SparkNotes Blog

World War Z, the Book and the Movie

World War Z the movie is coming June 2013, starring a stoic Brad Pitt who’s too cool to react to explosions fighting an evil ocean of zombies.

While we’re waiting for the apocalypse, we decided to check out the book that sparked this madness: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks.

The Book

WWZ is a book of “interviews” with survivors of the zombie epidemic, a worldwide event that, during the time period of the book, just ended. The survivors tell stories of their experiences both with the living dead and with humanity during that time. Interviewees range everywhere from French soldiers fighting in the catacombs in Paris to astronauts who were stranded in the International Space Station during the whole ordeal.

Our Thoughts

You won’t realize how much you got invested in the characters of World War Z until the last section, titled “Good-byes.” The characters are with few exceptions tough, hardened, disenchanted with life, with philosophies that are only grimly positive when positive at all. You feel sad to leave the world of WWZ because it’s sucked you in—it feels so spectacularly real and microcosmical. Don’t get us wrong, there are parts where the details drag you down, or it’s hard to get into a character. But the book is worth reading.

The Differences

Even just from the trailer, we can tell that this film is going to be different from the book.

1. The main character: Though he’s a U.N. employee like the unnamed interviewer in the novel, Brad Pitt’s character seems to be a fighter and a father.

2. The zombies: The novel makes a point of the zombies being exactly like you’d see in a George Romero film, but the film has to stand out more, so the movie zombies move fast and appear to come in surges, like waves.

3. The storyline: The hope is that this film will set itself in the world, at least, that World War Z created. Because it definitely isn’t following the plot. Check out the trailer for yourself, below!

Are you excited to see World War Z?