Great books you should read: World War Z

Homer blows Flanders away with a shotgun. Lisa: Who would have thought Flanders was a zombie? Homer: Flanders was a zombie?You are probably all aware of the new Brad Pitt movie “World War Z” from the terrifying trailer doing the rounds. It’ll also come as no surprise to many that I have a passing interest in science fiction, something which a lot of political people do. Why is that? Maybe it’s because science fiction and politics are both essentially about finding ideas with which to shape the future? (Shock horror! Fat bloke likes science fiction. Quelle surprise???)

Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of the whole Zombie genre, but am fascinated by the imagining as to how a modern industrial society would deal with things such as an outbreak of a lethal disease, or in this case, a disease which turns your fellow man into a psychotic killing machine.

Max Brooks (Son of Mel.) wrote “World War Z” which is for me the definitive book, outlining in a serious of interviews how the world dealt with a future Zombie outbreak.  It’s chilling because it is so believable, and not just in the terror, but also the stupidity, and how the media, for example, completely fail to inform the public until it is too late, or how the modern military’s super accurate weaponry is completely useless against an enemy with no lines of supply or communication centres to destroy. Indeed, it is actually an Indian general and a South Africa bureaucrat who devise the most effective responses to the crisis.

The book is packed with subtle references to real people, and Brooks has a real filmaker’s eye when ity comes to describing  key events in the book. You’ll never be able to, for example, listen to Roxy Music’s “Avalon” in the same way again.

And yes, Ireland’s fate is described in it.

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