It is true. I am sitting here reviewing a fiction book, about zombies no less. Don't worry, there is definitely a reason for reviewing this book. The reason is simple: It is not written as a fiction piece. Max Brooks was very meticulous in his research to craft a fictional account of a zombie apocalypse that felt very non-fictional. This book is not for everyone though.
This is a great book for those who are fans of the zombie genre but also love history. This is right in my wheelhouse. I love oral histories. This book gave me a glimpse into a fictional war through a unique lens. A lens that is the oldest form of history documentation, oral accounts. It is only with recent technologies (over the past 100 or so years) that we have been able to record the actual words verbatim and unadulterated. It was fascinating to listen to first hand accounts dealing with this fictional travesty.
Max Brooks did a lot of research to understand geo-political tensions and his ability to create reactions by respective governments was impressive. If you like zombies, but like non-fiction reads as well, you should pick this up immediately.
Just as any non-fictional account of a past event, there is a lot of lull moments. There are stories that do not advance the plot line. It is definitely not a read for those who only want fictionalized and heavily dramatized action. This book has a few moments of drama, but it is truly a historical account. The people who were interviewed have been distanced from the events over time and really tell the story matter-of-fact-ly.
This is a conditional read. If you are like me, and love non-fictional war accounts but also want some zombie spice as well, then this is for you. If you do not fit in either of these categories, you will find it to be too slow and boring.
The film comes out this Summer and honestly, I don't see how they will turn this into an action driven flick. All I can see if them taking some elements of the story and making up their own screenplay. As such, I will likely only rent the movie rather than see it in theaters. Do NOT judge the book by the movie.