An Oral History of the Zombie War

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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Having not really read a book since high school, I decided it was time to discover if I had become illiterate.  I was smart about it though.  I wasn’t about to jump into reading anything too challenging and run the risk of destroying my self-confidence.  Walking around Borders, judging each book by its cover, the blood splatters (and 50% off sticker) on World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War caught my eye.  As a New York Times Bestseller, it seemed like a safe read at just under 1 inch thick and 342 pages long.

The first thing to note is that it’s not written like a “traditional” book.  There are no chapters, no main characters, and no fluent storyline.  Instead, it’s written as a collection of futuristic interviews with fictional people that survived the zombie infection.  At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about this method of story telling, but by the end I realized that it is an absolutely perfect way to write a story about such a seemingly implausible apocalypse.  Max Brooks‘ technique of leaving gaps between the events in interviews allows the reader to use his imagination to piece together his own story, thus scaring the hell out of himself.

By the middle of the book, the authentic and emotional feel of the interviews begins to confuse those with active imaginations into believing this isn’t exactly a fictional story.  It’s been about a week since I finished reading through it, and I am seriously now more worried about a zombie infestation than a nuclear holocaust.  Brad Pitt must have felt the same way, his production company is producing screen-adapted version of the book.