World War Z – Max Brooks

I’ll be honest here. Unlike J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which released three epic movies shot in New Zealand, I knew nothing of Max Brooks’ World War Z. Except for the fact that Brad Pitt starred in the movie made from this book in 2013, and that its author is the son of one of the funniest movie directors that ever lived.

Yes, you guessed it, right – Max Brooks is the son of Mel Brooks. But there’s a difference – he barely displays the wit that his father was known for, thanks to the prevailing dark yet rich tone of the book that has made waves in recent times.

If you must know, it is branded as an apocalyptic horror novel, it is a sequel to “The Zombie Survival Guide” whose rules were a part of the 2009 comedy flick Zombieland, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson.

It’s a strange book – considering the norm where people who usually explore this “end of the world” theme are either religious or believers in metaphysics, and think they’re right too. Yet this in the same is quite scary but not necessarily in a blood-and-guts manner…

Not Just A Book About An Imaginary Zombie Outbreak

As admitted by Max Brooks himself, the book’s style is based on The Good War written by Studs Terkel that he admired since he was a young boy. It has been written in the oral history style or simply put, a collection of individual accounts that detail out the decade-long war that humans had fought against the zombies.

But there’s a difference here – since this zombie outbreak was a global one, the accounts are not limited to one continent but across them all. It’s brilliant, to say the least.

It also shows how much research the author had to put in so as to write a book that not only describes the social, political and environmental changes that occur due to the outbreak but each account has to come across as authentic, and which varies depending on the region from the personal account has been written from.

Let me reiterate: it’s brilliant, to say the least. And once you get past the first few accounts, you’ll see why this book is indeed a darling of the critics in recent times.

The author not only does a great job of making each account ring true but it also takes a shot at issues that prevail in today’s society too. For example, in taking digs at America’s policy isolationism and the failings of government, he adds an element of realism to these accounts as well.

There’s not a moment when you will have to suspend your belief when reading these accounts, and with that said, fervently hope that the movie does justice to the book, and not the other way around.

It’s that good.

In Closing

So, should you read World War Z? Or just catch the movie? I suggest that you do read the book – it’s that riveting and seriously, not one you would want to put down easily.

Don’t pass up on this one, as weird it might come across!