Original Release Date: October 16, 2007
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Like many zombie fans, I read Max Brooks’ “The Zombie Survival Guide,” enjoyed it, and appreciated what it did for the zombie genre: it played a key role in drawing a whole new generation of fans into obsessing (it’s okay, you can admit it) over our favorite shambling monsters.
Also like many zombie fans, I was skeptical about Brooks’ second novel release, “World War Z,” for a number of reasons:
1. It’s such a radical departure from both the tone and scope of “The Zombie Survival Guide.” How could this man who had written a highly comedic, tongue-in-cheek pseudo-handbook dealing with how to defend yourself from an undead attack so abruptly switch gears and write a very serious faux-retrospective journalistic piece dealing with the very weighty issues and serious effects of the aftermath of a worldwide zombie outbreak? And more importantly, how could he possibly be successful with it?
2. His first book took so many people by surprise and was so wildly successful…even if “WWZ” was well-written, how could Brooks possibly hope that lightning could strike twice for him and he could have this second book become as successful as the first?
3. What – or more importantly, how – could Brooks possibly write in this book that would make it unique and set itself apart from the myriad of other “zombies invade, people get eaten” books that were starting to saturate the market at the time of “WWZ’s” release?