Fortnight of Fright | Book Review + Recipe | World War Z

Fortnight of Fright

And now, for something not often seen here on Tripping Over Books: Zombies! Courtesy of Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla!

World War Z

Eating Brains, Red-Wine Ones Anyway

I have long been resistant to pick up World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. Years ago a friend, who was an English teacher, recommended it to me. Ummmmm, I hesitated, I’m not big on zombie books. “Your loss,” he chided. I didn’t read it.

Then I saw it on a list of books designed to encourage life-long learners by tackling thought-provoking, eye-opening topics. Out of those fourteen books, I was intrigued by most of them. So, I decided to give World War Z a shot.

Let me start by saying I thought this would be the perfect book for the Fortnight of Fright event with Amy of Tripping Over Books. I mean: zombies. Those are frightening, right?!?

About the Book

While World War Z is an interesting project –  it’s structured as a collection of interviews with survivors of the worldwide war against zombies – as a narrative tool, collecting oral interviews is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, when narrators are offering eyewitness accounts, the reader is naturally drawn to their testimonies. It’s personal. On the other hand, Brooks’ attempt at providing an international perspective on the zombie war is too far reaching. His collection of oral interviews traverses the planet, recounts multiple stories from various countries. The narrators range from ordinary people who are trying to escape to the doctors who were called in to treat the initial outbreak. But that, in my estimation, was the book’s major drawback: there was no unifying narrative thread to connect all of the interviews into a cogent tale.

The interviews seem more like a collection of unfinished stories that aren’t significant enough to stand alone, but are too disjointed to be a coherent social and political commentary. I think this book might be intriguing to readers who usually read apocalyptic fiction. But, for me, it was neither thought-provoking nor eye-opening.

Sorry…just not my cup of tea. But it was a perfect read in time for Halloween and it did inspire me to make a frightful treat: red wine gummy brains.

World War Z


My favorite zombie – AKA my husband, Jake – thought this was a fun project.

World War Z

On the Plate

I found this silicone mold at my local Whole Foods, but I suspect they’d be easy to find online, too.

World War Z


  • 1 C red wine (I used an already open Merlot)
  • 4 envelopes gelatin
  • 4 T organic granulated sugar
  • Also needed: brain mold

World War Z


In a small saucepan, pour your wine and whisk in the sugar till mostly dissolved. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Not all of the gelatin will absorb the wine; that’s okay.

After five minutes, heat the mixture over a low to medium heat until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture is thickened and clear. You can pour directly into the mold from the saucepan, if you like. I don’t trust my neatness without a spout, so I transferred the mixture to a measuring cup.

Pour the mixture into the molds. You can pour all the way to the top, since it doesn’t expand. Place the mold on a flat tray and put them in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.

They should pop out easily. If they don’t put them back in the freezer for a few more minutes.

World War Z


  1. Well at least the book inspired these fun Halloween treats

Speak Your Mind