World War Z proved a fresh perspective on the zombie apocalypse genre by focusing on the aftermath of the war instead of following it through the outbreak. Treating it much like a pandemic, Brooks does a brilliant job creating a realistic progression of its spread and the affect it has around the world. Written more like a series of documentary interviews about the war, the stories and accounts of the survivors paints a harrowing first person account of the struggles mankind faced as it was brought to the brink of annihilation; hoping when work starts on the movie that’s been optioned that they try and keep this tone as I felt it made for a powerful medium for the telling of this story.
While there isn’t the same type of action encountered with your standard run of the mill zombie book, its primary focus is instead on the toll it has on the human survivors and the decisions they had to make to do so, makes for in my opinion a more riveting, and spoke more to the human condition and the highs and lows we might go to if faced with this type of all encompassing threat. And that’s probably where a lot of the strength of this story lies. The level of detail and thought the author has gone to envisioning a world overrun by zombies, and the hundreds of unconventional ways that impact would be felt. Though his accounts of aquatic zombie encounters are probably the most squirm inducing scenes in the book. But even amongst all the brutality Brooks reveals moments of hope, and even humor, as his international cast relays their stories.
Among many others the interview with the retired International Space Station commander is one of my favorites.
Interestingly thanks to the way the book has been constructed, some of the stories not being in chronological order, and are often short, it’s easy to jump around and reread your favorite “chapters” without needing to read everything before it. Many of the accounts refer to events in other scenes, giving you a multitude of perspectives on these pivotal moments, and a rather well rounded account of the war in general. Definitely worth reading.