World War Z cover (Image via Three Rivers Press)
11. World War Z
You just can’t get away from zombies in pop culture. Though you may think that the zombie’s moment has passed, they still linger on, as they are wont to do. Like it or not, we not have a giant, squirming heap of zombie media to dig through.
Of course, just because something’s about zombies doesn’t mean it’s bad or not worth your time. Take World War Z, for instance. Its author, Max Brooks, first rose to prominence for his Zombie Survival Guide, a tongue-in-cheek practical guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, however, is a very different beast. Instead of Romero films or comics, it was based on The Good War, an oral history of World War II collected by journalist Studs Terkel.
This collection of fictional interviews and documents spans the vast, worldwide conflict that nearly endangered the human race. However, it’s pretty clear that our species made it through, though at great cost. While reading World War Z, you could almost convince yourself that such a major event really happened. It gives us hope for the tenacity and ingenuity of our fellow humans and ourselves, as well as a realistic look at our darker side.
Also, don’t bother with the movie. I mean, World War Z is decent enough as an action flick, but it has none of the elegiac quality of the book. You’re better off sitting down with Max Brooks’ initial work.