The best zombie stories are not only fun and gruesome, but also reveal truths about the human condition. In this regard, World War Z can stand alongside the George Romero films with its combination of violence and horror sandwiched around a heaping helping of thoughtful social and political commentary.
The zombie plague of World War Z is deliberately left unexplained—it starts in the heart of China, half-hinted as the result of some undescribed industrial waste leak. But beginning with “Patient Zero,” an infected, gray-skinned, 12-year-old-turned zombie, Brooks manages to paint a very convincing picture of how the plague quickly spreads and threatens to overwhelm all of humanity. Brooks has done his research on politics, world economics, plague outbreaks, military tactics and technology, combat fatigue, and climate conditions, and the result feels like history, an event that really happened (or, chillingly, could actually happen).
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