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Oral History of the Zombie War 
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Post Oral History of the Zombie War
Oral History of the Zombie War is a recounting of these horrifying years that will make sure we never forget how close we came to total destruction. Told from the perspective of numerous survivors from all over the world, World War Z captures the sacrifices and, toward the end, the ingenuity of our race to defend and save our cities, towns, and villages from a plague that seemed virtually impossible to stop. Brooks tells a moving story of courage and survival and gives us insight into the key military strategies that helped us take our world back.


While World War Z does remind us of our past mistakes and the vulnerability of the human race, it also serves as a reminder that the only true difference between us and the enemy is the human factor. World War Z also warns us not to let our guard down, to be ever vigilant, and to learn from the mistakes made in the past.



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Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:51 am
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
maryam12khan wrote:
Oral History of the Zombie War is a recounting of these horrifying years that will make sure we never forget how close we came to total destruction.
Hello Maryam, thank you for this blurb. No offence intended, as I am glad you posted it, but the terms of your review are somewhat banal, and do not get into the screeching horror of this book.
Quote:
Told from the perspective of numerous survivors from all over the world, World War Z captures the sacrifices and, toward the end, the ingenuity of our race to defend and save our cities, towns, and villages from a plague that seemed virtually impossible to stop.
It also captures a few less heroic qualities, such as idiocy, cruelty, inompetence, vacillation, denial, fear, cowardice and selfishness. One of the fascinating themes in the zombie wars is that when people have been infected by a zombie bite or scratch, they go into denial with the black knight syndrome, 'its only a flesh wound'. One scary bit is where a family is driving from the US to northern Canada and they pick up a hitchhiker, who tells them a scratch on her arm is nothing to worry about. They end up disposing of her, probably secretly clubbing her to death, as she starts to zombify. Your terms 'sacrifice and ingenuity' present far too positive a spin on Brooks' bleak take on our capacity to deal with an existential crisis. Panic and desperation are more like it.
Quote:
Brooks tells a moving story of courage and survival and gives us insight into the key military strategies that helped us take our world back.
Ha ha. Very moving. The key military strategy is decimation of any units that refuse to collude in the deliberate sacrifice of millions of innocent people to the rampant zombie hordes. Brooks also explains the utter failure of initial strategic assessments and of military strategies that fail to comprehend the nature of the enemy through lack of basic analysis.
Quote:
While World War Z does remind us of our past mistakes and the vulnerability of the human race, it also serves as a reminder that the only true difference between us and the enemy is the human factor.
What is that banality supposed to mean? We are human and they are undead? No offence, but this 'human factor' actually encompasses quite a bit of 'true difference'. Current vulnerabilities that compare to the zombie apocalypse include superbugs, sea level rise, ocean acidification, mass refugee movements, nuclear war, cosmic electronic meltdown, and unknown unknowns such as the Walking Donald.
Quote:
World War Z also warns us not to let our guard down, to be ever vigilant, and to learn from the mistakes made in the past.

Did the publisher write that? World War Z also warns us that humanity is sleepwalking into an apocalypse, that we think we are smart but in fact we are extremely stupid as a species, and that we only learn anything, if we are lucky enough to survive the crisis, when our stupidity has been comprehensively rubbed in our faces.


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Last edited by Robert Tulip on Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:36 am
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
haha, wow.

Robert says welcome to the forum!

He's a nice guy...

Really!

He stuck his hand out for a hand shake, and it accidentally landed in your solar plexus.


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

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Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:52 am
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
Thanks for posting Maryam, we're glad to have you on booktalk!

This is one of my favorite books. I often recommend it. Not because it's the best book ever, but because i think it is probably the best book ever that you would skip based on the cover.

There are better books out there that people could stumble across on their own. This is one that probably needs to be recommended, unless you happen to be into the genre.

How is everyone feeling about this book? RT seems to be enjoying it, and i appreciate that. Dexter seemd to have low expectations, but i'm telling you to hang in there man! It really comes into its own in the international portions.

Let me know what you all think of it so far.

Robert, give that hyena that's been chewing on your keyboard a valium or something, haha.


_________________
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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Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:05 am
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
So lemme guess. Typical book about the same old theme that no one ever seems to tire off. Some apocalypse/disease/phenomenon of nature turns a perfectly healthy normal species into.... well... zombies. When they have been turned to zombies... the struggle is for the non-zombies-how to survive, how to find food, how to find their loved ones, how to find weapons (which are probably very plentiful after the contagion) to defend themselves from the zombies...

How many movies and books have been made on exactly the same subject with a few minor tweaks and adjustments? :hitwall: Resident evil? Walking dead? Zombie apocalypse? Zombie fallout?
And the truth of it all is we still love them and miss no opportunity to read those.

johnson1010 wrote:
haha, wow.

Robert says welcome to the forum!

He's a nice guy...

Really!

He stuck his hand out for a hand shake, and it accidentally landed in your solar plexus.


Hahaha. lol.



Last edited by haviZsultan on Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
Well, no actually.

We do see people getting turned into zombies, but it isn't about the zombies. it isn't about having to kill your grandma because she's been bitten. It isn't about the moment to moment fight for survival, or finding food, or getting to shelter, or waiting out the zombies beating on your doors.

Those things are mentioned, and definitely implied, but what this book is about is how our social structures fail us. How our own short-sightedness is often our undoing. It's about how people's history and culture readies them for a hardship, or disarms them. It's about how people have to overcome their preconcieved notions to make the rational, and difficult decisions to preserve what they need.

What's good about his book has little to do with zombies. The zombies aren't particularly interesting or new. They don't do things that other zombies don't do. They don't fly, or run, or think or have super strength. There are no special rules attached to them not found in other zombies material. It isn't about people going crazy and beating on a crowd of guilt-free targets with clubs. It's all about the people. Not individual people, really. Not how people are feeling things, or how a particular family pulls through underhardship, or how some lone hero saves the planet.

This is about all of us. Societies.

You should give this book a try, precisely because you scoff at it because it's a zombie book. It isn't about the 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.


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Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:29 pm
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
johnson1010 wrote:
Well, no actually.

We do see people getting turned into zombies, but it isn't about the zombies. it isn't about having to kill your grandma because she's been bitten. It isn't about the moment to moment fight for survival, or finding food, or getting to shelter, or waiting out the zombies beating on your doors.

Those things are mentioned, and definitely implied, but what this book is about is how our social structures fail us. How our own short-sightedness is often our undoing. It's about how people's history and culture readies them for a hardship, or disarms them. It's about how people have to overcome their preconcieved notions to make the rational, and difficult decisions to preserve what they need.

What's good about his book has little to do with zombies. The zombies aren't particularly interesting or new. They don't do things that other zombies don't do. They don't fly, or run, or think or have super strength. There are no special rules attached to them not found in other zombies material. It isn't about people going crazy and beating on a crowd of guilt-free targets with clubs. It's all about the people. Not individual people, really. Not how people are feeling things, or how a particular family pulls through underhardship, or how some lone hero saves the planet.

This is about all of us. Societies.

You should give this book a try, precisely because you scoff at it because it's a zombie book. It isn't about the zombies.


I actually like Zombie books. But I am looking for something unique.
Will try this if I can get my hands on it. If it's particularly about the mistakes of society and contains a lesson then it might just end up having its own separate niche.

I still want to try killing floor and infection first (in zombie novels)... though my interest has waned since I read two novels that were almost exactly the same.



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Robert Tulip
Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:13 pm
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
This is the first and only zombie book I have read, and I was interested in it because of the moral message it conveys, using the idea of a zombie plague as a parable for how humanity deals with crisis. I have no interest in the titillation of horror as a genre, but what I liked here is the sense of real horror in the question of how people individually and collectively respond to existential threats. We do in fact have a global existential security threat from climate change. I read Brooks as presenting a bleak satire about incompetence in the face of the need for strategic analysis in dire circumstances, but also a message of hope that people do eventually face facts and work out how to cope, basing policy on evidence rather than political spin. It reminds me also of the discussion we are having about Haidt, about whether morality is based on reason or emotion. The Zombie War shows that morality based on reason is the only path that actually works in the context of genuine dilemmas.


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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
OK - just joining you folks on this book now - I have to admit, the only excuse I have for not participating of late is being caught up in a few silly games at Facebook - ha ha!

But I just downloaded the audio from the net library, and placed a hold on the digital text version for my Sony Reader.

I'll try to do a chapter (at least) a day.



Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:32 pm
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
The audiobook version i had sadly, seemed to be missing some parts of the story.


_________________
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 Jul 31, 2012 2:36 pm
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
I've also ordered a an e-text version. That'll be along soon.



Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:45 pm
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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
I finished it up tonight. Funny how you think you're going to take your time with a book - maybe one part per day and you just keep turning the pages, or letting the audio run.

A good story - leaves the reader with a lot to think about.



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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
I'm a little late coming into the discussion, and I have to admit that the zombie component threw me off a bit, but, I have finished the novel and can say I have enjoyed it. I think the author is very clever to use zombies. We all think of an epidemic, or a natural disaster or a not so natural disaster for this type of world wide catastrophe, but to use zombies is priceless. The zombie component is really very small, it seems to me to be used as a catalyst to show how people would react when faced with any type of disaster. In one of the earlier chapters someone said that they could see people getting together to create a zombie sympathy law, this had me in stiches, for I can see this happening. There propbably would be a group of people trying to make peace with the zombies. There are those who would try to make money off this situation. The president said, "lets fight them"! Lots of bravado from the president, but very little planning or action. A fun novel Johnson, so glad you reccomended it!

It was the "Zombie Protection Act", Pg. 54. Not, zombie sympathy law.

The only criticism I have about the novel is that all the voices of the people interviewed all sound the same.



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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
I'm glad you liked it Suzanne.

I do think this book has more to add to people's lives than a romp through zombie land.


_________________
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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Post Re: Oral History of the Zombie War
I really loved this book. Which totally surprised me. I admit Zombie books are usually not at all my thing.

Not with this one though. The author weaves the narratives together so well, and the book really becomes about the people who are living through the Zombie war and how they all see it just a little differently. I even own the audio book, and am super pumped that they are coming out with an extended, (hopefully unabridged?) version soon. I've recommended to lots of people who are not readers of the zombie genre, and they all love it. Just an all around good book.


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