World War Z

I saw the movie and thought “I bet this would make a good book.”  Sure enough, it did.  World War Z is the broadest story I’ve read.  Told in a series of interviews, it covers a ten year battle that spanned the entire globe.  It covers trade, military reorganization, politics, and individual struggles.  Everyone gets to tell their story, everyone’s voice matters.  There is no main character, it’s about humanity’s fight against the zombies.

“Fear,” he used to say, “fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe.”  That blew me away.  “Turn on the TV,” he’d say.  “What are you seeing?  People selling their products?  No.  People selling the fear of you having to live without their products.”  Fuckin’ A, was he right.  Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, fear of poverty, fear of failure.  Fear is the most basic emotion we have.  Fear is primal.  Fear sells.

That guy made an obscene amount of money by selling a medically useless vaccine during the initial panic.

You should have seen some of the “careers” listed on our first employment census; everyone was some version of an “executive,” a “representative,” an “analyst,” or a “consultant,” all perfectly suited to the prewar world, but all totally inadequate for the present crisis.  We needed carpenters, masons, machinists, gunsmiths.  We had those people, to be sure, but not nearly as many as were necessary… We required a massive job retraining program.  In short, we needed to get a lot of white collars dirty… Yes, it was very hard for some, but a lot of them later admitted that they got more emotional satisfaction from their new jobs than anything closely resembling their old ones.

He directed the newly formed Department of Strategic Resources as part of the US war effort.

We lost a hell of a lot more than just people when we abandoned them to the dead.  That’s all I’m going to say.

The movie was a good way to visualize parts of the book, but as usual, if you want to know the whole story, you have to read it.

World War Z

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