Books: World War Z – Max Brooks

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There are two types of people in this world. Those that will survive the zombie apocalypse and those that won't. Those that will are the type that, upon entering a building, assess its entry and exit points, tend to gravitate towards second story residences, and always seem to have a crowbar with them. Those that don't have a propensity towards long hair, loose clothing, and panic.

As Steampunks we are probably in a better position for the end of the world then most. We believe in do-it-yourself, sustainable materials, and practice fundamentally vital and sustainable technologies. All these are handy when political and economic infrastructure has gone sliding down the gullet of the howling undead.

It is with these things in mind that I read World War Z. It is a faux-oral history of the zombie wars, the global zombie incursion that happened twelve years before the book was written. It's written by the same man who brought us the invaluable "Zombie Survival Guide", a book so realistic one would think Max Brooks has had some experiences we don't know about.

. . .

World War Z follows in a similar vain. It is a collection of accounts from various peoples, transcribed conversations and written interviews. To be blunt, the intensity and realism of these interviews are shocking. I do not lie when I say I was almost brought to tears at certain points. This book scared me far more then any movie in the last ten years ever did. It was almost too well done for my tastes, the experience too intense, but I might be a pansy when it comes to that. Those of you desensitized by bad slasher flics and too many dawn of the dead movies might find it par for the course, a well written book about zombies and nothing more, but anyone with some feeling left inside them, with the ability to empathize with characters they are reading about should feel it.

Brooks is able to paint a picture of emotional scarring and mass hysteria; he shows the best of people and the worst, the very worst. The book unfolds in bits and peaces, the secrets coming out like a cannon blast through the fog. The people are three dimensional and it's easy to forget that the whole thing is made up.

Read this book, but make sure you're some where defensible when you do…


Sigmund A. WerndorfAbout the Reviewer:

Sigmund A. Werndorf is a Los Angeles born student residing in San Francisco California, where he can be found hunting down antiquities and curiosities, passionately pushing the boundaries of radical culinary experimentation, exploring the dangerous world of modern music, and writing reams upon reams of papers that no one actually reads.

He is also curator for the correspondences of Johan B. Hackworth.