The After Effects of World War Z

If you like George Romero’s movies, the mythology of the zombie and are addicted to watching The Walking Dead, then you cannot miss this book. And even if you aren’t really a big horror or zombie fan, you should still pick this up.
World War Z is a journalistic-style retelling of the plague years and the ensuing zombie war. For zombie fanatics, like myself, this book presents a unique version of the zombie apocalypse. The world Brooks created is realistic; it retains vestiges of the world we know, with enough realism in the new details to seamlessly tie the two together. This is how the world could be after a zombie apocalypse. Each character tells their own story within the framework of the disaster and there are enough gaps in the overall tale to make it realistic. Not all parts of the story are intact, because not everyone survived and those viewpoints simply cannot be represented.
The book is constructed from individual characters and their personal accounts of World War Z. The stories of the characters take the reader from the International Space Station to the depths of the ocean (the undead don’t drown apparently); from the first interaction when patient zero is discovered in China, to a veteran reflecting on his battle memories. Through the varying viewpoints, the history of World War Z is fleshed out. It was a pleasure to read such a refreshing take on zombies. A work must be quite good to stand out from the ever-increasing body of zombie media and this stands out.

Even if you don’t love zombies or horror, I would still recommend this book. The narration is strong and unique, the characters are dynamic and engaging, and the pacing draws you in, creating an addictive pull towards the pages. And after reading it, you’ll have your own 10 cents to put in during the next inevitable zombie discussion.

The book is broken down into sections - Warning, Blame, Great Panic, Turning the Tide, Homefront USA, Around the World and Above, Total War, and Goodbyes. The last section, entitled Goodbyes, is a wrap-up of some of the characters, sometimes only two lines. It leans toward the sentimental, but is not as powerful as it could have been. It is difficult to keep track of the each individual character introduced in the previous seven sections.

But this is my only hesitation in what is otherwise resounding praise. I had to go back and find the character's original story and reread it, then follow it up with the "goodbye." And if the only negative thing I have is that you must reread this book, well, that's not so bad.

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This work by H.E. Saunders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.