There are some books you desperately want to love. The book usually starts off just fine – you’re super into it. Gradually you lose interest. You will skim read or mindlessly read the words without really knowing what you just read. Then BAM! You realize that you hate the book. You try to convince yourself to finish the book, but there comes a time when you tell yourself, you just can’t. Even there are only 90 pages left.
This is what happened to me when I read World War Z by Max Brooks. I only heard positive things about this book. So much hype about it. A few of my friends and I decided to read it together. I happened to be the only one that really did, so I had no cheerleaders to help motivate me to finish it. I would have finished the last 90 pages if I had people pushing me to.
So if you only watched the movie (which I actually really liked), you’d think the book is full of action and revolves around Brad Pitt’s character, Gerry. I so wish it did. The movie does not equal the book at all in this case. The book is told in interviews the narrator, an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, had with multiple people after the war on zombies concluded. I think all of my problems with this book revolve around this format.
REASONS FOR THE “DNF”
First of all, you don’t get any character development because you don’t stay with an interviewee long enough. There were a few characters that I wanted to read so much more about, but by the time your interest is peaked, the next interview is on the next page. I love watching characters grow as I read their stories, and this book failed at that. We only got a foggy window into their lives.
Another point about the characters is that they all sounded the same. The interviews happen with people from all over the world, so you’d think there would be particular jargon, sayings, and words that those people would use. Nope. They all sounded militarized and that they all came from the same area. It was hard to distinguish that different people were telling their stories from one chapter to the next. There were a few interviewees that had their own voice, but that was few and far between.
The last point that made me not finish this book was that their wasn’t much plot development. Since we were reading interviews, a lot of them started at the same point in time. The interviews started at the beginning of the zombie infestation for that particular person, and so when that interview ended and the next one started, you were going back to the beginning of the zombie infestation. A lot of the interviews were military based, so you had a lot of military talk that didn’t show too much action as you think it would. The majority of the book was actionless. One could argue that it’s like The Walking Dead where the story is about the people more than the zombies. I could agree to that thinking, but you didn’t get to know anyone. I needed that action since I wasn’t getting anything from the characters.
This book was one big disappointment for me. The movie was everything I was hoping to get out of the book. I’m in the very minority with my feelings about this book, but I stand behind everything I said. UGH. I wanted to love you so bad, World War Z. So bad.
My rating is: