wwz“It goes by many names: ‘The Crisis,’ ‘The Dark Years,’ ‘The Walking Plague,’ as well as newer and more ‘hip’ titles such as ‘World War Z’ or ‘Z War One,’ I personally dislike this last moniker as it implies an inevitable ‘Z War Two.’ For me, it will always be ‘The Zombie War,’ and while many may protest the scientific  accuracy of the word zombie, they will be hard-pressed to discover a more globally accepted term for the creatures that almost caused our extinction.  Zombie remains a devastating word, unrivaled in its power to conjure up so many memories or emotions, and it is these memories and emotions, that are the subject of this book.”

When it comes to the zombie section of sci-fi/horror, there is very little to entice me to want to have anything to do with it.  Everyone has that one thing that makes them a little nervous – or terrified – depending on our personality.  And for me, that thing is zombies.  However, since I do enjoy a good play of “Left 4 Dead” once in awhile, and I don’t hate “Shaun of the Dead,” I figured I could probably handle this book.  I’m not so sure that was a correct assumption, but I am still glad I read it. If only because it taught me how woefully unprepared my household is in case the dead ever rise to attack us and eat our brains.

This book is a conglomeration of stories from all over the world roughly 10 years after victory was declared over the zombie uprising.  From the early years and the vague mysterious source of the plague, to the ways it spread so rapidly, how it affected those in denial, our pathetically unprepared military systems, the ruthless methods used to weed out the infected from the safe and to protect those in power, and the steps certain individuals took to ensure the survival of the human race itself.  From a unscrupulous doctor to a commander of a Chinese nuclear submarine, to a movie producer and a blind man who killed hundreds of zombies while stranded in a national park – all of the stories weave together to portray as complete a picture of World War Z as one could ask for.

While it’s obvious this book is fiction, I happen to think that if for some reason there ever were a zombie uprising, it’s a fairly accurate representation of what the world would do.  Most people wouldn’t believe what was going on until too late, there would be criminals who took advantage of the situation, governments would respond with words and not enough power, or vice versa, and lots and lots of people would die.  The one place I believe this is lacking is covering the hundreds of thousands of people who play video games with zombie-killing that would respond enthusiastically by purchasing shotguns, making up molotov cocktails, and wielding baseball bats to take down as many undead fiends as possible.  And I can tell you that after this book, I’m definitely picking up another of Max Brooks’s works – The Zombie Survival Guide.

“World War Z” was written by Max Brooks and published in 2006.