WWZ: the double review

Mark this day on your calendar. Go on, I know you have one. Are you ready? You got one? Good. Now, mark this down because I’ll not say this again:

Go see the movie before you read the book.

I’ll say it again.

(Last time.)

Go see the movie before you read the book.

Only because the two share a name and some details, after that they are nothing alike. NO-THING. And, if you read the book then go see the movie, you will be sorely disappointed. And that’s not fair, because both are excellent in their own right.

First, the movie. With no spoilers because I really want you guys to see it.


The movie stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane a former UN go-to investigator who dropped his old job to be the dad of the house because of what his investigating put him through. Reports pour in from around the world about a mysterious case of ‘African Rabies’ that isn’t just affecting people, but animals too. Dolphins are mysteriously washing up on shore and people are going mad. Whilst in traffic in Philadelphia, the world as Gerry knows it gets real fucked up real quick. Suddenly, people are running and screaming for their lives and no one can quite figure out why. That is, until a man gets bit, falls from his car, and in twelve seconds flat turns from twitching would-be corpse to speed demon corpse with a taste for anything living.
What follows is a call from Gerry’s old boss and an apartment rooftop evac to a UN ship in the middle of the ocean where Gerry has a choice. A hard choice. Help a doctor (who those in charge believe is the world’s only hope) look for a cure and his family gets to stay on the ship. Don’t help and they’re evac’d to Nova Scotia, which may or may not be safe.
Gerry makes his choice and the story that is told is one that scares me right down to my core. Horror movies these days are about blood, gore, and the shock value of human brutality. THIS movie is about what happens when the dead rise and you. can’t. stop. them.
There were parts where “oh fuck!” belted from my lips, I hid my eyes, I moaned, I knew they were going to go in there even though I wanted to scream at the screen “YOU’RE GONNA FUCKING DIE!”
Because WWZ keeps you powerless throughout the movie. As far as you know the world is gonna go to shit-it has gone to shit-and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it. Despite its soft ending, the movie was worth the hour and fifty five minutes you’ll spend in a dark room with a bunch of other people, Brad Pitt, and zombies who should not be able to run that fast.

And now the book.


If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know my shpeal when it comes to book reviews. For those of you who are new; I will never give a book a 5 star review. Or a 1 star review. I think both are biased on opposite ends of the awesome/suck spectrum and are detrimental to reader and author. My own rating system (special to this blog) is a 1.5 to 4.5 star system. 1.5 being the lowest and 4.5 being the highest-translatable on Amazon as 1-5 because their system doesn’t like mine. This is my own system and should, in no way, influence your own.
And now you know.

4 stars.


Because the introduction was enough to get me to stop reading and not pick it up again. Tonie Ervin and Tonia Brown turned me back around to giving the book another go and man, am I happy they did! WWZ is Max Brooks’ sequel to his 2003 ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE which was a good read on its own. Informative and a necessity for those looking to educate themselves on the zombie apocalypse. WWZ takes the concept further, telling the apocalypse story in a retrospective, investigatoral way. The author takes us around the world, talking to people who witnessed the apocalypse and survived. From mercenaries assigned to protecting doomed celebrities who could not get away from the camera’s eye even as the world was going to shit, to dog trainers tasked with teaching our best friend how to track and trap zombies, soldiers, diplomats, and historians to name a few. The book takes us from the beginning of the apocalypse, to the the turning point, and finally to the clean up where a good chunk of the world is still blacked out by the undead who just won’t die again. Ocean water, cold, heat, bombs, grenades, nothing will kill them except a head shot. In this book is a tale of how governments failed then rose again, how white collar workers learned to use their hands, and how the American soldier figured out the keys to victory on the home front.
It is a book that teaches lessons completely applicable to our real world problems. And while nothing will ever top The Walking Dead in my heart (or Annie, of course) WWZ takes second place.

You won’t be sorry you read it.

Or watched the movie.

But watch the movie first! Then read the book.



  1. RJ, great reviews. Although I liked the book A LOT. Just saw the movie and I thought it was good. Not great, but good. I loved that it wasn’t just a gross-out, but a tale. You should listen to the audio book sample. It is amazing! Max Brooks narrates with big name stars doing the other voices. I might just have to plunk down the cash for that.

    1. Really?! Oh hells yes I am plunking down the cash for that audiobook! Thanks for the info!
      And thank you for the comment! I enjoyed the movie because it was something different for the genre, a new take on the zombie lexicon that was interesting, to say the least.

  2. Wow, I don’t care for horror but you make this sound great! And I’m with you on The Walking Dead – Number One! I’ll have to think about whether to see this one though. Maybe Hubs will watch it with me so I can hold his hand. šŸ˜€

    1. You’ll want to hold it tight! Mum, dad and I were watching it together and mum actually tried to bury her face in dad’s shoulder. It would have been funny had I not been trying to hide my own eyes behind my hands. I promise Bubbe, if you go see it, you won’t be disappointed!

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