World war z, released in 2006, is the sequel to the Max Brooks’s fictitious Zombie survival manual. The book details how the zombie virus spread from a particular area, how governments didn’t take it seriously, and how the entire world ended up paying the price for the overconfidence of humanity.
Along with paperback and hardcover versions of the book, there is an E-book available, as well as an audiobook, narrated by Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, John Turturro.
Please note, aside from sharing the name, and some smaller details, the story of the book is far more different than the 2013 film.
An UN postwar commission travels around the world, interviewing the survivors of the zombie plague which began twenty years ago. This caused humans to wage war against the zombies, which ended ten years ago in humanities victory.
My reading experience:
So, during the three gorges dam project, due to the geological disturbances, an ancient virus was released in China. After this virus started to spread, the Chinese government suppressed the information about this virus, thinking that the foreign powers would consider it as a weakness. (Now, why does this sound so familiar, I wonder?)
Despite the attempts of suppressing this ancient plague, this virus spreads to the nearby countries by the way of black market of the organs, and human trafficking, and of course, refugees. One would think that zombies won’t spread to sea. But apparently, the sea smugglers actually tossed the infected people either on the abandoned shores, or just threw them in the sea outright. At this point I’m wondering, why didn’t the sea come alive, and swallow the humanity as a whole, given how hellbent everyone is in this book to spread this plague across the world.
The first ever large group of zombies were seen on Cape Town, South Africa. The virus was classified as a strain of rabies, despite medical experts arguing against this theory. The man telling this story, was lucky enough that he survived as a teenager, from what I imagined, he could have ended up stomped to death by the fleeing crowd.
Israel, not-at-all surprisingly, is the first country which takes this threat seriously. They decide to go into voluntary quarantine. However, even they are not safe from the failings of the human natures, as various resentments of the people of Israel reached boiling point when they started to shelter the Arabs, who had their families be present at one point in Israel. This resulted in a bloody civil war, (All the while the plague banged on the door,) and a most thrilling interview for me to read. (Yes, I am that heartless. I accepted that about myself long ago.)
Apparently, America has its own troubles. For one, their military was caught with their pants down, (For a lack of a better term,) and someone decided to sell some hastily developed vaccine for the “African rabies.” The attitude of the guy who sold faulty vaccines, (As well as other useless products,) it hits true. Seriously. He refuses to take responsibility, blames the woman who actually revealed the truth, thinks that he never did anything wrong by making money through the fears of the people. I suppose I found my first hate sink character in this book.
But, and this is a big thing, it wasn’t just this one business guy. Apparently, even the government dropped the ball. And the one guy who was interviewed, he refuses to take the responsibility for it.
Also, it always comes down to pacifying the public, winning the elections, getting the high approval ratings, and stock markets. Can’t forget the stock markets.
It is heartening to know, (And I say this in the most sarcastic voice I can muster,) that despite the hordes of undead, the black and white racism on India, as well as the caste system remained strong, as one of the interviewees from the India described. Despite that, some people risked their lives, repeatedly, to save as many people as they could, even though they could end up as a casualty themselves.
Also, during that interview, I also get to paint the image of people reanimating on the ships, where all those rescue ships turned into floating slaughterhouses. I decided that I rather go to the space, than sea in the zombie apocalypse. At least I can vaporize myself with the help of sun, rather than be eaten alive. (Yes, I have skewed priorities.)
Personally, for me, the height of awesomeness was when I read about a blind old man actually bashing zombies, while living most of his life in shame for being a burden, which was closely followed by an Otaku managing to escape from the zombies, and meet the old man I mentioned.
Overall, even though the book hits close to reality, (Especially in current times,) I believe that it is a great read. I definitely recommend it, though I do understand why you just might wish to skip it for the moment, and give it a chance, say five years later?
But who knows? We might end up in a world war by that point. So, might as well read it now? Really it is up to you.
I’ll just conclude this article by writing this: I did not expected a book featuring zombies to be this interesting.