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TheAussieZombie

The Aussie Zombie

Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.

World War Z or When Re-Reads Disappoint

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about why I love re-reading books, and I mentioned that in the last year only one particular book was really disappointing when I revisited it, and that book was World War Z.

When I first read it, I was only just beginning to explore the zombie genre.  I recall being captivated by the journalistic style, meeting a range of different characters, and experiencing the whole arc of the zombie-apocalypse.  I was interested to see exactly how I would feel going back to read one of the books that started my obsession, and perhaps in that way my expectations were set incredibly high.


World War Z moves through the initial zombie-virus outbreak, the apocalypse and into the recovery of the human race, via interviews with various survivors who experienced the apocalypse in a multitude of ways.  There are doctors, military, politicians and a few average joes that give their own perspectives.

The problem with all of these perspectives is that it's difficult to get to know particular characters, and that some of the POVs are very heavily focused on only one side of the story. In that way, I got bored with many of the POVs, particularly those that became more of an exploration of ways that skeevy individuals exploited the deaths and suffering of other people and the heavily militarised stories.

In any book with this kind of set up there's the risk of skimming, but I found myself doing it far more than I normally would, and I think that's because there weren't enough 'average joe' perspectives, which is what I find most interesting.  The actual plot itself and the way the story moves through the stages of the apocalypse is quite interesting, but those freaking POVs kept distracting me from that.

I will, however, continue to recommend WWZ as a book for zombie newbies, because it does offer a huge variety of characters and perspectives, it's just not going to be on my list of favourites.  I don't regret re-reading it because I know that my tastes have changed, and it's almost reassuring to know that there are other zombie books out there that do stand up to re-reads.

Source: http://www.theaussiezombie.com/2013/10/review-world-war-z-by-max-brooks.html