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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Review: Closure, Limited

Closure, Limited
Closure, Limited by Max Brooks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This collection of four stories from World War Z author Max Brooks is good fun, and a nice addition to his growing body of WWZ-related works.

The book opens and closes with stories told in the same style as World War Z - that is, interviews with survivors of the war. It's a style that works well for Brooks, and I love getting a glimpse into the minds of the different characters that he has populated his world with. Opening story 'Closure, Limitied' (the title story of the collection) is the best of these two, in my opinion; it's an interesting look at one of the ways people might seek to profit from the fall-out of WWZ, and it's just an intriguing idea in general. The final story, 'Great Wall' looks at how China dealt with the war; it's nice to see Brooks moving away from Western-centric writing, though the story still feels very American despite taking place in China.

The second story in the collection is titled 'Steve and Fred', and it's easily the weakest story in the book. I'd go so far as to say that the book would be stronger as a whole without this story being included. It's little more than two vignettes that don't seem to be linked in any way at all. The first is ridiculously gung-ho and over top (which is fine, and fun, but in this case pointless) and the second has the potential to be an interesting little character study but never develops and never pays off.

By far the strongest story in this book is the longer piece 'The Extinction Parade', in which Brooks has a go at writing a vampire story set in the world of WWZ. It makes for gripping reading, and I certainly had never considered that the zombie apocalypse would be a catastrophe for creatures other than humans.

All in all this is a good little collection that adds nicely to World War Z, though it is by no means required reading.

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