If you want a good feel and vision of how the Apocalypse would affect those of us living in a modern world, then you have two books that do the job of bringing the end of times to your front door. My review of The Stand by author Stephen King told about the results of a man-made pandemic and the battle between good and evil.
With my review of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by author Max Brooks, we learn about a new type of pandemic… a walking plague. I consider the messages of The Stand and World War Z, a crash course on what to expect when civilization decides to go to hell, big time. More on World War Z after the jump.
Max Brooks has been called the Studs Terkel of Zombie Journalism for his realistic depiction of what can happen in a large scale global attack of the living dead. While his novel, The Zombie Survival Guide gives advice on how to identify and protect yourself from the walking plague, World War Z tell of the horrors witnessed firsthand by the survivors.
Solanum, an incurable virus, that attacks the living and then transforms them into flesh eating monsters, claimed its first victim in a remote village known as New Dachang. The Chinese government tried to keep the seriousness of this outbreak a secret, but that decision only helped to spread the disease to other countries.
Countries around the globe at first denied the fact that they were now fighting an enemy who not only outnumbered their civilians but that this enemy’s number grew each day, while the number of uninfected dwindled. Armies were unprepared to fight the zombies. Their methods of warfare were useless against the growing hoards of reanimated dead. One by one, with few exceptions, nations had fallen victim to this horror.
The State of Israel was the only country to take the zombie threat seriously and actively protected its citizens by setting up a nationwide quarantine and closing all its borders. The war which lasted ten years had left the human race at the brink of extinction… with millions of zombies still active.
An agent for the United Nations Postwar Commission is sent out to document all recorded attacks and gather individual survivor accounts of the war with the hope of helping future generations fight the still existing threat of the zombie invasion. As we follow this agent on his rounds, we learn why the disease spread as fast as it did. The grand scale of Government arrogance and ineptitude, the black market selling of organs, useless vaccines that were touted as a cure are only a few examples of how the enemy was able to wipe out large swaths of humanity.
World War Z, using zombies to represent the apocalypse, shows in detail that we are not and have never been the top of the food chain and if a pandemic were to happen because of one government’s use of bio-warfare against another government, or if a drug resistant disease is able to spread beyond borders, then mankind is doomed.
The much anticipated film made from the book, that will be coming out in June of 2013, is directed by Marc Forster and stars Brad Pitt as the U.N. Agent, Gerry Lane. I’ve checked out the trailer and it looks good and might be as frightening as the book.