Saturday, 15 June 2013

World War Z by Max Brooks

I'd seen the posters for this film in that London over half-term.  I read it as World War Zed (being from Britain and all), which I thought was a bit of a clunky and not-very-clever title for a film.  What I should have realised is that, given that it stars Brad Pitt, it is, in fact, an American film, and is therefore called World War Zee.  Much cleverer.

Anyway, I hadn't realised it was a book until I was idly perusing Mumsnet whilst drinking my morning cuppa and I came across a thread ranting about how the film trailer makes it look like it takes massive liberties with the plot of the book.

I am a fairly recent convert to well-written zombie stories.  Well, I say zombie stories, I mean the Fear series by Charlie Higson.  I haven't actually read any others, as I don't quite trust them (just like I don't really trust fantasy writers other than George RR Martin and Robin Hobb.  What if I didn't like them as much?)

Anyway, I looked the book up on Amazon.  It is written as a series of eye-witness interviews detailing the events surrounding a war which comes about after the majority of the world's population contracts a disease which turns them into zombies.  The interviews are purported to be conducted about a decade after the official end of the war, although the zombies are yet to be totally eradicated. 

It is absolutely brilliant. I urge anyone who is a fan of the Fear series to read it.  I am going to recommend it to the kids in my form who have read and enjoyed the Higson books. It's much less brutal than them and, although it is aimed at an adult audience, it is less hard-hitting in lots of ways than lots of the teenage fiction I've read recently.  This is partly because the narrative is provided by people that we know must have survived, because otherwise they would not be around to be interviewed.

I had originally decided that when the zombies come, we were heading to Cuba.  However, since finishing the book, I have decided on the Republic of Ireland. It's easier to get to, we speak one of  the officially recognised languages, (I could even chuck in a few Roddy Doyle-isms) and we fit in, theologically speaking (we can all say the Hail Mary.  Well, I say all, C gets a bit lost after "Hail Mary" so his goes more like "Hail Mary muh mu muh.  Mummuh muh muh amuh muhmuh..." you get the idea). 

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