World War Z Book By Max Brooks (Online Reading, Summary, Review, Book, World War Z Book Vs Movie, Download, PDF )

Summary:

world War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a 2006 zombie apocalyptic horror novel written by American author Max Brooks. The novel is a collection of individual stories narrated by an agent of the post-war Commission of the United Nations, after the devastating global conflict against the zombie plague. Other passages record a desperate struggle of a decade, as experienced by people of various nationalities. Personal accounts also describe the resulting social, political, religious and environmental changes.

World War Z is a continuation of Brooks' fictional survival manual, The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), but its tone is much more serious. He was inspired by The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two (1984) by Studs Terkel and the zombie movies by George A. Romero (1968–2009). Brooks used World War Z to comment on the ineptitude of the government and the isolationism of the United States while examining survival and uncertainty. The novel was a commercial success and was praised by most critics.

His 2007 audiobook version, performed by a full cast that includes Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, and John Turturro, won an Audie Award. In 2013, a film with the same name as the novel was released, directed by Marc Forster and starring Brad Pitt, and Saber Interactive launched in 2019 a video game of the same name, based on the 2013 film.

Author Max Brooks
Country United States
Language English
Genre Horrorpost-apocalyptic fiction
Published September 12, 2006
Publisher Crown
Media type Print (hardback and paperback), e-bookaudiobook
Pages 342
ISBN 0-307-34660-9
OCLC 65340967
813/.6 22
LC Class PS3602.R6445 W67 2006
Preceded by The Zombie Survival Guide 

Review:

Brooks, the author of the decidedly brazen parody The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), returns with all seriousness to the zombie theme for his second outing, a future story in the style of Fitzpatrick's War by Theodore Judson. Brooks tells the story of the desperate battle of the world against the zombie threat with a series of first-person accounts "as told to the author" by several characters from around the world. A Chinese doctor encounters one of the first cases of zombies at a time when the Chinese government is relentlessly suppressing any information about the outbreak that will soon spread worldwide. The story follows the outbreak through the testimony of smugglers, intelligence officers, military personnel and many others who fight to defeat the zombie threat. Despite its unlikely premise and choppy delivery, the novel is surprisingly difficult to leave. Subtle, and not so subtle, blows to various contemporary politicians and politicians are an additional advantage.

About the Author

Max Brooks is an author, public speaker and non-resident member of the Modern War Institute in West Point. His best-selling books include Minecraft: The Island, The Zombie Survival Guide. and World War Z, which was adapted in a 2013 film starring Brad Pitt. His graphic novels include The Extinction Parade, G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds, and the number one sales success of the New York Times The Harlem Hellfighters.

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Book Vs Film: World War Z:

About two months ago, Max Brooks, author of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, publicly criticized the Hollywood adaptation that is now making money at the box office, warning viewers that the movie and its book had something in common. : title. If fans expected a faithful translation of the page to the screen, Brooks said, they would be disappointed.

Now, it is quite common that authors do not like the film versions of their work. Stephen King was annoyed at Stanley Kubrick for decades after the director "slaughtered" his novel, The Shining. And the horror master is not the only one: Anthony Burgess was also hosting a long-term fight against Kubrick for 'missing the mark' in A Clockwork Orange; Ken Kesey disapproved One Milw Forman’s flew over the cuckoo's nest; Alan Moore hates everything.

These reactions are understandable. Writers are deeply involved in their creations, and it is difficult to deliver them to another person, basically giving up all control. So, even when filmmakers do a decent job adapting their work to the big screen, there will be some doubts. So, before watching World War Z: The Movie, I thought that Brooks was perhaps exaggerating a bit when he said the movie was nothing like his novel.

It's not just that the plot is different and most of the characters in the movie don't appear anywhere in the book: the two Zs of World War II are in completely separate tonal wavelengths.

But, unfortunately, this was not an exaggeration: apart from a sequence and some elements sprinkled here and there, the Brooks World War Z and the film adaptation created by a series of writers and director Marc Forster are in fact two very animals, very different. It's not just that the plot is different and most of the characters in the movie don't appear anywhere in the book: the two Zs of World War II are in completely separate tonal wavelengths. Brooks' creation is a serious social satire about culture-driven culture and the radical changes in attitude and lifestyle that arise from the literal ashes of a supernatural war. Confused demons are present, but occupy a secondary place in human drama; think that Romero's Dawn of the Dead meets a Ken Burns documentary.

On the other hand, Forster's film presents a serious, direct, plot-based narration, with little comic relief and intense action, almost non-stop, with hyperactive and fast zombies such as bullets that demonstrate a terrifying hive-minded behavior, think of Zack Snyder Dawn of the Dead meets, well, almost all the action zombie movies made after that new 2004 version, but with enough original elements and ideas to make it enjoyable.

How do such disparate narratives face each other and a true winner is expected to emerge? You can have your zombie preferences engraved in stone, but honestly, if fast and fast zombies are done well, I appreciate the gender twist. So I can't judge the movie very well for following that path.

No, the key to compare and contrast these works is to observe the elements they have in common (character development, morals, and zombie carnage) and see which one handles them best. So let's do that.

Before I begin, I will warn you now: there are some spoiler moments in this column. I will not say anything that completely kills the plot of the book or the movie, but I only know that I will share some revelations. Isn't that right with that? See me again when you're trapped.

1. Character development:
Brooks' novel does not follow a single narrative but presents the reader with a collection of vignettes or "interviews" with the men and women who survived the zombie apocalypse ten years earlier. Each story is told in the first person, with some interjections and explanations of the "interviewer", a UN researcher in charge of capturing the true story. You can say that Brooks really internalized each character, and they manage to come alive on the page. His suspension of disbelief goes into action, and suddenly he is not reading a story of a fictional war, but something that seems real. This has a lot to do with Brooks leaving real zombies in the background and focusing on human reactions and responses to these impossible creatures. This was Brooks' intention from the beginning: in a transcript of an online song published in the Washington Post, the author stated:

Everything in World War Z (as in The Zombie Survival Guide) is based on reality ... well, except zombies. But seriously, everything else in the book is taken from reality or is 100% real. Technology, politics, economics, culture, military tactics ... it was a LOT of work. (Thanks to Kimberly Turner for posting this quote in her column The 10 books that every zombie fan should read).

Take, for example, this anecdote, told by Roy Elliot, a famous pre-war and post-war filmmaker (modeling, I think, according to Steven Spielberg), who made propaganda films in the line of the series Why We Fight produced during the Second World War:

Yes, [his movies] were lies and sometimes that is not bad. Lies are not bad or good. Like fire, they can keep you warm or burn, depending on how they are used. The lies that our government told us before the war, those that were supposed to keep us happy and blind, those were the ones that burned because they prevented us from doing what we had to do ... The truth was that we were standing on what that could be the twilight of our species and that truth froze hundreds of people every night. They needed something to keep them warm. And so I lied, and also the president, and every doctor and priest, every platoon leader and every father. "We'll be fine". That was our message ...

As Brooks said, except for the zombie fragments, that speech could be applied to almost any real-world situation, particularly in this culture after September 11. And this is just one example of the more than one hundred stories told in World War Z, all of which feature realistic and well-defined characters that give us stories of pain, loss, survival, and hope.

Now, contrast this with the adaptation of the film, which focuses on the lonely protagonist Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) while running to solve the zombie problem: where they came from and how to stop them. This story makes cinema fascinating, but this is decidedly a story based on the plot, with a character that plays a smaller role.

This does not mean that filmmakers are not at all interested in the character since we know Gerry Lane quite well. In a nod to the source material, Lane is a former UN special agent, now retired to spend more time with his family. In fact, Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard of Lost, among other credits, rewrote massive portions of the script to reinforce the third act and shed more light on Gerry's personal life, to better forge a bond between the character. and the audience These elements work well, although in general Gerry doesn't really have a bow. He is forced to return to work against his wishes and finds himself in situations of life or death that force him to act, but he does not necessarily learn anything about himself or change his ways.

And you don't have to. Many characters from famous movies, books, and TV shows barely change, from Rick Deckard in Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep ?, to Llewelyn Moss in Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men (as well as the Coen brothers). 'film adaptation), to Gob in Arrested Development. Significant alterations in a character's way of thinking are not prerequisites for great stories, as long as the character is intelligent and makes bold decisions in the face of external events.

Gerry Lane certainly fits into this category. You forget that you are seeing one of the most recognizable men in Hollywood amid a sea of ​​semi-familiar faces and hordes of undead demons. Brad Pitt leaves and Gerry Lane takes over. It is true that the end felt abrupt, leaving me wanting a bit more character resolution; I mean, the guy went out of his way to keep his family safe, but he also promised never to leave them for work anymore. It is a Catch-22 to be sure, but what are the consequences of its decisions, however noble and completely justified? Are you distant again as a result of the things you saw and had to do "in the field", or will you tell your wife everything?

It is not necessary to answer each question with concrete details, but at least a superficial recognition of these elephants in the room could have helped to realize the established emotional arcs of the film. However, these are not decisive elements, and their absence does not harm the overall film experience at all. They would only be kind.

The verdict
If you want complex, researched and realistic characters that reveal details about themselves and, consequently, clues about the inner workings of the human race, with moments of pure action splashed in the stew, stick with Max Brook's World War Z. However, if you prefer to see the opposite: a plot narrative based on the plot with enough background of characters and emotional investment to keep you looking, but not enough to make you reflect on our existence, save visual fatigue and see the Marc Forster movie.

2. The moral
Brooks's's attention to the detail of the characters and the emotional arc is not there just to involve and captivate the reader. The author has motives hidden behind his actions, presenting us with a broader message that appears in almost all the cartoons. I think Kimberly Turner nails the moral of World War Z in his column mentioned above:

Brooks' description of post-war culture strikes too close to home, forcing readers to confront the dark side of human nature, the dangers of bureaucracy, American isolationism and corporate corruption among stories of murderous undead.

In many ways, Brooks suggests that society is better because of close annihilation. Of course, there are 'rotten apples' in the book that use the apocalypse for their own benefit, there are those who loot and steal, but again and again Brooks presents us with characters who are willing to climb on the plate and do what they should not only to rebuild society, but also to make it better, safer, more logical and more self-sufficient than the world we previously knew. All those things that Turner listed, those aspects of society that we are forced to face, all remain in the way in World War Z of Brooks, with their less greedy counterparts ascending to the thrones of popular consciousness.

This concept is not more frequent than in the interview with Arthur Sinclair, former head of the Department of Strategic Resources, or DeStRes, an initiative dedicated to redirecting US citizens and products away from "frivolous" destinations and towards the unified goal of reconstruction:

I met a gentleman on a coastal ferry from Portland to Seattle. He had worked in the licensing department for an advertising agency, specifically in charge of acquiring the rights to classic rock songs for television commercials. Now he was a chimney sweep. Since most of the homes in Seattle had lost their central heat and the winters were longer and colder, it was rarely inactive. "I help keep my neighbors warm," he said proudly.

Similarly, the military is forced to make radical changes, rethink old battle strategies and cut technological dependence. The infamous Battle of Yonkers, in which all the macho brass and the unconditional firepower managed to reduce the speed of a massive horde of "Zack", his word for the zombies, resulted in a significant victory for the walking dead. This leads senior government and armed services to regroup and rebuild, as does the rest of society. They train well-balanced and mentally stable ground soldiers whose main weapon is not a large booming assault rifle, but a modified shovel that was renamed a "wolf", good for cutting heads and disposing of wreckage, not just a weapon, but a tool.

In a nutshell, to survive and claim the United States, the military had to get away from that now too familiar mentality of "let's get the shit out of everything and ask questions later" and establish ourselves in a more reserved, logical and skillful mentality. form of combat-based. Brooks basically shows us a utopian vision of what armed services could be.

So, does the film adopt this same point of view: that we are socially better after the zombie war than in the days before the war? Well yes and no. Note that the narrative of the film takes place during the initial outbreak (the "Great Panic" in the novel). Gone are the observations made in retrospect, the reflections, the lessons learned. We are presented with a story in which the revelations are at their origin. In addition, society is just beginning to crumble in World War Z: The Movie, so Gerry Lane and all other characters can only react accordingly and survive. They have no time to reflect on the meaning of things when these murderous demons are in the queue.

That said, subtle comments arise about the madness of our existence, particularly our predilection for isolationism. There is a scene at the beginning of the movie set in a New Jersey supermarket, looters and chaos abound. Gerry needs albuterol for his asthmatic daughter but finds the pharmacy guarded by a young armed man, possibly a teenager. At first, we believe that this child is accumulating all the medicine for himself, but it turns out that he only makes sure that people do not steal drugs for recreational purposes. He takes care of the needy. He contrasts this character with a police officer, who doesn't care that Gerry has just shot and killed a man trying to rape his wife; He is only there to get a formula for babies. Here is a clear message: the officer, as a symbol of the "old order", is wrong and selfish, while the child represents the common citizen, who must now take care of his neighbor. Even simpler, the policeman is equal to isolationism, the child is equal to communion. I will not go into more detail about the other examples (there are no spoilers!), but it is enough to say that each example of isolationism presented by Forster et al results in negative consequences.

Just to make sure you understand, this underlying anti-isolationist message is delivered directly to the end of the movie. In a montage of people from around the world fighting zombies and winning battles, Lane tells us through the voiceover that the war is far from over, that there is still work to be done, and that the only way for humanity Survive is to unite, regardless of preexisting differences, and help each other.

This, of course, echoes the feelings in Brooks' novel, although here the message slips below the radar. It is easy to overlook, given the nature of the accelerated narrative and the emphasis on action, but it is there.

The verdict
Since the film does not lack a moral, I cannot argue that it is inferior to the source material, even if the lesson to learn from all this horror is not as accurate as Brooks intended. I can't even say that Brooks handled message delivery better, since Forster's methods are simply the other side of the same coin, a different means of reaching the same conclusion. With the novel, we learn lessons from a story after the fact; With the movie, we learn as the story progresses. Neither replaces its counterpart.

3. Zombie Carnage
We already talked about the differences between the walking dead in Brook's book and those seen in the slightly adapted film version: slow and shaky versus fast and, in a way, elegant. But what about the real scenes with meaningless cannibals doing what they do? What narrative offers the violence and blood that we have come to expect from any fruit that hangs from the zombie family tree?

Well, really, the answer is none.

Let me explain. As I mentioned before, Brooks keeps his resuscitated corpses primarily in the background and focuses on life. Explore both sides of humanity, good and evil, so often the horror in your novel does not come from the instincts of zombies to hunt, kill and devour, but from the deplorable acts of men and women. There is a story set in a Kansas church that involves "murders of mercy" that exemplifies this notion. If you have read the book, you know exactly what I mean; if you have not done so, it is enough to say that humanity does not perform well in that vignette.

Even in stories that directly represent zombie attacks, blood is left to the imagination. At the beginning of the novel, for example, a story from South Africa details Jacob Nyathi's escape from a horde he never sees up close. Zombies are silhouettes, groaning with arms raised in the distance, backlit by the fire of a burning building. While running through the shacks, he hears the cruel destruction caused by these creatures: scratching, hitting, shuffling and screaming. His terror is certainly palpable. We just never see it.

Perhaps the tastiest part of zombies in the book is the aforementioned Battle of Yonkers, an assault of undead worthy of anything Romero has ever committed to film. Take, for example, this section, in which soldier Todd Wainio describes what he saw through the monitor of his helmet, which was connected to the arms chambers of all other soldiers:

... suddenly my eyepiece, and I'm sure everyone else's, was filled with the sight of blood gushing in a mouth with broken teeth. The view was of a guy in the courtyard of a house behind the line ... There were five of them, a man, a woman, three children, they had him trapped in the back, the man was on his chest, the children Lo He had arms around him, trying to bite his suit. The woman tore his mask, you could see the terror on his face. I will never forget her shriek when she bit her chin and lower lip.

Hell yeah. But remember, moments like these are few and far between in World War Z of Brooks. Again, it is Brooks' intention to create a satire and social criticism, not a direct horror.

Does the film up the ante on violence? Well ... While it is true that there are many more attack scenes, and in general the pace is relentless and tense, the film is not so violent. I mean, it's a PG-13 issue. Many purists will argue that this only discounts the movie, and in fact, many have done it: just search "World War Z lacks a bite" on Google and see, 1.) how many critics point out the lack of blood, and 2.) how many critics used that obvious article title. I can definitely enjoy a good and nasty zombie movie full of tears, guts, dismemberments, beheadings and all kinds of rude things. But I also think it is silly to judge a movie for its lack of violence, particularly when Forster and company offer an interesting and intelligent reason why zombies only bite their prey, instead of devouring them completely. I won't spoil it, but trust me, it was solid.

The verdict
In terms of zombie ACTION, watch the movie. If you are looking to eat meat traditionally, read the book.

And the winner is...
Honestly, it is a wash. They are too different to really say that one is better than the other. Even if I didn't like the movie, and preferred to enjoy it, to say that it wasn't as good as the book would be like saying that Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian was better than The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Both belong to the same family, the Westerners, but they are not blood relatives, and although they have some things in common, in the end, they are quite different and are based on their own merits.

I don't say World War Z: The Movie is perfect, it certainly has its flaws, but also Brooks's novel. I felt that some of the stories were a bit redundant, and I leafed through many of the really technical military things, which I appreciated for adding realism to the fantastic text, but that otherwise didn't interest me. This does not mean that I did not like the book, far from that, I think it's great, and I feel the same about the movie that, although different, came from that book.

 

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