombie contingency plan, just for the sake of discussion. But I fail to see how any reader won't be drawn into WWZ.

Told after the war, in documentary fashion, WWZ is a collection of interviews with people across the globe. From political strategists to soldiers to civilian doctors to feral children, each character recounts his or her experience in the zombie war with a unique voice. Ickie pointed out that the book has a feel most like the new Battlestar Galactica series on SciFi (which you should be watching). As in that series, we're hearing from the survivors of the human race, and Brooks delves into every theme: human psychology, battle strategy, survival instinct, religion, consumerism, democracy versus communism, reconstruction, etc. Most of the tales are chilling, but all of them are fascinating. I'd like to recount my favorite chapter here as an example, but I can't choose one. It may seem odd that a book about zombies offers deep insight into the human condition, but it's true.

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