Tag: Max Brooks

Max Brooks – World War Z | Review

Title: World War Z

Author: Max Brooks

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 344

Rating: 3.25/5

This is one of those interesting examples of when there’s been a movie adaptation of a book that really doesn’t lend itself to movie adaptations. In fact, there’s arguably not even a plot to this book, and if there is one then it’s deliberately thin and disparate. Instead of following a central story, Brooks wants us to see the war against the zombies as a whole, and he does this through this sort of found narrative, epistolary approach that reminded me of Dracula, although I definitely preferred Dracula.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this, and indeed I think it would be a good source if you were writing about zombies or studying their impact on popular culture for whatever reason. It’s just that it reads almost more like a non-fiction book than a fictional one, and in fact for something that focusses on zombies, it gets surprisingly boring. The epistolary layout, consisting mostly of the transcripts of interviews, is kind of cool to begin with, but after a while it started to jade on me and ultimately, it felt like a bit of a gimmick.

Still, it wasn’t too bad, and the writing itself was pretty good, as was the world-building. In fact, I’d argue that it’s the world-building that makes this worth reading in the first place. It’s more interesting to learn about the response that people have to the crisis from around the world than it is to follow any one group of characters, and indeed the structure of the story makes it almost impossible to do that in the first place.

Ultimately, that makes it an unusual book but one that’s worth reading, even if I myself didn’t fall in love with it. It was pretty cool to see what Brooks has in mind when it comes to our human reaction to the walking dead, and I don’t regret picking it up, though I doubt I’ll ever re-read it.

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Max Brooks – The Zombie Survival Guide | Review

Title: The Zombie Survival Guide

Author: Max Brooks

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 256

Rating: 10/10


Max Brooks - The Zombie Survival Guide

Max Brooks – The Zombie Survival Guide


See, I classified this as non-fiction, but there are points at which the lines are kind of blurred. Brooks writes about actual historical events but suggests that instead of the official explanations, the root cause was a zombie attack. But he makes it sound plausible, so is that fact or fiction?

And then there’s the rest of the book, which is as non-fiction as they come – this here is your essential survival guide for the imminent attack of the walking dead, covering everything from the weapons you should carry to the tactics that you should use, the places you should hide and the preparations you should carry out at the earliest available opportunity.

It’s clear that Brooks has put a lot of effort in, and it’s paid off. In fact, it’s so simultaneously well thought out and devilishly simple that it contains absolute gems that could even save your life one day. For example, he suggests that if you choose to barricade yourself into your house, you should plug the sinks and bath at the earliest opportunity and fill them up with water, because you have no way of knowing when the water might be cut off.

Other people have said the same thing that I’m about to tell you. This is the sort of book that you ought to read and act upon, just in case. Because, y’know, zombies could happen. Maybe.


Max Brooks

Max Brooks


Click here to buy The Zombie Survival Guide.