Saturday, July 30, 2011

EDC Book: World War Z by Max Brooks

Okay, so there is something of a zombie craze going on, and I am sure you have noticed it. Personally I feel it is little silly, especially when you have grown men talking about their equipment for the Zombie Apocalypse. I do appreciate that the majority of people are merely using zombies as a proxy for all sorts of epic scale disasters. That said, why do we need a proxy? Oh well, I guess it is all in good fun.

But if there is any person that reignited the zombie fire that really took hold in the 50s after George Romero's classic, Night of the Living Dead (go back and watch it, it is AWESOMELY scary and tense, a great flick), it is Max Brooks. Brooks wrote the Zombie Survival Guide and the truly great and pulpy World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

It is definitely a good read and I appreciate the unusual narrative perspective, that of an oral historian being told tales of the apocalypse from various people, but it is the subtle and not so subtle social commentary that I think makes the book more than it seems. It is sort of like how Animal Farm is not REALLY about a farm or animals (though the quote--"All animals are created equal, some animals are more equal than others"--is too good not to reference).

There is some really biting commentary on environmental issues (the whole outbreak is sort of a "Gaea's Revenge" scenario) celebrity status, the pitfalls of technology, Chinese communism, nuclear power, anti-social computer shut ins, gear geeks (oh no....), utilitarianism (the Redeker plan), and nationalism. Plus, in some parts, it is really, really gruesome and scary. Over all an excellent read. I can't imagine that people that would read this blog haven't at least heard something of the book, but if you haven't track it down. It is a good summer adventure. Just make sure you have a LOBO handy.


  1. I am already working through a couple books right now but I will definitely put this on the list - I can always use a good book recommendation. I agree that the whole "zombie apocalypse" thing is well, kind of tiring, but it doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. So if you cant' beat em, join em... unless they are zombies. Then you want to reach into your bug out bag or something...

  2. I was one of many who heard about Max Brooks' satirical guide book The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. Being a huge fan of George A. Romero's Dead series of films and just the zombie subgenre in general, I was intrigued by the release of this guidebook.