Reading Corner – World War Z

worldwarzWorld War Z was so unexpected. So different from what I thought it would be. I’m really curious to see the movie now. I don’t think it will be anything like the book. The previews I’ve seen look like a more linear story from one point of view and the zombies look crazy fast. No fast-moving zombies in the book. The story is told, in the book, via many snapshot views from around the world, different characters, experiencing different moments of the zombie war, how they survived, the struggles they faced, the trauma they endured. It all coalesces into a tapestry of what the world is like, after the war, and tells a story, many stories, about how different groups, cultures, countries survived. It is a fascinating look at survival techniques that could be employed after almost any apocalyptic event. It is an intriguing examination of the human condition, how different personality types cope with disaster, how culture plays a role in many decisions, and so much more.

Some shockingly realistic scenarios are played out in the book. For example…

“Ours was a postindustrial or service-based economy, so complex and highly specialized that each individual could only function within the confines of its narrow, compartmentalized structure. You should have seen some of the ‘careers’ listed on our first employment census; everyone was some version of an ‘executive’, a ‘representative’, an ‘analyst’, or a ‘consultant,’ all perfectly suited to the prewar world, but all totally inadequate for the present crisis. We needed carpenters, masons, machinists, gunsmiths. We required a massive job retraining program.”

“A great many of our first instructors were first-generation immigrants. These were the people who knew how to take care of themselves, how to survive on very little and work with what they had. These were the people who tended small gardens in their backyards, who repaired their homes, who kept their appliances running for as long as mechanically possible. It was crucial that these people teach the rest of us to break from our comfortable, disposable consumer lifestyle.”

World War Z is a fascinating read and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is not just a silly zombie horror story.

The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.
~ Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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2 comments

  1. Can’t wait to see WWZ either but that’s because it was filmed right where I used to live – Glasgow. I recognised so many locations in the trailer that I was literally screaming at the screen: “I’ve been there!” I’m going to annoy so many people in the cinema when I finally get around to watching it!

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