KayKay #CRB5 Review #28 World War Z by Max Brooks



My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

A co-worker recommended this book last year.  After reading the sample I decided to hold off on reading World War Z because it felt too much like Robopocalypse (which I really enjoyed.)  Now that the movie is coming out, I really prefer to read the book before I see the movie (even though I hear the movie has gone a separate way).  It’s rare that a book is better than the movie, although sometimes both are excellent (Shawshank Redemption- I’m thinking of you!)  How does this soon to be movie adaptation fare?  Here is what I thought….


The world has been run over by Zombies.  Some people die, some people survive, and the world eventually pulls itself together.  The entire book is disjointed stories about the same world event.  The stories did not tie well together to make a cohesive plot or story.

Plot Score: 2/5

World Building

This is set in our world, that has been overrun by a zombie virus.  The story starts in China, but branches out to the US, South Africa and several other counties.

Location Score: 2/5

Characters and Relationships

Again, this is where the story lacked for me, the event was the thread between all the stories, and sometimes the ‘output’ of one story is mentioned in another story, but there isn’t many relationships developed through the whole book.

Characters Score: 1/5

Life Lessons (fka Bigger Meaning)

Be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse!

Bigger Meaning Score:  1/5


Opening Quote:  “It goes by many names: “The Crisis,” “The Dark Years,” “The Walking Plague,” as well as newer and more “hip” titles such as “World War Z” or “Z War One.””

What was so good about Robopocalypse (And my biggest complaint about that book is my inability to pronounce the title properly), is Daniel Wilson mastered the art of moving a story along, while using various points of views.  There was no movement in this book.  I was completely bored at about 25% into the book, and I wasn’t sure how many more stories I wanted to read.

It is also difficult to build suspense when you know the people he is interviewing survived (otherwise they wouldn’t be telling their story).  He did have a couple stories with a surprise twist (someone who had split personality, etc.) But it wasn’t enough to sustain an entire book.

Style Score: 2/5

Final Thoughts?

-I want to forget ever reading it…

Total Score and Recommendation

8/25- Skip it and go straight to Robopocalypse.


2 thoughts on “KayKay #CRB5 Review #28 World War Z by Max Brooks

  1. Jen K May 29, 2013 at 11:45 pm Reply

    I wonder how much if this has to do with order – I read World War Z first, and thought Robopocalypse was similar to it but not as good. I liked the oral history idea with WWZ and thought it was nice that not everyone connected, so I was actually disappointed when everyone in Robopocalypse being connected, making it seem more like another story about a few heroes saving the world. I liked both books but I can see your problems with it.

  2. Kay Kay June 3, 2013 at 11:01 am Reply

    Jen K- Hmmm…I never thought about the order of reading the books having an effect on my expectations. Interesting. I don’t like it when you can skip sections of a book and still follow the story (I read The Passage by Justin Cronin and skip two or three large sections and the people were still doing the same thing!) In this book I was looking for little connections and ‘ah ha’ moments between the stories, and just didn’t find it.
    What I really want to know is how you remember all these books!! And when do you find time to read them all 🙂

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