Few weeks ago I finished reading World War Z, by Max Brooks.
Being a zombie films addict, I must say I was predisposed to enjoy the book, but it has been a real surprise...
The book is a compedium of small stories, told 10 years after World War III, aka World War Z because it was not fought between humans, but between humanity and a world-scale zombie plague. With this curious but not nobel-winning plot you could expect anything, and the results are amazingly good.
Brooks has taken a "realistic" approach, explaining as much as possible (taking into account we're talking about zombies ;) of the science of the plague, how it spreads around the world, how different countries, governments and cultures react to it, how each of the survivors is able to tell his/her history, etcetera.
I really like the approach. You never get tired of a history you don't like because they are at most 10 pages long. In fact, sometimes you end with the desire of knowing more of particular histories or survivors, more about what happened.
We have all sort of histories, from frozen zombies in the northen part of the globe, to military mistakes that end with heavy decimation of the US forces, doctors, rich and powerful people...
The author touches a lot of cliches, from typical zombie movies ones, adaptations of "I Am Legend" (even the military call some survivors LMoE, Last Man on Earth, for their surviving skills), interesting (and some very clever) tactics to detect and avoid zombies (using trained dogs, placing tape on the perimeters of the bases so that if a tape is broken a zombie is inside,...).
I enjoyed a lot the scientific approach to how to survive a global zombie plague, how would each government reach, what would happen if you were in the coast, in a city, in a small village, in the jungle, in a boat... Even how you could try to make money from the situation.
Really a lot of situations and themes have been cleverly though and depicted in the short stories.
The book hooks you until you finish it. It felt a bit short for my personal taste, and the finale was a bit too typical (very... "patriotic").
Definetly a recommendation for reading as soon as possible ;)