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Book Review: World War Z

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Through a tragic misalignment of the stars, I was introduced by a coworker on Thursday to the book World War Z, a novel by Max Brooks that is purported to be "An Oral History of the Zombie War".

It should come as no surprise to even the most casual of readers that I'm a bit of a fan of the zombie genre. I put much more thought into the zombie menace than your average citizen. Does this make me weird, or just prepared for the unlikely?

In any event, I was thrilled to read this book. I literally picked it up and didn't put it down until I finished it, which was (admittedly) somewhat inconvenient in its timing. It was an absolute page-turner. Perhaps part of the reason is that it's presented as a series of vignettes; each short story (perhaps only a few pages in length) gives you a glimpse into a character's part of the zombie uprising: who they are, where they were, what they saw, how they reacted. It's hard to put down a book when something interesting is going to happen every few pages!

I'm not going to say that it's the best-written book I've ever read, but the writing was quite effective. While some characters seemed a little less-than-realistic and some of the voices seemed a little off, for the most part it was quite enjoyable. More to the point, the imagery the book conjured, through writing and presentation, was precise.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. I've spent the last few days wondering what I would do in the face of the zombie hordes; I'm not sure I like my answer (at least when faced with a multi-year war). Still, it was quite thought-provoking. Everyone should read this!


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