The Conspiring Universe

Finally! Completed World War Z and it was amazing. Brooks' depiction of the process and reactionary drama of a zombie plague was spot on. Never over the top and just the right amount of subtlety. Blood and guts frame the human story in a time when humanity's flame is casting the biggest shadows.

Before that I read Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist - It reads like a parable or a mythological epic. As an appreciator of the classic epics, this novel was a beautiful homage to the simple values that lead to a great life. In its simplicity, this tale touches the complex ideals with light fingers and a guiding hand to the reader. It is a beautiful tale.

Reading these two novels back-to-back made for some interesting contrasts, but also a bizarre comparison of the basic levels of humanity: the survivalist and the idealist. Both explore the individual's place in the grander scheme of the universe, but The Alchemist delves into individual destiny within the universe, while World War Z probes the dark side of humanity during and after a crisis of biblical proportions.  With so many people grasping at the survivalist trend and preparing for the worst-perhaps even hoping for the worst-both novels serve as a reminder to live simply, dream, but appreciate what you have.

An old king tells Santiago, "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true". At times the universe may conspire to make your wish come true, just to teach a lesson.