Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Readers Review - Max Brooks (World War Z)

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I just had a fantastic reading experience! Can a book about zombies be considered serious? And if it really tries, will it succeed or will it just be a pathetic parody of an already overloaded genre?

When I learned that Max Brooks had chosen to write 'World War Z' as a report from the United Nations Postwar Report, I was a bit disappointed. It sounded complicated and confusing.The book consists of numerous eyewitness accounts which together describes the Zombie War from the first cases, over the large outbreak and comes to an conclusion with the official end of the greatest conflict in human history. Each report is from two to eleven pages long and is shaped like interviews with questions and answers, and sometimes description of the interviewee's emotional reactions. We are presented with statements from doctors, soldiers, finance men and peasants, just to name a few groups. The book is filled with footnotes and references to other reports and literature. There are also explanatory notes when the text includes military abbreviations and medical terms.

Does that sound boring? Maybe, but I can assure all potential readers that 'World War Z', must be one of the most
worked through and compelling books in the zombie genre. And the quality goes even further. I have never read a book like this. I deeply admire Max Brooks.The empathy he posses when he describes the people being interviewed, are nothing short of amazing. Not two interviews are alike. The zombie war is illuminated from every conceivable angle. Again and again we must marvel at how the author has thought through the consequences of such an imaginary conflict. The groundwork he has done before he wrote 'World War Z' is so impressive and so enormous that it sometimes may have seemed like a daunting task. All opinions are independent and depicts the war from different geographic, ethnic, political and cultural views. Each country developed their own individual strategies during the conflict. And amidst all these different considerations, there will be references time and again to authorities and reports that have been prepared and made available to other countries, during the war.

Only a few authors have been able to write in such a way, that I have felt a physical need at the end of the book. Peter O'Donnell, Thomas Harris and Stephen King belongs to this small and exclusive club. Today, this trio became a quartet!

If you only want to read a single book throughout 2013 - it has be 'World War Z'.

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