Have You Heard About… World War Z

… the zombie novel that’s become one of the most noteworthy examples of recent horror fiction?

Many people are familiar with the 2013 film adaptation of World War Z, but if you haven’t read Max Brooks’ original novel, you’re missing out. World War Z presents itself as a work of nonfiction – a collection of interviews and stories from people who experienced (and lived through) the Zombie War. And although we know that the Zombie War is fictional, the political and military details make it very easy to be convinced otherwise.

World-War-ZI’ve heard this book billed as “darkly humorous,” but that label doesn’t fit my reading experience. I found this book to be scarily realistic, shocking, at times terrifying, and not at all what I’d consider the typical horror novel. The zombies are scary, but the collapse of human society and the political turmoil was even scarier, given the state of the world today. And as we hear about the war from political, economic, societal, and personal points of view, we get a multi-dimensional portrait of how the Zombie Apocalypse happened and how the world reacted.

This is probably one of the most well-received works of zombie literature, although it breaks from the traditional mold of staggering, brain-eating monsters. Great suggestion for fans of horror mixed with social commentary, or for readers (like me) who don’t typically go for monster stories.

Reviewed by Katie (staff)