World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Sat, 06-01-2013 - 6:57pm

If you're planning to see Brad Pitt's "World War Z," this review of the novel will in no way spoil it for you as they share only a title. I don't know what the movie will be like, but maybe it'll sell the novel.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks 342 pages 5/22/13 pub 2006

I like it when I reread a book I liked very much and I still like it. I spent nights, reading late into the night, even though I knew what was happening. I was very pleased to see that Howard Dean is the Vice President and Colin Powell was the President. I’d forgotten those details; they remain unnamed in the book, but it’s clear who they are.  I think on my first reading, I cried during Todd Wainio’s description of the rout at the Battle of Yonkers, North Korea, apparently, dying en masse, and during Roy Elliot’s testimony. A Hollywood filmmaker, he restored hope to the survivors by filming successful battles. This time, I cried at the description of the elderly Queen Elizabeth, (also not named) again not leaving England, or even Windsor Castle, when it and England was threatened. The Russian priest, Father Sergei Ryzhkov, who had been a chaplain, tasked himself with killing bitten soldiers.

Todd Wainio tells this story from ‘The Road to New York:’ “One night in Portland, ME, we were in Deering Oaks Park, policing piles of bleached bones that had been there since the Panic. Two grunts pick up these skulls and start doing a skit, the one from Free To Be You and Me, the two babies… A crowd started gathering, everyone laughing and howling at these two skulls. ‘Hi-Hi- I’m a baby’—‘Well, what do you think I am, a loaf ‘a bread?’ And when it was over, everyone spontaneously burst into song, ‘There’s a land that I see…’” (326)

A West German soldier Philip Adler says simply: “We lost a hell of a lot more than just people when we abandoned them to the dead. That’s all I’m going to say.” (339)

(Bought in 2009 from SFBC for $1.99, read at about that time, also got the very abridged audio book from the library.)