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World War Z is a damn fantastic book.

World War Z is a damn fantastic book. 

 TRUE I am realizing this years after its publication, but better now than when I'm 90.

Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, and evidently an immensely talented individual, put together over 300 pages of survivor accounts of a zombie apocalypse and made it awesome.

more-awesome-than-Milla-Jovovich awesome

I'm not a zombie apocalypse planner. I sat in my room in my ground floor apartment the other day and suddenly realized that if zombies showed up, I'd be dead in fifteen seconds because of the sheer indefensibleness of my situation. Again, ground floor, and there're giant windows everywhere. I'd have to somehow get to the Sears Tower, which probably wouldn't be TOO hard because it's like a mile and a half away, but I'd have to bring a weapon, and all we have is an aluminum baseball bat and a two by four. Also I've been spending the winter eating McVitie's Digestive Biscuits, so my preparation has been more for staying warm during hibernation than running from infected deadalive people.

So this lack of previous interest -- coupled with my fear of most things zombie-related -- is why I am only reading this book now. After Alley said she read it for like the 40th time. My older brothers also read it ages and ages ago. One of them was so ahead of the zombie trend, I once walked home from school, saw him studying our house from the front yard, asked what he was doing, and he said "Trying to figure out how to zombie-proof it." He's got a plan, but he also has two kids now, so I'm now dependent on my girlfriend somehow making it here from Minnesota on her scooter, because I feel like in terms of helplessness I'm like this puppy stuck in a bowl.

It won't get off my legs someone help meee

But as to the actual book. WHAT DOES ONE SAY. If you haven't already read it, read it. I'm putting it up there with those books that just everyone should read and love. Max Brooks is an authorial genius as far as I'm concerned. The level of skill in terms of planning how the zombie outbreak would break, the impact it would have, what would have to be accounted for logistically -- and he keeps it from being too technical and keeps it human. The device of spreading out the story across survivor accounts -- fantastic. As his narrator says at the beginning:

But isn’t the human factor what connects us so deeply to our past? Will future generations care as much for chronologies and casualty statistics as they would for the personal accounts of individuals not so different from themselves?

 The description of the Queen staying in England? Omg. "Their task, their mandate, is to personify all that is great in our national spirit. They must forever be an example to the rest of us, the strongest, and bravest, and absolute best of us."

The voices are all different, and it's so damn international, it makes me happy. The talk about France's need to get their national pride back? Yeah. That makes sense. And Russia's fall back to being a theocracy, and North Korea's way of dealing with the outbreak ( surmises), and how humanity sucks but is also awesome -- this is a great book. With that word used in the most meaningful way possible.

My battle buddy, Sister Montoya, fifty-two years old, she’d been a nun, still was I guess. Five three and a buck even, she’d protected her whole Sunday school class for nine days with nothing but a six-foot iron candlestick.

I will read this again. I was thoroughly impressed by Max Brooks and this book. Long live well-written AU stories with ridiculous amounts of detail and wonderfully distinct voices.


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