Friday, December 4, 2015

What I Am Reading: World War Z By Max Brooks

Moving forward with my movie-to-book reading series, I am currently reading "World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War" by Max Brooks. I heard a few things about the book after the 2013 movie of the same starring Brad Pitt premiered, particularly that the movie was an adaptation of the book in name only.

I am half way through "World War Z" and I can see why fans of the book were so upset about the movie. The book and the movie are thematically two different stories. The book is a series of different people's accounts of the worldwide zombie outbreak and war, as told to the interviewer/narrator. The movie (which I enjoyed despite my fear of zombies), is an action/adventure zombie movie, which features fast running zombies, armed forces fighting zombie hordes, a worldwide search for a cure, a plane crash, and a tense final scene set in a World Health Organization infectious diseases research laboratory.

I don't understand what Brad Pitt and his production company Plan B were thinking when they wrote, shot, and produced the 2013 movie, under the title "World War Z." The book's plot reminds me a more of Steven Soderbergh's 2011 multi-narrative "medical outbreak" movie "Contagion", which featured an all-star ensemble cast of Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, and Matt Damon, than the  single-narrative "28 Days Later"-type ravenous infected/zombie movie that Pitt and co. created.


Because I was expecting the book to be an action-packed zombie thriller like the movie, I have been a bit disappointed with the book's plot and pacing. So far, there has been more stories of people's reactions to the zombie outbreak than of them fighting, encountering, or fleeing from zombies. But, there are some really interesting stories about people's encounters with zombies and the absolute ineptitude of some world governments in dealing with the initial outbreak of the zombie plague.   

If you are planning on checking out "World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War," I highly suggest you get the newest audiobook version of this novel, which features a star-filled voice cast including Common, Alfred Molina, Martin Scorsese, Mark Hamil, Rob Reiner, John Turturro, and many more.  


Book Summary: 
We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z is the only record of the plague years.