One Book: World War Z

Author Richard Matheson, ‘I Am Legend’ Writer, Dies At 87

As our upcoming One Book program on Max Brooks’ World War Z approaches, we have discussed the work of author Richard Matheson. We have especially discussed his book I am Legend, which was the inspiration of many works of literature. George Romero cited I am Legend for his ground-breaking film Night of the Living Dead. For this reason, it was very sad to read that Matheson passed away today at the age of 87. We was an innovator, writer, and thinker whose work included novels, short stories, television, and film.

Here are two pieces discussing Matheson’s work:

NPR: Author Richard Matheson, ‘I Am Legend’ Writer, Dies At 87

Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend and inspiration to Stephen King

One of Matheson’s most beloved and known pieces of writing was the script for the Twilight Zone episode, “The Nightmare at 20,000 Fee.” You can watch this 1963 episode staring William Shatner and Christine White here:

The Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” – 1963 Version

World War Z (the film) Hits Theaters

The film World War Z hits studios this week. It stars Brad Pitt and has had a great deal of controversy surrounding it.

Those of us here in the library are excited to see it, because we have selected the Max Brooks book World War Z as our One Book, One College text for the 2013-2014 academic year. We have heard that the move and the book are quite different, but we still want to see the movie.

If you are interested in the evolution of the film World War Z, you may want to take a look at this article from the June 2013 issue of Vanity Fair, “Brad’s War.” This article discusses how the idea moved from book, to script, to finished film.

The Geography of a Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies provide a “fun” way to approach a whole range of topics, which is why we chose the novel World War Z for our One Book program. I came across this video below that uses Zombies to explain geographical concepts. Geography is always an important factor to zombie stories, and it is at the core of World War Z.

How do you decide where to go in a zombie apocalypse? – David Hunter
Can geography save your life in case of, say, a zombie apocalypse? Understanding the push and pull factors that create geographic movement — or how people, resources, and even ideas travel — might help you determine the location that’s best for survival. David Hunter playfully analyzes the geography skills that you’d need to escape the zombies.

For more information on this year’s One Book program visit our website: One Book, One College, World War Z.

Hospitals Struggle to Get Workers to Wash Their Hands

How hard can it be to get people to wash their hands? It should be easy to get doctors to wash their hands, right? Well, this New York Times articles, Hospitals Struggle to Get Workers to Wash Their Hands, talks about the lengths that hospitals go through to ensure that doctors wash up (including motion activated cameras).

Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of disease, but it is often ignored. Infectious disease is one of the themes for next year’s One Book program on World War Z.

This past October, our library welcomed Dr. Emily Landon to campus to talk about ways that the University of Chicago Hospitals work to prevent the spread of disease (including hand washing and other tools). Here’s the video from this lecture:

How Research is Making Healthcare Better: Infection Prevention and Antibiotic Stewardship
Dr. Emily Landon of the University of Chicago Medicine Antibiotic Stewardship Program discusses current research in preventing the spread of infection and the stewardship of antibiotics.

Check Out a Copy of World War Z

We are excited that we received six more copies of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks.  This is our One Book, One College text for the 2013-2014 academic year.  You can check them out and take them home.

For this program, we are going to look at a range of themes brought forth Brooks in this book. These themes include:

-Infectious Disease and Public Health
-Oral History and How We Remember
-The Individual and Society
-Zombies, Monsters, and The Profane in Art and Literature
-Disaster Mobilization and Government Interventions
-Networks, Knowledge, and Infection
-Dystopian and Apocalyptic Literature
-Beliefs, Evidence, and Science
-Just War, Genocide and Holocaust
-The Psychology of Survivorship
-Geology and Survival

You can read more about each of these themes on the About Page on the One Book site. 

World War Z Film is Nothing Like the Book

Our One Book, One College selection for the 2013-2014 academic year is Max Brooks’ zombie apocalypse novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

We are excited that a film based on World War Z starring Brad Pitt will be released June 21. Wen we were looking at potential books for our One Book program, we thought that the film and the book would provide an interesting study on the connection between literature and movies.

As we are getting ready for the movie release, we are now seeing articles such as this from the Huffington Post: World War Z Author Says Movie and Novel Share Title Only.

The word on the street is that the movie has undergone serious revisions and re-shoots. Evidently, the movie has very little to do with the book. In fact, even the zombies are different. The book has the classic, slow zombies and the film has the super-charged, fast zombies. If you go to Max Brooks’ Facebook page, you’ll find some unhappy fans telling Mr. Brooks that he sold out when he gave away the movie rights.

Most of us in the library are excited to see the film just to see how different it will be from the book. Most importantly for MVCC students who have to read the book for classes, don’t just watch the movie and think you understand the book!

Walking Dead’s Zombie School

In preparation for our One Book, One College events on World War Z, Sarah has been doing a series of posts this month about zombie films in the library’s collection (click here to see her zombie film posts).

In the spirit of these posts, I thought I’d contribute with this video about zombie school from the Walking Dead. The nameless and faceless (literally sometimes) actors who play the actual zombies are obviously important to the success of the zombie film. They don’t get lines beyond the random moan, but they have to be believable and frightening.

This video shows the behind the scenes recruitment and preparation of the zombies in AMC’s Walking Dead. It seems that the actors get a great deal of freedom to express their inner-zombie.

Zombie School

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