Rating 4 out of 5 stars
What a great read this was. I came to this book by reading a friends review on Librarything and thought to myself why not give it a go, I am glad I did. I do not normally read horror type books so went into this book not expecting much. It is not a true horror book though as there are so many other genres thrown in such as war, action, and drama to name a few. As for gore there are some gory bits but there is no more gore then you would get in a Michael Crichton novel.
The story is set in an alternate time line with no real specific dates/years given. All that is mentioned is the war goes for ten years and it happened possibly after or during the 1990’s. It is told through a series of interviews of survivors that Max Brooks has traveled the world to collect. This collection of stories provides an excellent picture of the years before during and after the War. While normally this sort of fragmented story telling would annoy me here it worked. Even though it was told from different point of views the story still flowed and was able to get what it needed across.
What impressed me the most was the obvious research that went into this book. Max Brooks knows his stuff. The history of pre-zombie countries is believable (I cannot comment on the accuracy though for some) and the responses each country gives to the growing menace is also believable. There was no point in the book where I though “Oh come on”. The reactions of people, and governments felt real. Either Max Brooks had some excellent advisers that provided him with good information or he has researched all aspects of apocalyptic survival minutely. I could almost believe this was an actual account of a catastrophic event. One theme that did strike a cord was what would we do if for some reason our society as we know it could not function. It was an interesting theme that Max Brooks had running through the book. I wont say any more on it so I don’t spoil anything.
The characters despite most only getting a one shot appearance were able to convey their personalities and experiences i n the short times they had been given. There were a few stories where I would like to have known more but it didn’t ruin the book for me if I didn't. Also while the majority of stories did come from the US, nearly all continents were represented even an Australian was interviewed and the New Zealanders mentioned.
I highly recommend this book.