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Ch. 1: Warnings 
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Post Ch. 1: Warnings
Ch. 1: Warnings



Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:34 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
When i was in high school i remembered thinking a zombie apocalypse wouldn't be all that bad. Zombies aren't like vampires or other monsters which are physically superior to you. They can't catch you in a race, you are faster, smarter, and you should be able to take one out in a fight.

But if you stop to think for a second, zombies would be a terrible way to go. And i think they serve as an interesting analog for the "mob".

I think Brooks has really nailed it in this book. Not so much just for the zombies, but far more importantly in how everyone reacts in world war z.

The spread of the virus through black-market organ transplants, and people smuggling were things i would not have thought of, but i think really would, and probably do play a big role in the spread of a disease like this. Especially one that might cause mass panic.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
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Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:47 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
I'm trying to figure out why zombies and dystopian futures in general resonate with people these days. A zombie apocalypse is essentially a disease pandemic. We fear collapse, an economic meltdown or some kind of viral pandemic. Maybe stories like these are a way of rehearsing or ttrying it on for size to see how we would react in the face of such a catastrophe. Do we we relax our moral standards when our survival is at stake. What becomes of the humans we think we are in the face of global catastrophe?


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Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:44 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
Goes to show, you couldn't possibly predict a cultural phenomenon, I mean no way, no how. Zombies suddenly becoming omnipresent in the culture? The "why" is so hard to puzzle out; you've made a good stab, but maybe the answer is simply that people are weird creatures.

I'm a little edgy about the upcoming Lincoln zombie movie. Our youth already know so little about history. So we'll supply them with some "information" they might not have the ability to filter. Brilliant.



Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:51 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
We can analyse monster fetishes in terms of psychological archetypes of identification. There are features of modern life that make people feel like werewolves, vampires, Frankensteins, aliens, Godzilla and zombies. The popularity of these monsters is partly a function of their resonance with subconscious feelings of identity. The same can be said for heroes such as Superman and Jesus.

With the zombie, its lack of soul and automatic behavior reflect the anomie and alienation of mass industrial society. People feel no sense of belonging in the urban technocracy, and celebrate this isolated emptiness through the cult of the zombie.

Fear of plague is also very much there below the surface of our modern insistence that science can control nature. Antibiotics are breeding superbugs, creating major risk of mass death through unstoppable epidemics. Life is scary.


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Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:36 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
I can't believe I just ordered a book on Zombies. But dystopian literature is certainly the main course on the menu these days. Think about the highly popular "Hunger Games". Literature reflects the society from which it stems, intentionally or unintentionally. Think of Golding's "Lord of the Flies" or Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" ......or "1984". The list goes on and on. But I must admit, I enjoy dystopian lit. So, my Zombies should arrive tomorrow (you guys do realise that I probably won't be able to live this one down in my family, don't you?).


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Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:00 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
Life aint as scary as this book, Robert. Oblivion, glad you are joining us. I thought I was the only female. This type of book not usually to my taste, and wouldn't normally pick it up.


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Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:31 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
I bought this book today and read the first chapter. It is entertaining and I like it. It tells a few parables, like the inability of people to see obvious things until it is too late, and the indifference to the consequences of actions.

When something is outside people's experience, like a zombie plague, they find excuses to ignore and deny that it is happening. In hindsight, these excuses continue long after the truth is obvious, showing the capacity of people to be wilfully blind. And when people make money from something that is unethical, like sale of bodily organs from live prisoners, the initial unethical stance leads them to ignore all other ethical consequences, like the organs carrying a virus that turns your blood brown and makes you impervious to bullets except in the head and encourages you to eat other people in the most rude and aggressive way.

The global dimension of the zombie plague is a good plot device, with incidents from China, Brazil, Palestine, Kuwait, South Africa and the USA. You have to suspend disbelief, not just about zombies, but also about the failure of the word to get out. Something like that would cause mass panic and organized mobilization. Brooks probably modelled it on the responses to bird flu and mad cow disease.


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Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:48 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
Oblivion, is there no such thing as reading for fun in your family? haha.

And besides, like i said, this book isn't REALLY about zombies. They are just the catalyst for world wide change. The real meat of this story is how people, governments and cultures respond to a threat. This particular threat isn't likely to happen in reality, but because it's so off the wall some of the poor reactions to the threat are justified.

I admit it would take some serious convincing to get me to believe we were under threat of a zombie pandemic.

The global nature of the story is what's so strong about this book. Every movie about this subject follows just a small group of survivors who have no idea what's going on outside their little fort and we never get to see how things are being handled, or why things ARENT being handled.

I think end of days mythology is so popular because of our knowledge and obsession with death. We know one day we will die, and apocalyptic mythology extends beyond into the death of our civilizations. It lets us be present for something we aren't going to see (unless we happen to be peasants in the dark ages who kinda DID preside over an apocalypse after the fall of classical civilization). Sometimes i'll be driving home later in the day and there won't be much traffic. it's eerie to be surrounded by all these artifacts of humanity and imagine them to be empty.

As for why zombies? They combine so many things that are terrifying. The fear of death, the fear of the dead (ghosts, vengeful spirits), the fear of the unreasoning mob, cannibalism, being surrounded, survival without your support network, family members turning on you, and the gaurantee of a violent death if you are caught. As brooks says, "there is no bargaining. No middle ground" with zombies.


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:37 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
Thanks for jumping on board guys!

I've had this book for a while and i think you will all enjoy it.


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:41 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
johnson1010 wrote:
Oblivion, is there no such thing as reading for fun in your family? haha




To misquote Agent K in MIB; "Germans have no sense of hmour of which I am aware, m'am" :)

My book is due to arrive tomorrow, and will actually be delivered by a Zombie (aka our postman).


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Religion is the only force in the world that lets a person have his prejudice or hatred and feel good about it --S C Hitchcock

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Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:48 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
What do you all think so far?

Anything you liked, anything you would have changed if it were your work?


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:26 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
I'm two chapters in. I'm reminded a bit of Law and Order where the police go around interviewing potential witnesses/suspects to a crime, only in this case, the “crime” was a zombie pandemic. Our roving narrator is going all over the world, interviewing subjects, many of them who held positions of power before the worldwide crash. During the outset of the outbreak, many folks paid money to get out of infected areas, a scenario that reminds me of the exodus of Jews out of Germany in the years leading up to World War II.

One of the subjects worked for a drug company and sold Phalanx which was supposed to be a vaccine against African rabies, but which was known to have no efficacy at all. Even the FDA was promoting Phalanx in the early days of the outbreak because it helped to calm people. So Brooks, the author, takes a cynical view of politics in general, imagining a scenario of catastrophic outbreak and how ineffectual the government's response would be. He also describes the general apathy we have towards impending disasters. People will generally try to downplay the seriousness of things they don’t really understand, be it global warming, avian flu or zombie apocalypse. And by the time we’re ready to take action it's far too late. Brooks seems to be particularly cynical about our politicians, how they are concerned only with their own re-elections. I see parallels with the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, slow to act and with a bureaucratic indifference to human suffering.

This book is pretty interesting, but it’s hard for me to get into it as I would a work of fiction that revolves around a central character. I’m actually reminded a lot of Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD, which I usually describe as a zombie novel without zombies. Only that novel does revolve around central characters, and the reader cares about what happens to these characters—a father and son—which makes that book so much more compelling.

It's interesting (perhaps) that there are no female interviewees until the end of chapter two. Why did Brooks leave out the female perspective until this point?


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Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:12 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
geo wrote:

This book is pretty interesting, but it’s hard for me to get into it as I would a work of fiction that revolves around a central character. I’m actually reminded a lot of Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD, which I usually describe as a zombie novel without zombies. Only that novel does revolve around central characters, and the reader cares about what happens to these characters—a father and son—which makes that book so much more compelling.

It's interesting (perhaps) that there are no female interviewees until the end of chapter two. Why did Brooks leave out the female perspective until this point?
I'm with you geo, this book reminds me of The Road as well, although I've only read chapter 1. I'm getting a post-modern feel about WW Z, guess its the structure and perspective. And as Heledd said above, I also would not normally pick up a book of this type, just not into apocalypses that much, but this about zombies and I happen to believe in zombies .. I mean, why not? there is one well recognized almost-zombie parallel - the last steps of the condemned ... "dead man walking".



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Post Re: Ch. 1: Warnings
He does jump around a lot in telling the story, but i suppose that is the price you pay for this format. One guy in Egypt really shouldn't have been around to see what also happened in china and chicago.

He does come back to a few characters several times and that helps to connect the reader i think. Unfortunately, i would read a few pages into one of these return visits before i realized it was the same character from earlier in the book describing what happened to them later in the chronology.

His treatment of government action is a bit cynical, but i can see where he gets it. I don't think you could crystalize it any better than the nonsense of airport "security". The illusion of safety is far more important than the actual production of a safe environment.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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