Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Book and a Cuppa - World War Z

Darn zombies. Seems like every time you turn on a movie or flip channels the danged undead are making trouble for the living. I mean just look at the mess zombies have created for Rick and his gang on The Walking Dead TV series on AMC. (I have to woot for my main man Daryl. WOOT!)

Ahem, okay, so back to zombies and those who write about them. Last week I had the privilege of going to hear Max Brooks speak at a local college. Before the announcement of his appearance I was not familiar with his books. I know….fifty lashes with a rotted zombie arm for my newbieness. I just was never into zombies until two things happened. One was The Walking Dead show and two was my leap into zombie journalism for a short story submission. (See that groovy cover over on the right?-->)

Yep, up until those two things I had stayed away from zombie flicks and books. Well, aside from Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead but those I consider comedies and not horror. Maybe they`re horrific comedies? That doesn`t sound complimentary does it? Well, they are funny, funny movies that play up the comedic aspect of a zombie apocalypse as opposed to playing up the horror aspect. I suspect that`s why I could enjoy them. Most other undead films, books, or comics left me feeling lifeless. See what I did there??

All that has changed since I read World War Z by Max Brooks.

I find myself now oddly compelled to read more about zombies and I`m sure it’s due to how Mr. Brooks (Yeppers, he is the son of Mel Brooks) laid out this novel. It is done in a Studs Terkel interview style. I loved how human that made the telling. We got to know each person the interviewer spoke to and relive their tales from the beginning of the outbreak through the end of the war against the undead. We get a wonderfully dark yet moving account of the plague years. Mr. Brooks gives us a haunting view of the battle told by the men and women who witnessed and fought the undead horde.

I think it was this human aspect that made the book so enjoyable for me. It was more than unkempt dead folks stumbling around. Much like the AMC series the story is more about the drama and heartache and human spirit. That is what makes me read or watch a tale like this. Even as a writer of zombie literature myself now I have to have humor and love to counterbalance the horror and darkness. My own works are Rom/Com zombie tales, so the light is equal to the dark. World War Z handled what I require as a reader perfectly. It is an addictive book that is so much more than your typical zombie gore fest.

World War Z gets a solid four stars out of five. If the movie starring Brad Pitt can tell the tale half as well as Max Brooks did, we`ll have one hell of a film! I encourage you to give the book a try even if you`re not ‘into zombies’ per say. I think you`ll be pleasantly surprised and may even find yourself looking at a new genre to read. I know I`m certainly going back to the zombie section at my local Indie bookstore to see what I can sink my teeth into next.

Okay, I`ll stop I promise. *Winks impishly*

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