Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Review: World War Z

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life Goals,Review,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:52 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I finished World War Z by Max Brooks this weekend.

I’ve hardly read any fiction this past year.  I read mainly non-fiction, but I didn’t even read much of that.  I can blame the chemo treatments, but, really, reading became a job of sorts, not fun.  So, this year, I vowed to read nothing but fiction all year, unless I had to read non-fiction for work.  Also, I’ve lost track of what a narrative is, what plot is, how fiction works and I thought if I immersed myself in fiction, those things would resurface in my soul.  Or some shit like that.

Anyway, I read World War Z, which is a novel about the world after a zombie plague, and the resulting war, sweeps the Earth.  There wasn’t much plot, to be honest, but the book painted some interesting word pictures about a world consumed with a terrible plague that first killed thousands, then brought them back to life and made them the enemy.  Perhaps, it’s more accurate to describe the book as being light on a cohesive narrative.  The “plot” was about how the plague started as something mysterious in rural China, a sickness that made the infected into strange, feral creatures that want to eat and kill every living thing around them.  And, those that don’t get consumed by the living dead become the next legion of walking dead.

Then the author, posing as an investigator for the United Nations, takes us on a tour through space and time, following the plague as it works its way around the world.  Along the way, he introduces us to the leaders and warriors who fought the dead in that war, showing us their struggles and triumphs.  He also paints a fairly realistic world.  I can believe that the way the world he shows us reacts would be how our world would react.  The plot is somewhat thin and clouded by gimmick, as it were, of the zombies, but it’s still a good book.  It bogged down for me in places, and got slow because it was long, but, other than the pacing it was worth the read.  And, again, Brooks shows us a very realistic and well described world that first suffered, then survived, a zombie plague.  So, in the end, World War Z fulfilled its promise.  It may not be my favorite book, or the best I’ll read this year, but it was good and I’m glad I read it.

If you like zombies and science/horror fiction, World War Z is well worth reading.
Oh, and I started Soon I Will Be Invincible, which has started strong and looks like a really interesting book.

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