I got this to say about Max Brooks: He takes his zombies very, very seriously.

And I like it.

“World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War” is supposedly a collection of anecdotes, put together by a United Nations agent, by those who experienced the Zombie War from all around the world.

There’s the story of Jessika Hendricks, the only survivor of an American family who fled to Canada, who hunts zombies that froze during winter. There’s Kondo Tatsumi, a Japanese nerd who never left his computer until he noticed that his family had been missing for days because his neighborhood had been overrun with zombies. There’s Colonel Christina Eliopolis, who single-handedly brought down dozens of zombies with the help of a woman–who turned out to be a figment of her imagination.

“World War Z” is one of the two Max Brooks books I own

“World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War” is quite possibly the most serious, most detailed take on zombies that has ever been published.

I was lucky to score a copy for only P250 from the book sale outside UP Manila a few months back. At first, reading the book reminded me of the movie “Contagion,” which felt more like a BBC documentary than the star-studded thriller it was supposed to be. But unlike the movie, the book got more exciting as it progressed.

Brooks was so meticulous about the personal battles of individuals and the collective action of government and communities against the undead that he could very well have been talking about a real contagion, a real war. His novel is as much an entertaining zombie thriller as it is a subtle commentary on human nature and the mentality of those who wield power.

I can’t wait to see the movie adaptation that will be released in December; I wonder how the filmmakers will weave the various anecdotes into one cohesive narrative. Of course, there’s also the fact that the movie stars Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt + zombies = my cup of tea.



  1. […] I read the Max Brooks novel this movie was loosely based upon last year, and I’m pleased that the movie didn’t follow the book’s structure. See, the book is a mere collection of anecdotes that would have been hard to follow on the big screen, so the movie showed Lane as he encountered the characters with stories to tell. It’s a nice and necessary deviation from the book, although I did miss a few lovable book characters, such as the blind Tomonaga Ijiro who fought zombies with his gardening shovel and his protege Kondo Tatsumi who didn’t immediately realize the world was going up in flames because he was so glued to his computer. […]


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