World War Z
Who has really read it to the end?
A New York Times Bestseller. It was sold, but I wonder who read it to the end? The book tires you and you don't seem to find the reason to go on reading it. The contributions to the chronicle are often on a similar pitch, action men talking slang,
normal people who became heroes of an unconventional conflict, but everything does NOT add up to something. Almost nothing is really interesting. From my point of view, the only interesting concept is the idea of a World War against zombies, that is a story that goes beyond the usual narrative of local events seen from the point of view of a single person or a limited group of people. It is something like zombies leaking out of the movies, what happens next, or what happens globally, the view from above of the story normally narrated in the zombie movie. While conceptually the idea is appealing, so much that a successful movie could be derived from it, the narration provided by the book (I cannot call it novel because it is not novel) fails to be of any interest whatsoever from any point of view. It does not entertain, it does not touch, it does not surprise, you only want to come to an end and put the book away. On the contrary the movie entertained because a script with a real plot had to be written, a plot dealing with the mystery of the vaccine, how to cure or how to deal with the epidemic, and there is a consistent narration. In this sense the movie is far better than the book.
A note: the epidemic starts in China. This is an interesting point. Almost all the zombie movies tell us about an apocalypse, and the cause is usually one of the recognised problems of humanity at the time of the release of the movie: nuclear radiations, chemicals, biochemical or biological threats. Brooks's book goes a step further, the apocalypse has a biological origin and starts in China. Ask yourself what it is that scares us the most nowadays, and you have the ingredients of this boring but successful book. I am convinced that the success of the book is amply due to the pre-existence of a Zombies fan base of cinematographic origin.