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Reviews of World War Z (2006)

Review by Beaver (2011-01-12)
World War Z is an interesting concept for a novel. It's inspiration is Studs Terkel's The Good War and also George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Basically, the story is told documentary style with blurbs from many interviewees. Like Terkel's book, it's about a war, but this novel is about a war against Zombies. It's a very interesting premise, and gives a unique take on what a huge world-wide epidemic would look like with lots of interesting political fall out. The interview style gives lots of perspectives from lay people and specialists, but it also prevents the reader from getting too invested in the characters. In the end, it's an interesting mental exercise without much heart. It was a fun easy read though. 7/10

Review by jtr (2008-09-13)
I believe it, all of it. Somehow I fell asleep and missed all the events described in this book. That is how real this feels.
Max Brooks (in this book) doesn't write about horror and blood and guts, this is a history book. People relate how they experienced wartime. There are precious little actual zombies about, even the word itself is seldom used, since it is deemed inaccurate.
Like any good history book it has clearly divided thematic chapters like "Warnings" and "Blame". The conclusion is very satisfactorily executed with an outlook into the future.
The different, international what-if-situations are very believeably and intelligently spun out from the political and cultural situation today.
If some of the so called journalists nowadays would employ half as much drive for serious fact finding and well balanced representation that this quasi history does, reading the papers or watching the news would be a joy instead of a chore.

(This review refers to the 2006 version titled “World War Z”)

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