Max Brooks ‘Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Tales’ Review
Written by: Matthew J. Barbour
The Zombie Survival Guide was fun and World War Z was amazing. Let’s face it, Max Brooks does the zombie apocalypse better than just about anyone else. His stories make us think, not just about what we would do when faced with the flesh-eating undead, but about our society as a whole. His narratives serve as both a condemnation and celebration of our world’s many cultures and the people who contribute to them.
Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Tales is a collection of four additional stories written by Max Brooks. The stories consist of: “Closure, Limited: A Story of World War Z,” “Steve and Fred,” “The Extinction Parade,” and “Great Wall: A Story from the Zombie War.” In addition, the introduction is an autobiographical discussion by the author on how and why he became fixated on the notion of zombies.
“Closure, Limited: A Story of World War Z” picks up where World War Z ends off. After the death of billions, most are left mourning the loss of loved ones. Many will never know what happened to their sons, their fathers, or their friends. A group of “wealthy” survivors seeks to change this. Capturing zombies, they do everything necessary to make the lost appear found once again. Their sole objective is to provide those who remain with closure.
When the end of the world comes, will you turn your back on it or meet your destiny head-on? “Steve and Fred” explores this dichotomy. Steve is a diehard marine solving the world’s problems one bullet at a time, while Fred locks himself in a bathroom in the hope of rescue. Death may be inevitable for both. Which path would you choose?
“The Extinction Parade” focuses on vampires and their experiences during the zombie apocalypse. By far the most ambitious story in the collection, it borders on a novella in length. The zombies have no interest in feeding on their undead cousins. However, amusement and disinterest among the vampires gives way to concern as the zombie plague threatens to consume all of mankind. Unlike the mindless zombies, the vampires realize that such an end would also mean their own demise. If humanity cannot save itself, then it falls to the vampire to protect its herd.
Perhaps the most predictable, “Great Wall: A Story from the Zombie War” could easily fit in the larger novel of World War Z. It focus on the Chinese and their efforts to flee north. It is a story of self-sacrifice which reverses the role of the Great Wall of China. Instead of keeping the northern barbarian out, it is used to hold the zombie in.
All four of the tales are digestible enough. If written by another author, they might even be noteworthy. However, with the possible exception of “The Extinction Parade,” none hold a candle to some of the more memorable stories in World War Z.
Moreover, the collection consists of only four stories and much of it has been previously published in other anthologies. Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Tales simply cannot compete with Brook’s other novels. If you loved World War Z and have a hankering for more, Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Tales will whet your appetite, but probably not satisfy your craving.
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