World War Z by Max Brooks
Is this what summer promises to bring? After all the buildup and hoopla, I was kind of disappointed in the final result. I dig oral histories, and Brooks is pretty goddamn ingenious when it comes to formulating his zombie mythos through the great Zombie war, but I think his failing was in assembling it as an oral history.
Granted, I've only ever read a few oral assemblages in my time, two based on "Saturday Night Live," and one, the last decent book Palahniuk wrote. Stylistically, they read like documentary films, getting multiple view points presented by several people. And I felt like that was the failing of World War Z. Instead of being delivered in what could have been an outstanding assemblage of character pieces, it came off like a bad collection of monologues. Almost like a Vagina Monologues, only about the undead. My zombie is a flower: hungry, tearing up soil, and craving hot sticky brains. Wait, plants aren't hungry.
I can see how this would be an interesting audio book, mostly because I can imagine with the right cast, this would be a fantastic read. But each one of the characters is only presented once. And I think that's the problem. It's interesting, but I also felt cheated. I didn't care about the characters. Because it was all told in flashback, relating the events, there was no danger of death. Sure, there was some amazingly poignant stories being related, but really, I was about as unfeeling as if I were one of the chewy chewy chompers coming after them.
I don't know how this will translate as a film, unless they go the supercast route, and just pack it full of neato cameos. But really, I was a little let down in the execution. It's not like Brooks is a hack, he's incredibly witty and you can almost taste the thought that went into the work. But really, I wished he hadn't forced the awkward style on himself. It would have worked so much better.
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