Tuesday, November 6, 2012

World War Z

            I guess I am coming to this book late, but I just spent the last week of my commute listening to the book “World War Z” by Max Brooks. The fictional (obviously) book is written as a collection of recollections about the time before, during and after a “zombie infection” rocks the planet. The accounts are from people from all around the world. Starting with “patient 0” in China and ending 10 years later with the current situation in some of the still-occupied northern countries. The book was published in 2006 and will be released next year as a feature starring Brad Pitt. 

            I absolutely loved this book! As far as reading goes, I devote the limited time I have to either non-fiction historical biographies or survival books, fiction or non-fiction, which I can learn from. This book didn’t really have any of the trappings I would normally enjoy. No “how-to” section to speak of and since the “enemies” don’t really exist, it would seem there is no redeeming “survival” information to speak of. But that is just not the case. It was pure entertainment with a little “survival” mindset to boot.

            What was most interesting to me was how the army had to change its tactics. After a huge, failed assault that left the whole eastern half of the United States as Zombie-occupied territory with over 200,000 million zombies, the American government was forced to change its fighting tactics completely (bomb shrapnel doesn’t always puncture the brain). Much of the world fairs even worse.

            One criticism I have heard of this book is that it is unpatriotic; pointing out how easily we were overrun and how poor the government response was initially. I don’t really see it that way. It is hard to fight wars. It is hard to win when your enemy is determined to die for their god. But, as is pointed out in the book, this enemy doesn’t have a god or a flag. They don’t stop to poop or hesitate to charge a skirmish line. They don’t get tired or drown in the water. They don’t care if you are sympathetic to them. They just want to eat you. How hard would it really be to fight an enemy like this? Maybe you should ask an oncologist. In the end, though, it is the American President (who may have been Colin Powell) that encourages the world to go back on the offensive.

            I doubt the movie will be as good as the book. The book was monologue-driven where the movie will be effects driven (because you really don’t want to hear Brad Pitt speak too much). I have high hopes, though. I would love to see Alan Alda and Mark Hamill in it, but I doubt it will happen.


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