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December 18, 2012 / milesandhisfavorites

MAHF Reviews: World War Z

About a month or so ago, I went to a school event at Barnes & Noble.  I got two books: Monster Hunter International (which I haven’t entirely finished but is incredibly awesome), and the bestseller zombie book World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.  That, I’ve read.

Some of you may know this book from the upcoming movie adaption starring Brad Pitt.  While many are disappointed, I don’t think it’ll be that bad.  I’ll probably be seeing it, so you probably will see a review of that coming in the summer.  Anyway, the book takes place over a decade after a massive zombie epidemic has killed literally billions of people, and the world is changed forever.  Russia is a theocracy, Mexico is renamed Atzlan for no apparent reason, and Cuba becomes a new global superpower.  The book itself is told through a series of interviews the author (playing a reporter for the UN) has with a variety of people all over the world.

One of my favorite parts about the book are how varied and shockingly realistic the stories are.  In the book, there are interviews about:

  • The disappearance of the population of North Korea
  • An encounter with the zombie plague’s Patient Zero
  • A disabled man who joined his neighborhood watch
  • A supposed miracle drug called Phalanx (the interview itself takes place in Antarctica)
  • An Australian man who lived on the International Space Station for FIVE YEARS
  • The hijacking of a nuclear submarine

And so much more.  That isn’t even the half of it.  My personal favorite stories are probably the military reclamation of most of the U.S., the nuclear sub hijacking, and maybe the ISS guy.  Unfortunately, while the majority of the stories are great, some aren’t so good, and one or two are very weak, particularly the story about the Japanese computer geek who found a sword.  That’s just about it.  My only other problem with the book is that since the format is rather choppy, I had no idea what some things, like Hero City, were.  It has something to do with New York, I think.  So, pros:

  • Varied and interesting stories, for the most part.
  • People behave much like real people would, except for maybe this one Texan astronaut.
  • As a fan of New Zealand, I loved the couple of references thrown in, including a battle in the Auckland suburb of One Tree Hill.


  • Slightly choppy storytelling.
  • Stories are kind of hit-and-miss.

My opinion of World War Z pretty much boils down to this: if you like realistic apocalypses, you’ll probably love this book.  I know I did.  That’s why I have to give it a solid 8/10.  I wanted to rate it higher, but the audience for this one is kind of limited.  As to the movie?  We shall see, dear readers.  We shall see… *sneaks off menacingly*  *accidentally bangs into desk lamp*


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