Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Review: World War Z


(Summary from

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

( Read the full summary here.)


World War Z reads like a collection of reports, journal entries and memoirs, not a formal novel. The novel is a follow up to Max Brooks' other zombie survivalist novel, The Zombie Survival Guide. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a first account of the war on zombies, told through many points of view; however, readers don't need to read the first book to delve into the second.

I had heard so many good things about this book from coworkers, friends and on Goodreads that I wanted to love it. Plus, hello, it's about the zombie apocalypse.

Unfortunately, I had a really hard time getting into this novel. I actually think it's because the story is told using multiple characters that killed it for me.

The good thing is that all of the pieces of the story fit together to tell a larger story. The bad thing is that this style makes it a little difficult to follow, and each character's voice and tone doesn't feel different enough to make each "entry" in the novel feel like it's being told by a different character.

In most novels it's easy to find a character that you can relate to, the way the stories were told made this impossible; and because of this, the book didn't keep my interest.

Don't get me wrong, the story itself is interesting. (It's about the zombie apocalypse!) But the format left something to be desired.

Here's hoping the movie will be better.

Rating: 2/5


  1. I felt the same, also the person who gave me it said it was amazing and really funny so I had the total wrong impression from the start. Great review and I am your newest follower.


    1. Hi Lainy-

      Thanks for following me! I was so disapointed. But I'm glad I'm not alone in this. I just don't understand why this novel has a huge following. It's okay but not amazing in my opinion.

  2. I like the sound of this. I don't mind stories told from multiple points of view. Stephen King often does it and it totally works.

    1. Hi Emma-

      I agree! When Stephen King writes a novel from different characters' perspectives it works. It didn't work for Brooks; but King is also good at making each character distinctively different. You'll have to pick it up and let me know what you think. :)



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