Reviews of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006) and related work

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006Text)

Max Brooks (writer).

Read in 2021.

The second half brings the most original material to the genre, describing the efforts of reclamation that are typically absent from novels and films. The international perspective is also pleasant, but flawed; the Parisian catacombs don’t really make sense, and the Japanese nerd finding a sword is too much of a mashup between popular comics and Azuma Hiroki’s “database animals”.

fiction text zombie

World War Z (2013Moving picture, 116 minutes)

Seen in 2020.

Obvious technical goofs, factual errors and bad writing aside, it’s fun to see a big-budget global zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, it’s global mainly in the aspect that Brad Pitt does James Bond-style troubleshooting as Lane, personally flying around the world without expert knowledge or any relationship to the book, but it’s still global. There are entertaining details among too many explosions.

Lane’s solution works only by fiat. In reality, predators generally take whatever prey animal is slowest and least attentive, even if the cause for this is old age, prior injury or supposedly “terminal” disease. Locusts eat one another when the victim is thusly weak, not otherwise. Neither long-term storage of bacterial pathogens nor vaccines work anything like the way they are shown. The dungeon crawl by which Lane tests his solution is dull, as is the Newark apartment complex sequence near the beginning. Cutting out both sequences, and overtly going for a supernatural root cause like Romero or a more plausible disease like Brooks would have helped.

adaptation fiction moving picture zombie