The first post in my official 'books' tag. Since I got my kindle a few weeks ago this has been the first book I've completed before now I've been using my commuting listening to music and trying to avoid eye contact with anyone on the London underground. With a good book to read this now a lot easier!
First things first with this book you have to think of it separate to the film. They aren't the same and only have the same name. The film has a one man all American protagonist, a must-have for all block busters, whilst the book is as it says on the cover 'an oral history of the Zombie War' the structure isn't one long normal story with a narrator about one character and their journey. Instead it details the World War Z (Z for Zombie) through a number of interviews where really the interviewer doesn't interject much at all.
Travelling across the world we see the infection begin, spread, purge and then toward the end of the book begin to be defeated. It's more a series of short stories about the same event however all of which are completely different. Although this has caused some to complain that there is no hero or larger story arc, I mayself don't think it detracts at all from how enjoyable the book it is read at all.
I think the scatter-gun approach is what makes the film so mass appealing. There is a bit of something for everyone technical war-bits for the geeky boys and a few emotive family based moments for the girls. (Or which ever each individual prefers irregardless of gender) Some bits about the east and some about the west. Although it is biased towards America and then again somewhat towards Japan and China whilst us in the middle in Western Europe are notably lacking. The true nature of the World War isn't really carried through whilst we visit different parts of America, South America, Canada, even Hawaii more than once.
Although we are reminded time and time again how well the Americans do to defeat the zombies and how their spirit brings those that do survive out to the other side. The bias towards America is very hard to miss. So in true British spirit I'm sure we also were doing excellently on the other side of the Atlantic - we even get one line about an excellent motorway system we develop after the war, so take that America!
As expected in the zombie genre the book does reflect on modern human nature and sociopolitical commentary. People's will the survive and particularly in America the nasty sides of individualism as well as the positive and on the opposing side of the world the value in collectivism.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed WWZ and would recommend you read it for yourself.
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