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World War Z: My Unconventional Favorite

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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War: Brooks, Max: 8937485910123:  Amazon.com: BooksWith skill and passion, any subject can be done well!

I recently realized that I've been running Audrey's Corner for more than a year now and I still haven't made a post about my strange but totally sincere love for World War Z. What an oversight!

I know exactly what expression you're wearing, because I've seen it time and time again on the faces of whoever I'm recommending this to, accompanied by a litany of unspoken questions.

A zombie book? Really? Aren't they done to death? Aren't they stupid?

That all may be true, but Max Brook's epic and far-reaching masterpiece is neither stupid nor overdone. No, in World War Z Brooks takes the well-trod and cliche-to-the-point-of-silly subject of zombies and does what few authors have dared to do.

He takes them seriously.

Written in a documentary-type style, World War Z takes place after a theoretical (and fictional) zombie war, where a virus or pathogen hijacks human beings to create what we think of as zombies. Looking back on "the war," the journalist who puts together this "dossier" is recording the unbelievable rise of these creatures and then humanity's struggle to survive against such a monstrous and unstoppable force.

Sounds like a pretty standard post-apocalyptic story, right? And true, World War Z plays a lot of those familiar notes (the fall of New York being a particularly notable section).

But what sets this book apart from others in the genre is that Max Brooks really knows his stuff. He's thought long and hard about what would happen if something as wild as a zombie outbreak occurred. How would the various governments respond? How would the military try to fight back? What would people do when something out of nightmares stepped into reality? What would the effects of their reaction be?

Brooks walks the reader through every detail, all the way down to how dogs and whales might be affected by this particular apocalypse. It's so prescient that the book was banned in China at the beginning COVID and the author hosted a viral Reddit AMA about how eerily accurate his predictions were.

The book isn't for everyone, especially readers who dislike multi-POV narratives. For some it's too real; for others too ridiculous. But if you want an example of something done with so much passion and meticulous craft that it overcomes the initial "silliness" of it's core idea, then I highly recommend checking out World War Z.

And if the zombie apocalypse ever does happen, you'll be that much better prepared!

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"King of Pantsers"?


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