"Are you reading that?"
The question came from a student in a school where I was filling in for the regular instructor. I don't think he had read the book but he was trying to put me (the obviously old substitute teacher) and a story about Zombies together. To be honest, I didn't think we were a fit at first either.
My son leant me the book and because it was a "freebie", I gave it a shot. I would never have picked it up at a bookstore and it would have been a last resort even at the library where you can return bad choices unread without guilt. It just proves the old saw, "Don't judge a book by its cover" or it's title .
World War Z isn't really about Zombies. Oh, they're there and they cause the end of the world as we know it. However, the story doesn't dwell on Zombies so much as use their assault as a way to comment on civilization. How do Americans tackle the invasion?, Russians? Canadians? Indians? South-east Asians? What happens when communications break down?
Survivor guilt, PTSD, the Stockholm syndrome are addressed by talking with survivors of the Zombies. It turns out that military might isn't the most effective way to deal with their mindless, forward march. Conventional thinking and ways of fighting attacking armies don't work. New methods or the re-invention of old are effective.
Max Brooks does these things by interviewing and reproducing the impressions and memories of the survivors of World War Z. They are from all over the world and from different walks of life. They address aspects of lifesyles lost, the psychological damages of killing and the debilitating experiences of living in constant fear. If you're of a certain age, (ahem, you know, too mature for horror fiction), don't let the title fool you. World War Z has a lot to say about the human condition and the Zombies are provide a clever way to do it.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.