Home > Uncategorized > World War Z- Quick and Dirty

World War Z- Quick and Dirty

I don’t normally talk about books on this blog mainly because I don’t usually finish a whole book. I’m technically reading approximately 5 books at the same time right now.

However, after hearing about it and passing it at Strand 20 times a month I decided to buy World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

World War Z by Max Brooks is the first book I haven’t been able to put down in a while. It gave me that feeling that made me think taking a day off of work to finish it would have been perfectly justified. Maybe because I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic themes and situations that push human beings to disgusting extremes.

The book follows the breakout of a disease that kills its victims and then reanimates them as zombies. However, what makes it different from other zombie stories is it follows the outbreak from start to near finish through interviews with people all over the world who manage to survive. In doing so you get a perspective about how all major current issues (environmentalism, the failing economy, consumer culture, terrorism, descent from government, communism, the embargo in Cuba etc…) help to contribute to situations developing similarly on a grand scale but also differently in more localized way and generally screwing a lot of people up. Its like reading the transcript from some wonderful, horror documentary that you hope can’t come true.

It got me thinking about why I and people, in general, love apocalyptic stories. The cyberpunk genre that embraces the end of the world really got a foothold in the 1970’s an 80’s. The sporadic but continuing success of movies like Bladerunner, 12 monkeys, and The Matrix ( because the other two sucked) can attest to that. Most recently The Day after Tomorrow and I am Legend had fair success (despite my own observations of their shortcomings as films)

Aimee Morrison, assistant professor of English at the University of Waterloo, says, “they (the films) make us feel better about right now. They’re showing us the future is worse… Things aren’t as bad as we think they are. The world isn’t as bad as the world onscreen.”

But maybe its the opposite. Maybe people are secretly hoping for some disaster to take hold of the world and ween out the weak, return us to our instincts without completely abandoning our desire for progress and change that has become an evolutionary advantage in most cases. In this individualistic society rebelling against the industrial revolution, maybe we think we’ll be the ones to survive somehow. Maybe we’re hoping for some grand devastation to wipe out all the people we think are morons. Maybe thats just me.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 26, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    every time I type in the web address I think of zombies.

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