Sunday, December 27, 2009

17. 12/5/09 World War Z by Max Brooks (342 pages)

Have you read this book? If yes, excellent. If no- Do. It. Now. I read this book for the first time when no one had heard of it yet (I know, everyone says that, but I worked in a bookstore, and I took it out of the box. Really.) It blew my mind, and scared the crap out of me. This is one of the best books I've read in the past decade. Its the dead seriousness with which the author approaches the subject that makes the book work- and makes it terrfying. (Best to read World War Z in the winter, when all the zombies would be frozen). But all excellent scaring aside, its not a book about zombies, its a book about humanitiy barely surviving something really terrible and just what it did to a cross section of the population that is left. The entire book is set up as an oral history that depicts the entirety of the zombie war from individual perspectives. I don't want to spoil it in case theres a person reading this who hasn't already read the book, but I will mention two of my favorite bits as examples. One of the interviews describles how Cuba becomes a major wartime economic power and how Americans flock to there on homemade rafts looking for freedom and end up in prison camps. But rather than ending there with a fairly simplistic point, the Cuban goes on to describe how once Cuba becomes a superpower the Americans' specialty knowledge becomes necessary and both communities have to work together to make the society function. He moves beyond one point to create a whole new system- just like humans had to after the zombie war.
My favorite, favorite part, however, is horrifying, chilling, heartbreaking, and you know, blew my mind. I really don't want to spoil this, so I'll keep it to two words. If you've read it, you'll know what I mean, if you haven't, it won't mean anything.
Paul Redeker.