Tag Archives: World War Z

Review: Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach
By Jennifer Egan
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476716732, October 3, 2017, 448pp.

The Short of It:

A satisfying, well-told story about a young woman’s contribution to the war effort and how her family’s history shapes who she is.

The Rest of It:

The story begins with young Anna and her father Eddie, visiting the illustrious gangster Dexter Styles. Eddie needs the money for a special wheelchair for his crippled daughter, Anna’s younger sister Lydia so as a last resort, Eddie accepts the job that Dexter offers. Dexter is taken by Anna’s youth and her bold display of strength while visiting his home in Manhattan Beach. Years later, that brief encounter is remembered when Anna and Dexter meet again.

There is a lot of great storytelling in Manhattan Beach. Anna’s dedication to her sister Lydia, is fully explored as is her love of the sea and her inevitable path to becoming a diver for the war effort. Anna’s complex relationship with her father and the diving details Egan includes had me turning the pages quickly. Nothing felt rushed. Egan takes her time and the story unfolds effortlessly. I’ve read a few of her other books but this one by far is my favorite and I do not normally enjoy novels centered around war.

It’s early in the year but this could end up being on my list of faves for 2018.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: World War Z

World War Z

World War Z
By Max Brooks
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780307346612, October 2007, 352pp.)

The Short of It:

Slightly different take on the zombie stories you’ve read before.

The Rest of It:

I think everyone has read this one or at least seen the movie starring Brad Pitt, but it took me forever to read the book. I finally got to it just because The Walking Dead ended for the season and I was still twitchy for more zombie action.

It’s different from anything I’ve read before because it’s told through survivor accounts and interviews. Right away, you know that there are survivors and that the world did not, in fact, end with the plague. I must say that knowing this up front sort of lessened the suspense factor for me a little bit. The thrill of reading about the apocalypse is that you never know how it’s going to end. Here though, many of the accounts are provided by the military and what these men and woman went through while fighting in World War Z. Some handled it better than others but I was most taken with the civilian accounts. Some, very detailed.

Overall, it was an interesting read for me. Entertaining without being over-the-top or unbelievable. I think its “real” factor is what makes this book work and that such a thing could happen anywhere makes this a chilling read. I have not seen the movie, but I have been told by others that the movie is the scarier of the two.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.