World War Z

     I recently finished up the book World War Z by Max Brooks at the behest of about 6 of my friends. All of them read it a couple years ago and could not stop gushing about it, however due to my general ambivalence towards zombies, i decided to take a pass. That is, until a copy was foisted on me over Christmas. After putting it off for a while i finally manned up and read it, and i must say: it is not good at all.  I can scarcely believe that writing of this caliber has garnered as much attention as it has (that is until i remember Harry Potter, Dan Brown, and Twilight).
     The framing device for this book has almost limitless potential for intrigue, what with the multiple viewpoints being able to project myriad motivations, feelings, and experiences that would difficult, if not impossible to compress into a regular story. Sadly, all of the characters feel exactly the same. Brooks tries to infuse each character with his or her own soul through the use of simple stereotypes and phraseology, but this only seems to happen for the first few pages of every chapter. After the token attempt, the prose just seems to fall back to a bland and simplistic narration. One that aspires to little more than placing one foot in front of the other in the trip towards the last page.  That is not even mentioning the cliche and uninteresting world Brooks created, where Japanese shut-ins become sword masters more powerful than the game characters they left behind, and where the North American zombie threat is mostly quelled by a large square of guns. It just feels like the author took the easy way out on every turn so that he could leave that character behind and move on to another in the desperate hope that one of them would be interesting.
     As i mentioned earlier, i am clearly not the market for this book, as i find zombies somewhat boring and incredibly overplayed, but i still believe that were that not the case, the uninteresting world and terrible characters would have driven me off just as quickly. My call: avoid.