World War Z by Max Brooks
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 26 May 2013

World War Z

Author: Max Brooks

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

World War Z recounts the events of humanity's great struggle to survive a plague which turns the infected into what can be best described as Zombies. The books main point of difference to standard zombie survival fare, is in it's narrative approach, told retrospectively from first person accounts. A variety of survivors who witnessed and played a part in the global crisis first hand tell their individual tales of where they were when things went south. This storytelling approach, with its interviews and documentary style adds a lot of human emotion to the fantastical event. We find ourselves relating to their circumstances and how they behaved and felt much like when we read historical accounts of anyone who lived through a great tragedy.

Where the style falls down is plot development, though the short stories are intriguing and paint an overall picture, they are isolated and become a bit of a blur. This leads to a certain lack of immersion as we are constantly taken out of the story by the reporter who has to reset the narrative with his next eyewitness account and setting.

How they have managed to create a screenplay and movie adaptation based on this book will be interesting to see, as it would perhaps make more sense developed into a fictional documentary.