I'm a little late on this, I know, so shut up (A review on the fictional novel, "World War Z")

It's about time I started reviewing books. Ever since I started this blog (and I use the term lightly), I really haven't had the time to sit down and read a good book. Then after an influx of recommendations and threats that I was committing crimes against humanity by not reading it (because apparently I was the only one left on the planet who hadn't read it), I decided to pick up Max Brooks's World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

I know what you're thinking: "A zombie novel? Seriously?"


At first I was like, "I hope I didn't just shell out $15 bucks for a dud." And then I read the first page. I looked up and it was suddenly, like, three hours later and I was half-way done with the book. I couldn't put it down after that. Everywhere I went, it came with me. If I went to school, so did it. If I had two minutes before class started, out it came. If I brought it out to read in the cafeteria between classes, people I'd never seen before would come up to me and tell me what a fantastic book it was. To which I would say, "Um, fucking duh, I haven't lost interest."

Max Brooks is the brains behind the hilarious Zombie Survival Guide, a comprehensive collection of survival strategies and how-to-use-such-and-such-weapon should you find yourself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. However, WWZ is much darker and serious in nature.

The story is told as the name says: an oral history. It's broken into three sections: the outbreak, who's to blame, and the aftermath; almost like an epistolary novel, it's told through first-accounts by the survivors, including military personnel, civilians, doctors, and a whole mess of others.

And let me tell you, no zombie movie that's ever been released has encompassed this much thought and detail, not to mention the bone-chilling reality that no country, government, or single individual is prepared for the horror of something of this magnitude. Which is essentially what the novel's underlying message is: we aren't prepared. If anything like this happened, all pretenses would be dropped and we would see exactly what humanity is: a cowardly and pissy child that refuses to take responsibility for its actions.

The characters that Brooks has created are fantastic, mostly because they're real. They're flawed, they're uncertain, and they're undeniably human. Some of the stories that these people tell will sit with you for days.

But even as the novel demonstrates how humanity really is the lowest race on the planet, it also shows how amazing we can be once we pull our heads out of our asses.

World War Z has fast become one of my favorite books of all time. If the Massachusetts Education Frameworks would allow it, I'd totally teach this book. There's a lot to be learned from it.

Either way, I give World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War 5 out of 5.

Oh, and a movie adaptation is coming out in 2010!