Many apologies for the late post, but I'm in the middle of recovering from a nasty attack of malware that forced me to erase my hard drive. (No important files were lost, thanks to good backups, but it is a bit time-consuming, reinstalling everything.)
So nothing ambitious today, because I'm still recuperating, but let me take a moment to mention how very, very well 'World War Z', by Max Brooks, evokes the idea of a zombie uprising. It shouldn't surprise anyone who reads this blog that I heard the phrase "zombie uprising" and was right there in line to buy the book, but Brooks really does do an excellent job with the idea. The book takes the form of a number of "interviews" with survivors of the plague that reanimated the dead and gave them an uncontrollable hunger for the flesh of the living, and each interview is almost a short story in miniature. The various survivors' tales interlock to form a vast, sprawling narrative of a world in crisis, progressing from denial, to panic, to full-fledged chaos, and finally our struggle to fight back and reclaim our world.
At each stage, you'll be impressed with Brooks' sense of realism; having laid down ground rules for the zombie virus in 'The Zombie Survival Guide', he then proceeds to come up with very authentic human responses to a plague of the walking dead. I quibbled about a few things (I think, for example, that the military would come up with an effective response faster than they did--ultimately, no matter how implacable and terrifying zombies are, they're basically unarmed, unarmored people who use no subterfuge or tactics and move at a slow walking pace.) But Brooks paints a compelling picture, and gives each survivor a unique voice. I could have read a book twice this length, and I'd be more than happy to see a sequel out of Brooks.