As a young man, I was a bit different.
No, really! See, I wasn't one of those kids that simply had to see the allegedly 'illegal' copy of Evil Dead II that Paul had. Nor was I the sort of kid who used to try to get one of the older kids to get a copy of Bad Taste from the video shop. Gruesome horror was never really my thing. Indeed 'horror' - in it's current teens-in-peril style is about the bottom of my cinematic radar.
However, I have began to develop a rather curious interest in zombies and the classic zombie flicks. I'll be very specific here - what fascinates me about them is not the zombies, but rather the portrayal of the degeneration of humanity when faced with the living dead. So in the remake of Dawn of the Dead comes on, I'm there to see the man refuse to accept that his pregnant girlfriend is a zombie. To me that denial and inability to handle the terrible facts before you is true horror because it is something that can have resonance in real life. You can easily put yourself in that situation and wonder how you would react. I simply cannot do that when 'generic skinny blonde#3' decides she just HAS to go into the cellar without a torch at the dead of night....
So, when Ian recommended 'World War Z' on fandomlife.net it was naturally going to be high on my reading list. It is, apparently, high on a number of other peoples reading lists too because getting my hands on a copy of the bloody thing has been a nightmare. The wait, however, has been more than worth it.
The premise of the book is that it is an oral history of a world wide conflict between humanity and zombies, written as a series of interviews with the survivors. It is an amazingly gripping read for a fictional non-fiction book. I've read about half of it and some of it has chilled me to the bone. One of the passages that had particular resonance was the flight of the refugees from the west coast of the US and the subsequent traffic gridlock. It told of people literally trapped in their cars, only able to sit and watch as the zombies ate their way up the traffic jam. Horrible - especially as I was in a traffic jam at the time!!!
The book has been rammed with those moments when you can, almost involuntarily, put yourself into the place of the people and wonder - what would I do? how would I react? would I be one of the people that would be saved? would I be zombie fodder? The answers are NEVER pleasant.
This I consider to be true horror and this book is truly horrific. I recommend it wholeheartedly.