|World War Z, by Max Brooks, 2006,|
published by Three Rivers Press
This is an incredibly fun story. It is not a tense or scary book; the war is over, after all, and mankind won. But it is a very interesting and entertaining thought experiment, in which Brooks makes some pointed criticisms of contemporary society and our disposable consumer lifestyle. As the zombie plague spread across America, a secure zone was eventually established in California, where an interim government was established, tasked with rebuilding American civilization and organizing an offensive to retake the country. One interview with the government's Director of Strategic Resources explains the difficulty he had with human resources: 65% of the civilian workforce had no useful vocation or skills. Lawyers, executives, analysts, and consultants were of little use in world that needed carpenters, masons, machinists and gunsmiths. Brooks makes an interesting point that so many people in contemporary society have no practical skills; many, in fact cannot even grow their own food or undertake simple home repairs - skills that would have been taken for granted just a generation ago.
World War Z is a 'must read' for anyone interested in zombie fiction, and highly recommended for its speculative approach to survival in a post-apocalyptic environment.
I rate it 3 out of 5 pumpkins for a scary Halloween read, and 5 out of 5 pumpkins as an original and highly thought-provoking zombie story.