Max Brooks World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War

Decent Essays

World War Z: An Oral History of The Zombie War is by New York Times bestselling author, Max Brooks. Maximillian Michael Brooks was born on May 22, 1972, in New York, NY. He attended Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences K-12th grade where he was diagnosed with dyslexia (Biography). He later graduated from American University’s film school in 1994 (Biography). Brooks married Michelle Kholos Brooks in 2003, and they have one son named Henry (Biography). Brooks is an accomplished writer, releasing a novel in 2003 named The Zombie Survival Guide, and his 2006 novel, World War Z: An Oral History of The Zombie War (Biography). He also wrote for Saturday Night Live in the early 2000s, when he won a Primetime Emmy in 2002 for outstanding writing for …show more content…

The unnamed interviewer travels around the world, taking perspectives of the war from many different cultures mixed with varying political backgrounds and creates a chronological timeline of what transpired during the zombie war. The writing style is consistently conversational, and the interviewer tailors his questions to the culture of the person he is asking. Brooks writes in first and third person. The diction reflects the country of origin of the interviewee. The writing is “told in a short, almost episodic, manner” (Silver). Even though each interview stands on its own, the novel builds on what has occurred in previous interviews (Silver). “Brooks commits to detail in a way that makes his nightmare world seem creepily plausible” (Phipps). Brooks says in an interview with The New York Times that the novel is not of the horror genre, or the humor genre, but rather, “self-help. Or how-to…[Brooks] can’t think of anything less funny than dying in a zombie attack” (Brodesser-Akner). It is satirical, in a sense Juvenalian, because the book criticizes social evils through abrasiveness, scorn and outrage. It is not funny at all. Through the use of real locations, authorities, cultures, and historical events, Brooks reflects real-life problems of refugees, human rights crises, and inept …show more content…

As the interviewer travels around the world, the interviews take on authentic perspectives of the interviewee and even mixes historical facts into the conversation. For example, in China, the interviewee quotes Mao Zedong as Mao “is to hold [the Chinese government] responsible to the people” of China (Brooks 5). This mix of history and fiction creates an authentic voice to the interviews. The novel subtly satirizes situations that are dealt with in the world we live in today. One can imagine that it reflects the millions of Syrians today fleeing, “trying desperately to board whatever [floats] for a chance of survival at sea” (Brooks 70). It mirrors the children from South America, whose parents are transporting them with hopes of “a new society, a new nation” (Brooks 247). “Refugees from all over the world uniting under the common flag of survival” flee to Europe, to the United States, to any safe haven (Brooks 247). Then those safe havens are desperately trying their best to stay safe, “not that a high wall [is] all you [need] for long term survival” (Brooks 189). Except for the crisis being zombies, “it feels like the right book for the times, and that's the eeriest detail of all” (Phipps). One can substitute zombie for this century’s crises. In an interview with The New York Times, Max says, “There’s been some really scary stuff that’s been happening — 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina,

Get Access