While I am a little late to reading Max Brook’s World War Z, the piece of fiction takes a fun look at how the world would react to not only a global pandemic that wipes out masses of people but also the mythical reanimation of these people into mindless creatures capable of spreading a spawn of infection. Instead of just running from disease, we also fall prey to those who die off from the infection. The ultimate fear: Zombies. Brooks takes the perspective of a United Nations researcher tracing the rise and fall of zombies as well as humanities response. He interviews key players, government officials, and survivors in general. As he tracks around the world we learn first about how the disease spread, then how governments failed to respond, and then how those few lucky ones either avoided infection or used scorched earth tactics to protect as much of humanity as possible.
All of these components are expected, but where Brooks adds depth and character is with his unique vision of how the world will act and respond. In Israel, the world is walled off, the populace protected, and all are welcome who remain free of infection. In Cuba, a communist island decimated by poverty becomes first a refuge and then an economic mecca. While the world is obviously reshaped, the style and depth that Brooks explores keeps the pages turning. The reader dives into the narrative, lamenting over civilizations fall and looking for answers as to how they reach a point of stability. If you’re looking for a quick read, check the text out.