Max Brooks travels throughout the once zombie ravaged and still recovering world to conduct interviews. He's driven to record the events of humanity's near brush with eradication. Though we never get his personal story, the reader gets a sense that he's taking on this task not just for posterity's sake or to gain fame, but out of his deep need to understand why and how such a thing could occur.
Each chapter of the book is a different first-person eyewitness account. We hear from a Chinese doctor who was one of the first to treat an infected patient, and learn how his government tried to conceal the outbreak. They were unsuccessful. An American politician reveals his government's failed attempts at cover-up and containment as well. Brooks goes on to interview young adults who were children during the plague--he notes the particular hardness in their eyes. We're privy to the thoughts of spouses, mothers, fathers, and daughters who lost family members to the infection.
It's impossible to read this fictional zombie account without drawing correlations to recent and current political happenings. World War Z captures something about the spirit of humanity--maybe that we're our own worst enemy, or maybe that we're survivors. Maybe both. If nothing else, it will make you think. Five mugs.