The Moments that Stay with You

world_war_z_max_brooksAfter hearing Max Brooks on Nerdist, I was interested in listening to the audiobook of his novel World War Z. He mentioned getting a variety of actors, including some family friends, to read the various sections. I hadn’t realized the book was a series of interviews as opposed to a more linear, plot-based story. I don’t listen to audiobooks often but this premise sounded too interesting to pass.

I finished the audiobook the other day at the gym. It was definitely worth listening to this book rather than reading it. I loved the distinct voices, especially since the interviewees are varied and international. The accents would not have risen from the page with the same immediacy.

The premise of World War Z the novel is very different from the movie which was fine in its own right. The novel is a compilation of work conducted by a man on behalf of the UN to report on the zombie war. However, most of his work is rejected as too personal. So he takes it upon himself to publish the accounts he collected.

It begins with an Asian patient zero then moves to the Middle East where Israel is the first to build walls to protect their citizens from African rabies. Then some of the accounts are heavily military which is fascinating. Max Brooks referenced working with West Point in some capacity, which I’m so curious about, but the research shows. With no personal military experience and without enough discernment to realize elements made up to deal with a zombie war, the tactics and tools of the military came across as real and viable. Discussions about historical strategies and which would or wouldn’t work was very interesting.

The story that got to me and made me tear up on the treadmill was the account of the female pilot who went down on her way to Florida to drop off supplies. **Spoilers** She maintains radio contact with a sky watcher who guides her to a pickup point. Her contact – call sign Mets – yells when necessary, insults her, to keep the pilot pushing forward. She makes it to the point and is picked up by a helicopter as planned. Only it’s a private helicopter, not search and rescue, who happened to see her flare. She knows the doctors think she made Mets up to keep herself sane and alive but she doesn’t care; she’ll remember Mets for the rest of her life.

That got me and I love when a story gets me. A book can be good because overall the tale is enjoyable and engaging. A book can also be good because of a single moment that stays with you. I collect those moments like stones in my mind and when I recall one the rest follow. I have a new one to add thanks to World War Z.

Mets saved her and will always be real.



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