28 October 2017

Nothing Like A Good Zombie Book - A Review of World War Z, Max Brooks

In less than forty minutes, my house will be engulfed with the sounds of banging, snarling and foundational shifting bumps that could easily be the zombie apocalypse we all have been waiting for, or a pre-arranged little boys' playdate. 

Motherless, smoking gleefully as I taught English deep in the heart of rural Japan, I would sneer fabulously at the state of child rearing. Playdate I would exclaim, are for parents without lives, attempting to pander to the fear of the unknown, the proverbial bogeyman that haunted the bushes. This was the early 2000’s; I had soaked up enough X-File conspiracies to slightly jade my naivety as I boarded a plane for a job that I was completely unqualified for. The life of an overseas English language teacher is a complex pattern of terrorized moments of grammatical uncertainties, couched in a westernized, idolized bravado. I had no business teaching. Every child under the age of 6 who walked through my classroom door was adeptly aware of this fact, taking full advantage of the language barrier to barrage me with insults. It was a wonderful time. 


And so, as the mindless horde of an afternoon playdate begins to unfold around me, I reconcile with my younger self. Arranged play is completely deranged. Gathering like-minded maniacs into an enclosed space leads to tears, drinking and silent swearing. The solemn nod of the parental collective grieves with me, as I circumnavigate my dilemma. Short-sighted decisions that align child whims to adult time-lines will only breed the zombie armies. 

It's true; World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks has seeped into my mundane perspective. I walk autumnal streets, unhinged with ghoulish daydreams of macabre fingers snatching at my ankles while I skip through the fallen leaves. A composite diary of the human condition, World War Z documents a global war for survival. Imagine, a zombie shuffling down your street, now blossom this slightly horrific image to millions of infected, animated undead, relentless in their individualized search for flesh. 

With zombies dragging through my dreams, I wake speculating if humanity's drive for modernity has unhinged our global future. Heady stuff for a zombie book I admit, but any true dystopian story-line should fester our fantasies, spawning layers of unease. War Z effectuates all that we fear. 

World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War lives up to this girl's idea of a zombie book.