Wednesday, July 9, 2014

World War Z - Book and Movie

Max Brooks presents you with a history of the great war against the zombies, one from which mankind nearly didn't survive. He took the time to travel the globe finding stories from individuals that were in the thick of things as the menace came down on the world, people who helped make a difference, some not such a good contribution, in how the war was fought. And he presented it to the public, giving them a chance to see the behind-the-scenes actions of those that worked so hard to give the people back their world.

Zombies are the new big thing, plenty of people writing or making books about how they take over the world, leaving the last vestiges of mankind to fend for themselves. Brooks takes it a step further, looking more in detail at how the people reacted, handled, and faced the zombie infestation from it's first cases until the near end of the clearing of them so that mankind could take back their world. With personal accounts from a number of different sources, Brooks tries to give the reader a variety of angles from which to take a look at the crisis. 

One of my favorite aspects of this book is that ever bit of it is presented as fact. From the reviews on the back to the jacket information presented, it is all given to the reader as though that reader was right there in the thick of the zombie war with everyone else. This happened and this is why we survived! Another part of the book that really enthralled me was that some of these people who are being presented as heroes started out their stories with how much of a nobody they were. A simple doctor not given all the facts but lucky enough to understand his friend's hidden warning. A teenager whose family thought they were safe until the walking dead invaded their suburb, convincing her father to take the family and trek north. A technologically engrossed young adult who only began to freak out when he lost internet connection. Yet when they were forced out of their comfort zones they made big differences that helped turn the tide of the war. 

I greatly enjoyed this take on the zombie culture, and look forward to picking up more of Max Brooks' work. If you are a fan of the genre, I encourage you to take a look at this one! And for those who think the zombie craze is overrated, here is your book! Presented as a history it is a great gateway into the world of zombies!

A comparison between the book and movie.

I saw the movie about 3 months before I got the chance to read the book. By itself, I liked the movie, the new take on zombies being rather frightening since they were infinitely more difficult to combat with their increased speed. I liked that they tried to find patient zero and therefore a cure for this new virus, but was a little disappointed by the results.

Upon reading the book I and once more watching the movie, I have new opinions on the subject. But first I must say that my one rule when seeing a movie adapted from a book is to take it as it's own. I try not to compare or expect the movie to be exactly like the book, too many times have I been disappointed.

That being said, I have found a way to mostly reconcile the two. The movie is focused simply on one man and his mission of trying to find patient zero and therefore a possible cure. The book however is the behind-the-scenes tale of what was going on in the world while he was doing that. This leaves only 2 problems that did not translate from book to film: 1) The zombies in the book are slow moving - as traditional zombies are, while in the film they are frighteningly fast. 2) The book was never about a cure that couldn't be found, it was simply about surviving the zombies.

By itself I still enjoyed the movie, although it was rather disappointing when it came to what was going on in the world around this man. And he never really found any of the answers he was looking for. But give it a chance if you haven't already seen it. I think it is worth the watch.  

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