Tag: Reaction

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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Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House | Review

Title: The Haunting of Hill House

Author: Shirley Jackson

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 252

Rating: 4/5


Shirley Jackson - The Haunting of Hill House

Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House


I’ve been meaning to get to this book for a while now, but I just somehow haven’t found the time. Then the Netflix adaptation came out and everyone says it’s great, and I didn’t want to watch it without having read the book first. So here we are.

All in all, I thought this was great, reminiscent almost of a cross between The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Jackson is a cracking writer, as I already knew from picking up some of her short stories, and her words are powerful here. It’s the kind of book that sticks in your head and gives you an almost physical reaction. It makes your hands go clammy and gives you goosebumps.

I wouldn’t say that this is a book that absolutely everyone should read, but it’s definitely a decent idea if you’re into horror. Jackson was a big influence for Stephen King and after reading this book, I can see why. But you shouldn’t pick this up because King is a fan or because of the Netflix show, even though that’s what I did. You should pick it up because it’s a great book, a short read and a lot of fun. Just try not to let Hill House get inside your head too much. Oh, and sweet dreams.


Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson


Click here to buy The Haunting of Hill House.