Thursday, 14 November 2019

WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks

This guy has spent a LOT of time thinking about zombies.  He reminds me of someone who has set themselves the task of making an entire cookbook using, say, guavas.  It is guavas stewed, guavas fried, guavas fricassed, but instead of guavas, zombies. 

I chose to read this book because of its amazing sub-title: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE ZOMBIE WAR.  Let's face it that is sweet as hell and I wish I had thought of it.  Boldly, this book has no central character or continuous plot.  It presents a series of imagined interviews with people all over the world and different stages of the aforementioned zombie war.

I enjoyed his idea that one reason for the spread of the zombie virus was the large scale organ transplant tourism industry in China.  I was horrified to find that this is quite true: China has a thriving industry, and very short wait times, because China is removing organs from prisoners involuntarily (see here).  I can't believe it, but apparently it is true.  I can't quite think what to do with this information.  I guess I will start to take leaflets from the Falun Gong protestors outside the British Museum, for one thing, pathetically small though it is.

This view, of how societal issues today could let the zombies in was a theme throughout: there were false cures, and fake news, and unexpected nuclear wars.  Eventually humanity is saved when South Africa develops a plan to save only some people, leaving the rest as 'bait'.  This works, and is adopted globally, but is not pretty.  Horrifyingly there is much about how the zombies don't even die in water, so those who escape in submarines often surface to find themselves covered in the living dead. 

So all in all an uplifting read, reminding you that if nothing else, at least you're alive.

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