Lately I’ve been on a bit of a post-apocalyptic/dystopian book reading bender, gorging myself on darkness and despair and loving it. Some of the books I’ve been reading include Ashes by Ilsa Bick, Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson, The Passage by Justin Cronin and Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts.
They were all great but another book, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks really grabbed me as surprising, thought-provoking and original. When I think of the zombie movies/books I’ve seen/read in the past, they usually give a close-up view of a small group of people in the grip of dealing with a ‘zombie apocalypse’. They may end with the protagonists reaching some kind of safe haven but their situation is still usually quite precarious. World War Z on the other hand documents a full zombie outbreak from the position of after the war has been considered to be ‘won’, in a post-zombie future. The format of the book is that of a series of interviews conducted within the context of compiling an international report on the zombie war: these are personal stories of various people’s experiences including key decision makers, politicians and military personnel.
The book looks at the zombie war from a global perspective: how different countries dealt with the outbreak; how international politics got in the way; and which countries were able to make the tough decisions which saved at least some of their citizens. It looks at the failures of current military thinking in dealing with an unprecedented threat. It really looks at the possibilities of this situation in ways that I’ve never seen considered before.
I was truly enthralled by this book. You may think that the subject of this book, zombies, is a ridiculous topic, but this books deals with it in such a serious way you can also see how this parallels other possible health threats and considers the wider ramifications.
This book might not tell you how you as an individual can survive the zombie apocalypse, but it might tell you how the world could.