“World War Z” by Max Brooks

“World War Z”
by Max Brooks
Multi-cast performance
Published by Random House Audio (2006)
6 hours and 3 minutes

Yes it’s another zombie book review from me. Hey, I just can’t help myself, I love these zombie books. Some are terrifying, some are humorous and some, like this one, just make you think. Nearly every zombie movie and book has somewhere in it the saying about when Hell is full the dead shall walk the Earth, they may not quote it exactly but it seems to be a great explanation for a zombie apocalypse. It also provides a great excuse for religious zealots to appear in zombie movies. Either way I’m not waiting for Hell to fill up, I’m getting prepared for the zombie apocalypse now, and Max Brooks books (World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide) seem to be great resources.

This book tells of the Zombie Apocalypse and how all the nations of the Earth handled this horror show. Told in a series of interviews by the author, the apocalypse is reviewed from start to what may be the end. The interviews are with doctors, soldiers, the vice-president and other prominent political leaders. While this is a fun book with lots of pop-culture reference, it does, at times, seem like a slam toward government and bureaucracy. Due to the other conflicts in the world the army is not prepared for a horde of living dead that have no central command. At one point in the book a young Palestinian doesn’t believe the dead are rising and thinks it a trick of the Israelis. The war at first looks like it may be a total loss but when the president of the United States holds a U.N. meeting (or rather what is left of the U.N.) onboard the USS Saratoga he finally is able to get the world to band together to fight off the zombie horde in a fashion that will secure the world for the living.

At first there are problems, with the thinking of zombies cannot survive the frozen north, many people migrate to colder climates for what they at first think is a simple camping trip, but once arriving and winter setting in, realizing they are not prepared, and when supplies run low, the people turn on each other.

I have to tell you a bit about my journey into this full-cast production of the audiobook before I let you know how awesome this recording is. I knew I would be reading this book or listening to it, especially with my love of zombie books, but I was planning at first to read the “Zombie Survival Guide” by Brooks. But thanks to a few friends telling me how awesome this book was I decided to do this one first. I first checked out the unabriged version with a single reader and got through a few chapters of the book and was getting bored. The reader was doing a straight read and no acting, and this book really requires some acting involved. I was looking for information on the book while listening and found that a full cast version was recorded, albeit abriged. I don’t normally listen to or read abridged books, but when I saw some of the cast members of this book, I couldn’t resist.

The cast includes; Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, John Torturro, Henry Rollins, and more. Just those names mentioned and I had to get this book. I mean, c’mon Hawkeye Pierce in a Zombie book? Let me tell you It was worth it and more. The actors were superb, of course, and the mult-cast made this book much more believable due to the many people “interviewed” in the book. It was a blast to hear this version and I never regretted the abridged version.

The social commentary made a lot of sense especially the aspect of Hollywood stars and social elite being totally worthless, and Joe the Plumber or Joe the Carpenter becoming the most valuable of citizens in time of disaster. The interview with Henry Rollins’ character T. Sean Collins, a bodyguard to the rich, proves this point perfectly in this book.

This book combines horror, social commentary, and some fun into a must read, or in this case listen, zombie book. From this book you’ll learn just how close the human race is to becoming extinct. Whether you are a fan of zombies or not, trust me you will enjoy this book, and as an added bonus, you’ll learn how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

And now for the good news; There will be a movie made from this book. I can’t wait.