World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

4.3 2592
by Max Brooks
     
 

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NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z, now a #1 New York Times bestseller, is the

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Overview

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z, now a #1 New York Times bestseller, is the only record of the plague years.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the wake of the great zombie war, Brooks's fictional alter ego travels around the world to ask tough questions of individuals and leaders about their experience and actions before, during and after the undead menace decimated the human population. Brooks remarkably identifies and articulates the nuances and unconsidered realities of what a zombie war would look like. This intriguing "oral history" stands apart from his previous zombie-related book, The Zombie Survival Guide, as Brooks uses the postwar culture here to provide political and social commentary on a wide range of real-life individuals and institutions. An all-star cast including Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, J rgen Prochnow, Henry Rollins, John Turturro, Rob and Carl Reiner, and many others deliver their parts with such fervor and intensity that listeners cannot help but empathize with these characters. Max Brooks acts as the interviewer, providing an inquisitive but stagnant demeanor. The abridgment keeps the story tight but struggles with the interviewer's narration during interviews. When Brooks interrupts characters to indicate that the person rolled his eyes or appeared apprehensive, his comments are often moot because the performers are already portraying such body language with their tone. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 7). (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As the author of the deadpan Zombie Survival Guide, Brooks (son of filmmaker Mel) is clearly qualified to write this globe-spanning "global history" of a war that will begin sometime soon. The book owes a debt to George Romero's Living Dead films, with their hordes of moaning ghouls, but that kind of monster-movie action is secondary to the individual stories of both major world players and front-line grunts in the war against the undead. Woven through the narrative are an undercurrent of social commentary and musings on the nature of fear and hope. This infectious and compelling book will have nervous readers watching the streets for zombies. Recommended for all public libraries. Karl G. Siewert, Tulsa City-Cty. Lib. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An "oral history" of the global war the evil brain-chewers came within a hair of winning. Zombies are among us-turn on your television if you don't believe it. But, Brooks reassures us in this all-too-realistic novel, even today, human fighters are hunting down the leftovers, and we're winning. Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide, not reviewed) seeds his mockumentary with smart nods to the chains of cause and effect that spring from today's headlines. Like the avian flu, one CIA agent tells the interviewer, the zombie plague began in China, whose government embarked on a campaign of "health and safety" sweeps ("Instead of lying about the sweeps themselves, they just lied about what they were sweeping for") to contain the endless armies of the moaning, walking dead. It didn't work. Ear to the ground, Israel quarantined itself-it helped that it had that tall new wall. Greece, Japan, England: Every center of world civilization was overrun, with notable pockets of resistance. In England, for example, the queen stayed in Windsor Castle, the most easily defended bastion in the realm, to steel the hearts of her subjects. Who says the royal family is a relic? Finally, the zombies come to North America, where, after the disastrous Battle of Yonkers, the humans regroup and take their pound of extremely icky flesh in vengeance; even Michael Stipe, the antiwar rock singer, signs up to kick zombie butt. Brooks's iron-jaw narrative is studded with practical advice on what to do when the zombies come, as they surely will. For one thing, check to see who doesn't blink ("Maybe because they don't have as much bodily fluid they can't keep using it to coat the eyes"), aim for the head and blast away. Aliterate, ironic, strangely tasty treat for fans of 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, The Last Man on Earth and other treasures of the zombie/counterzombie genre. Film rights to Brad Pitt/Plan B Productions
From the Publisher
“An ‘oral history’ of the global war the evil brain-chewers came within a hair of winning. Zombies are among us—turn on your television if you don’t believe it. But, Brooks reassures us, even today, human fighters are hunting down the leftovers, and we’re winning. [His] iron-jaw narrative is studded with practical advice on what to do when the zombies come, as they surely will. A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Max Brooks has charted the folly of a disaster response based solely on advanced technologies and brute force in this step-by-step guide to what happened in the Zombie War. He details with extraordinary insight how in the face of institutional missteps and greed, people in unexpected ways achieve unique, creative, and effective strategies to survive and fight back. Brooks’s account of the path to recovery and reconstruction after the war is fascinating, too. World War Z provides us with a starting point, at least, a basic blueprint from which to build a popular understanding of how, when, and why such a disaster came to be, and how small groups and individuals survived.” —Jeb Weisman, Ph.D.,Director of Strategic Technologies, National Center for Disaster Preparedness

“Possesses more creativity and zip than entire crates of other new fiction titles. Think Mad Max meets The Hot Zone . . . It’s Apocalypse Now, pandemic-style. Creepy but fascinating.”
- USA TODAY

“Prepare to be entranced by this addictively readable oral history of the great war between humans and zombies. . . . Will grab you as tightly as a dead man’s fist. A.”
- Entertainment Weekly, EW Pick

“Probably the most topical and literate scare since Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio broadcast. . . . This is action-packed social-political satire with a global view.”
- Dallas Morning News

“Brooks [is] America’s most prominent maven on the living dead. . . . Chilling. . . . It is gripping reading and a scathing indictment of weak responses to crises real and over-hyped.”
- Hartford Courant

“A sober, frequently horrifying and even moving account. . . . Brooks has delivered a full-blown horror novel, laced with sharp social and political observations and loads of macabre, gruesome imagery. . . . The real horror of World War Z comes from the all-too-plausible responses of human beings and governments to the menace.”
- Fangoria

“A horror fan’s version of Studs Terkel’s The Good War. . . . Like George Romero’s Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythology.”
- Booklist

“Brooks commits to detail in a way that makes his nightmare world creepily plausible. . . . Far more affecting than anything involving zombies really has any right to be. . . . The book . . . opens in blood and guts, turns the world into an oversized version of hell, then ends with and affirmation of humanity’s ability to survive the worst the world has to offer. It feels like the right book for the right times, and that’s the eeriest detail of all.”
- A.V. Club, The Onion

“The best science fiction has traditionally been steeped in social commentary. World War Z continues that legacy. . . . We haven’t been this excited about a book without pictures since–well, since ever.”
- Metro

“Each story locks together perfectly to create a wonderful, giddy suspense. Brooks also has the political savvy to take advantage of any paranoia a modern reader might feel. . . . The perfect book for all us zombie junkies.”
- Paste

“This infectious and compelling book will have nervous readers watching the streets for zombies. Recommended.”
- Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307346612
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
10/16/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
28,242
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.93(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

WARNINGS GREATER CHONGQING, THE UNITED FEDERATION OF CHINA [At its prewar height, this region boasted a population of over thirty-five million people. Now, there are barely fifty thousand. Reconstruction funds have been slow to arrive in this part of the country, the government choosing to concentrate on the more densely populated coast. There is no central power grid, no running water besides the Yangtze River. But the streets are clear of rubble and the local "security council" has prevented any postwar outbreaks. The chairman of that council is Kwang Jingshu, a medical doctor who, despite his advanced age and wartime injuries, still manages to make house calls to all his patients.] The first outbreak I saw was in a remote village that officially had no name. The residents called it "New Dachang," but this was more out of nostalgia than anything else. Their former home, "Old Dachang," had stood since the period of the Three Kingdoms, with farms and houses and even trees said to be centuries old. When the Three Gorges Dam was completed, and reservoir waters began to rise, much of Dachang had been disassembled, brick by brick, then rebuilt on higher ground. This New Dachang, however, was not a town anymore, but a "national historic museum." It must have been a heartbreaking irony for those poor peasants, to see their town saved but then only being able to visit it as a tourist. Maybe that is why some of them chose to name their newly constructed hamlet "New Dachang" to preserve some connection to their heritage, even if it was only in name. I personally didn't know that this other New Dachang existed, so you can imagine how confused I was when the call came in. The hospital was quiet; it had been a slow night, even for the increasing number of drunk-driving accidents. Motorcycles were becoming very popular. We used to say that your Harley-Davidsons killed more young Chinese than all the GIs in the Korean War. That's why I was so grateful for a quiet shift. I was tired, my back and feet ached. I was on my way out to smoke a cigarette and watch the dawn when I heard my name being paged. The receptionist that night was new and couldn't quite understand the dialect. There had been an accident, or an illness. It was an emergency, that part was obvious, and could we please send help at once. What could I say? The younger doctors, the kids who think medicine is just a way to pad their bank accounts, they certainly weren't going to go help some "nongmin" just for the sake of helping. I guess I'm still an old revolutionary at heart. "Our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people." Those words still mean something to me . . . and I tried to remember that as my Deer bounced and banged over dirt roads the government had promised but never quite gotten around to paving. I had a devil of a time finding the place. Officially, it didn't exist and therefore wasn't on any map. I became lost several times and had to ask directions from locals who kept thinking I meant the museum town. I was in an impatient mood by the time I reached the small collection of hilltop homes. I remember thinking, This had better be damned serious. Once I saw their faces, I regretted my wish. There were seven of them, all on cots, all barely conscious. The villagers had moved them into their new communal meeting hall. The walls and floor were bare cement. The air was cold and damp. Of course they're sick, I thought. I asked the villagers who had been taking care of these people. They said no one, it wasn't "safe." I noticed that the door had been locked from the outside. The villagers were clearly terrified. They cringed and whispered; some kept their distance and prayed. Their behavior made me angry, not at them, you understand, not as individuals, but what they represented about our country. After centuries of foreign oppression, exploitation, and humiliation, we were finally reclaiming our rightful place as humanity's middle kingdom. We were the world's richest and most dynamic superpower, masters of everything from outer space to cyber space. It was the dawn of what the world was finally acknowledging as "The Chinese Century" and yet so many of us still lived like these ignorant peasants, as stagnant and superstitious as the earliest Yangshao savages. I was still lost in my grand, cultural criticism when I knelt to examine the first patient. She was running a high fever, forty degrees centigrade, and she was shivering violently. Barely coherent, she whimpered slightly when I tried to move her limbs. There was a wound in her right forearm, a bite mark. As I examined it more closely, I realized that it wasn't from an animal. The bite radius and teeth marks had to have come from a small, or possibly young, human being. Although I hypothesized this to be the source of the infection, the actual injury was surprisingly clean. I asked the villagers, again, who had been taking care of these people. Again, they told me no one. I knew this could not be true. The human mouth is packed with bacteria, even more so than the most unhygienic dog. If no one had cleaned this woman's wound, why wasn't it throbbing with infection? I examined the six other patients. All showed similar symptoms, all had similar wounds on various parts of their bodies. I asked one man, the most lucid of the group, who or what had inflicted these injuries. He told me it had happened when they had tried to subdue "him." "Who?" I asked. I found "Patient Zero" behind the locked door of an abandoned house across town. He was twelve years old. His wrists and feet were bound with plastic packing twine. Although he'd rubbed off the skin around his bonds, there was no blood. There was also no blood on his other wounds, not on the gouges on his legs or arms, or from the large dry gap where his right big toe had been. He was writhing like an animal; a gag muffled his growls. At first the villagers tried to hold me back. They warned me not to touch him, that he was "cursed." I shrugged them off and reached for my mask and gloves. The boy's skin was as cold and gray as the cement on which he lay. I could find neither his heartbeat nor his pulse. His eyes were wild, wide and sunken back in their sockets. They remained locked on me like a predatory beast. Throughout the examination he was inexplicably hostile, reaching for me with his bound hands and snapping at me through his gag. His movements were so violent I had to call for two of the largest villagers to help me hold him down. Initially they wouldn't budge, cowering in the doorway like baby rabbits. I explained that there was no risk of infection if they used gloves and masks. When they shook their heads, I made it an order, even though I had no lawful authority to do so. That was all it took. The two oxen knelt beside me. One held the boy's feet while the other grasped his hands. I tried to take a blood sample and instead extracted only brown, viscous matter. As I was withdrawing the needle, the boy began another bout of violent struggling. One of my "orderlies," the one responsible for his arms, gave up trying to hold them and thought it might safer if he just braced them against the floor with his knees. But the boy jerked again and I heard his left arm snap. Jagged ends of both radius and ulna bones stabbed through his gray flesh. Although the boy didn't cry out, didn't even seem to notice, it was enough for both assistants to leap back and run from the room. I instinctively retreated several paces myself. I am embarrassed to admit this; I have been a doctor for most of my adult life. I was trained and . . . you could even say "raised" by the People's Liberation Army. I've treated more than my share of combat injuries, faced my own death on more than one occasion, and now I was scared, truly scared, of this frail child. The boy began to twist in my direction, his arm ripped completely free. Flesh and muscle tore from one another until there was nothing except the stump. His now free right arm, still tied to the severed left hand, dragged his body across the floor. I hurried outside, locking the door behind me. I tried to compose myself, control my fear and shame. My voice still cracked as I asked the villagers how the boy had been infected. No one answered. I began to hear banging on the door, the boy's fist pounding weakly against the thin wood. It was all I could do not to jump at the sound. I prayed they would not notice the color draining from my face. I shouted, as much from fear as frustration, that I had to know what happened to this child. A young woman came forward, maybe his mother. You could tell that she had been crying for days; her eyes were dry and deeply red. She admitted that it had happened when the boy and his father were "moon fishing," a term that describes diving for treasure among the sunken ruins of the Three Gorges Reservoir. With more than eleven hundred abandoned villages, towns, and even cities, there was always the hope of recovering something valuable. It was a very common practice in those days, and also very illegal. She explained that they weren't looting, that it was their own village, Old Dachang, and they were just trying to recover some heirlooms from the remaining houses that hadn't been moved. She repeated the point, and I had to interrupt her with promises not to inform the police. She finally explained that the boy came up crying with a bite mark on his foot. He didn't know what had happened, the water had been too dark and muddy. His father was never seen again. I reached for my cell phone and dialed the number of Doctor Gu Wen Kuei, an old comrade from my army days who now worked at the Institute of Infectious Diseases at Chongqing University. We exchanged pleasantries, discussing our health, our grandchildren; it was only proper. I then told him about the outbreak and listened as he made some joke about the hygiene habits of hillbillies. I tried to chuckle along but continued that I thought the incident might be significant. Almost reluctantly he asked me what the symptoms were. I told him everything: the bites, the fever, the boy, the arm . . . his face suddenly stiffened. His smile died. He asked me to show him the infected. I went back into the meeting hall and waved the phone's camera over each of the patients. He asked me to move the camera closer to some of the wounds themselves. I did so and when I brought the screen back to my face, I saw that his video image had been cut. "Stay where you are," he said, just a distant, removed voice now. "Take the names of all who have had contact with the infected. Restrain those already infected. If any have passed into coma, vacate the room and secure the exit." His voice was flat, robotic, as if he had rehearsed this speech or was reading from something. He asked me, "Are you armed?" "Why would I be?" I asked. He told me he would get back to me, all business again. He said he had to make a few calls and that I should expect "support" within several hours. They were there in less than one, fifty men in large army Z-8A helicopters; all were wearing hazardous materials suits. They said they were from the Ministry of Health. I don't know who they thought they were kidding. With their bullying swagger, their intimidating arrogance, even these backwater bumpkins could recognize the Guoanbu. Their first priority was the meeting hall. The patients were carried out on stretchers, their limbs shackled, their mouths gagged. Next, they went for the boy. He came out in a body bag. His mother was wailing as she and the rest of the village were rounded up for "examinations." Their names were taken, their blood drawn. One by one they were stripped and photographed. The last one to be exposed was a withered old woman. She had a thin, crooked body, a face with a thousand lines and tiny feet that had to have been bound when she was a girl. She was shaking her bony fist at the "doctors." "This is your punishment!" she shouted. "This is revenge for Fengdu!" She was referring to the City of Ghosts, whose temples and shrines were dedicated to the underworld. Like Old Dachang, it had been an unlucky obstacle to China's next Great Leap Forward. It had been evacuated, then demolished, then almost entirely drowned. I've never been a superstitious person and I've never allowed myself to be hooked on the opiate of the people. I'm a doctor, a scientist. I believe only in what I can see and touch. I've never seen Fengdu as anything but a cheap, kitschy tourist trap. Of course this ancient crone's words had no effect on me, but her tone, her anger . . . she had witnessed enough calamity in her years upon the earth: the warlords, the Japanese, the insane nightmare of the Cultural Revolution . . . she knew that another storm was coming, even if she didn't have the education to understand it. My colleague Dr. Kuei had understood all too well. He'd even risked his neck to warn me, to give me enough time to call and maybe alert a few others before the "Ministry of Health" arrived. It was something he had said . . . a phrase he hadn't used in a very long time, not since those "minor" border clashes with the Soviet Union. That was back in 1969. We had been in an earthen bunker on our side of the Ussuri, less than a kilometer downriver from Chen Bao. The Russians were preparing to retake the island, their massive artillery hammering our forces. Gu and I had been trying to remove shrapnel from the belly of this soldier not much younger than us. The boy's lower intestines had been torn open, his blood and excrement were all over our gowns. Every seven seconds a round would land close by and we would have to bend over his body to shield the wound from falling earth, and every time we would be close enough to hear him whimper softly for his mother. There were other voices, too, rising from the pitch darkness just beyond the entrance to our bunker, desperate, angry voices that weren't supposed to be on our side of the river. We had two infantrymen stationed at the bunker's entrance.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“An ‘oral history’ of the global war the evil brain-chewers came within a hair of winning. Zombies are among us—turn on your television if you don’t believe it. But, Brooks reassures us, even today, human fighters are hunting down the leftovers, and we’re winning. [His] iron-jaw narrative is studded with practical advice on what to do when the zombies come, as they surely will. A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Max Brooks has charted the folly of a disaster response based solely on advanced technologies and brute force in this step-by-step guide to what happened in the Zombie War. He details with extraordinary insight how in the face of institutional missteps and greed, people in unexpected ways achieve unique, creative, and effective strategies to survive and fight back. Brooks’s account of the path to recovery and reconstruction after the war is fascinating, too. World War Z provides us with a starting point, at least, a basic blueprint from which to build a popular understanding of how, when, and why such a disaster came to be, and how small groups and individuals survived.” —Jeb Weisman, Ph.D.,Director of Strategic Technologies, National Center for Disaster Preparedness

“Possesses more creativity and zip than entire crates of other new fiction titles. Think Mad Max meets The Hot Zone . . . It’s Apocalypse Now, pandemic-style. Creepy but fascinating.”
- USA Today

“Prepare to be entranced by this addictively readable oral history of the great war between humans and zombies. . . . Will grab you as tightly as a dead man’s fist. A.”
- Entertainment Weekly, EW Pick

“Probably the most topical and literate scare since Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio broadcast. . . . This is action-packed social-political satire with a global view.”
- Dallas Morning News

“Brooks [is] America’s most prominent maven on the living dead. . . . Chilling. . . . It is gripping reading and a scathing indictment of weak responses to crises real and over-hyped.”
- Hartford Courant

“A sober, frequently horrifying and even moving account. . . . Brooks has delivered a full-blown horror novel, laced with sharp social and political observations and loads of macabre, gruesome imagery. . . . The real horror of World War Z comes from the all-too-plausible responses of human beings and governments to the menace.”
- Fangoria

“A horror fan’s version of Studs Terkel’s The Good War. . . . Like George Romero’s Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythology.”
- Booklist

“Brooks commits to detail in a way that makes his nightmare world creepily plausible. . . . Far more affecting than anything involving zombies really has any right to be. . . . The book . . . opens in blood and guts, turns the world into an oversized version of hell, then ends with and affirmation of humanity’s ability to survive the worst the world has to offer. It feels like the right book for the right times, and that’s the eeriest detail of all.”
- A.V. Club, The Onion

“The best science fiction has traditionally been steeped in social commentary. World War Z continues that legacy. . . . We haven’t been this excited about a book without pictures since–well, since ever.”
- Metro

“Each story locks together perfectly to create a wonderful, giddy suspense. Brooks also has the political savvy to take advantage of any paranoia a modern reader might feel. . . . The perfect book for all us zombie junkies.”
- Paste

“This infectious and compelling book will have nervous readers watching the streets for zombies. Recommended.”
- Library Journal

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Meet the Author

 "The Stud Terkel of zombie journalism," MAX BROOKS is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Zombie Survival Guide and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks. formed the core of the world’s civilian survival manuals during the Zombie War.

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World War Z 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2592 reviews.
SavageBS More than 1 year ago
I know what your thinking, zombies , seriously zombies??? Max Brooks did an outstanding job on this book! I picked this book up at the bookstore because of the title "World War Z", once I realized that meant World War Zombie, I threw it down. Next trip to the bookstore, this time I read the back of the book, read all the rave reviews there and inside. Still not fullly convinced, I flipped through it, I liked the format Mr. Brooks used and decided to give it a try. This book is a fun read! It's a WHAT IF ? book, what if zombies were attacking the world and killing everyone or it could be a massive worldwide plague that is making people sick enough to kill?? Any worldwide event, something big enough to affect everyone, what would you do, how would we all survive?? The book is an oral history of World War Z, A narrator goes back and interviews people about their roles in the war. What they saw as it happened, what they thought when they first heard about it, how they survived. The interviews are conducted worldwide. The book is very, very creative. It took me awhile to read, but it was worth it. Max Brooks is a good story teller and will definitely keep your attention in this book!
NShort82 More than 1 year ago
Fascinating and incredibly original - this story is truly frightening, but not in the zombie/ghoul-sense. This story has little to do with actual zombies and more to do with the ineptitude of governing powers, shortcomings of military efforts, and the general fragility of the human race.
Lockhart7 More than 1 year ago
A great book with a good balance of grotesque and intellect. It's realistic & unbelievably well-thought-out. Brooks not only indulges our present intrigue of zombies, but brings to life the possibilities & disasters that would come from an actual virus outbreak. These pages involve multiple spooky stories that almost kept me up at night. The one drawback is that there is little to no climax or suspense, but here are surely a few twists & turns. This book also shows that Brooks has a great grasp on many global cultures, predicting in intensely realistic detail every country's reaction to an outbreak. This book is as much about the world's economic breakdown as it is blood & guts. It reminds us the importance of surpassing petty differences & coming together as one. Whether you're a zombie freak or not, this book gives you something to think about.
Snipeyjack More than 1 year ago
World War Z is more than just a zombie book; it is heavily morale and political assessment of what people would, more than likely, do in such a catastrophe. Each story told made some point to be realistic, and I really do believe in what our governments would do in such a situation. I love the description giving explaining why zombies would be such a difficult enemy to defeat; because they are unlike any enemy we as a race have ever faced. World War Z is a powerful and lasting story about global disaster and the resolve we humans have to outlast such a time. A trully amazing read, that left me thinking for weeks after I finished. I recoment this both to sci-fi fans and those looking for a great clash of morale and polotics. a+.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book so fun to read, I was upset when I ran out of pages. I finished the book too fast it seems. I loved everything about the book, the way Max Brooks explains his zombies, and how every character in the book was completely believable and real. The book seemed so real and just scared the heck out of me. Best zombie book ever, besides maybe the zombie survival guide also written by him. I can't wait for the recorded attacks to come out from him. Max is a fantastic writer, and his zombies will have you cautious about going outside at night.
Quinnie44 More than 1 year ago
This is a zombie book that isn't about zombies. Consider the zombie a foil; it is there as a stand-in, a symbol. This is a book about our culture, our world, our reaction (and lack thereof), our humanity (and lack thereof), and our unending will to survive against seemingly insurmountable odds. This book will make you question; it will make you cry; it will make you angry and sad and amazed. This isn't a book about zombies. This is a book about what happens to humankind after the battle. If you are looking for "28 Days Later" in book form you will undoubtedly be disappointed. This is not that book. If you are looking for something that begins to answer the question of 'How will we survive, and rebuild, and live with the decisions we made that ensured our survival', then this book is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's honestly terrifying how realistically this book is portrayed. Everything that occurs is something I could see actually occuring in real life. The characters are well drawn; there are heroes, there are villains, but mostly there are people who fall in between. The only thing that prevents me from giving this book a full five stars is the fact that it's a zombie book, yet they play second fiddle to world drama. Zombies are universally horrifying; even in a world culture where autopsies can be seen on primetime (albeit fictional ones) the desecration of our dead is a deeply human fear, but a personal one. The horror of seeing a loved one rise; the fear that it could happen to you. And these things are shown, but not all that frequently. For the majority of the book, you could replace zombies with aliens, swarms of rabid animals, giant insects - and it would not dramatically change the plot. However, if you want to read a worldwide apocalytic novel, then this book is top notch. It illustrates in grim detail a fact I think we are all too aware of - as a species, we are not ready for global disaster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great zombie book! I can't wait for the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome! It really is! I would strongly suggest this if you have a strong appetite for zombies! I was pleasently surprised on how much I loved this book and how much it made me think about what would really happen in a zombie apocalypse. If you liked this book, you need to read Max Brook's "Zombie Survival Guide" for it is also fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. All the negative reviews saying "no character development" really didnt get the overall effect
RachealByrd More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put the book down. Some interviews seemed almost real. Loved how this book is written -- hard to picture it as a movie though. AWESOME!!
cddbrowns More than 1 year ago
Some of these are so realistic, you almost go looking for historical data to see if some of it actually happened. LOL! Amazing book by an amazing author. This has put me on the path of the Zombie genre and I am looking forward to whatever else is in the future with Mr Brooks.
smp315 More than 1 year ago
Very interesting book. I always enjoy works that present classic themes from a fresh perspective. This book does bog down here and there, but overall it's entertaining and thought provoking. I'm curious to see how the book will translate to the movie screen. Another suggestion for a fresh update on a classic theme: "The Supernaturals" by David L. Golemon. Golemon takes the haunted house story and updates it with a Ghosthunters type TV show planning a live broadcast on Halloween night. The house has an evil past and all hell breaks loose. A friend of mine picked it up at a Horror convention in NY a couple of weeks ago and highly recommends it. I have one coming on pre-order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Max Brooks is without dought the best zombie writer since Romero.
DavidGrieve More than 1 year ago
This was a book that only furthered my love for the emerging zombie genre. The oral history take on the zombie apocalypse, directly building off the critically acclaimed Complete Protection From The Living Dead, was a smash hit - one I'm extremely glad will be turned into a movie. Whether the film does it justice has yet to be seen, but with such a stunning narrative I find it hard to believe they can miss. The world Brooks paints is extremely realistic - attacking the idea of the end of the world brought on by the deadly reanimating Solanum virus from every angle, seemingly leaving no aspect untouched upon. I found the individual stories to be feverishly interesting, leaving me reading long into the night to see what happened next. If I have any criticism, it would have to regard the short narrative interview style of the book. While the tales are indeed riveting, they are also very short, often causing this book to read more like a collection of short stories by a single author rather than a work unto itself. As well, as has been reiterated by other reviewers, I found every character to share the same voice. Max has a big one, and it rings through in every interview. This isn't necessarily a downfall, but a touch of variety could have made this an epic rather than just a damn good book. All in all, the mere downfalls of the narrative barely touch the incrediblle nature of this book, and I would highly reccomend it to anyone who loves the zombie genre. Don't we all?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just finished this book and i am speechless. I am im 6th grade but a very advanced reader. As a girl reading sci- novels from my school library i was surprised to see this book. I feel in love with this book it was fantasic. It panits a picure in your mind that is crisp and clear. This book took my breath away and the style of writting in a interview format was very unique.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has to be my favorite book of all time! This has to be Max Brook's best book. It even out does the zombie survival guide if that is possible. I reccomend this book to any zombie fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this book as good as the movie?
Dei3Nascar88 More than 1 year ago
I bit into the hype and it left a taste of dead zombie in my mouth. I'm a huge fan of the zombie series but not only could I not get into this book I couldn't care to see a movie about it less. I'm not one to ever quit on a book but there was no substance here for me. I made it to page 77 in one sitting and gave up. Page after page we are introduced to boring stories of characters who I thought were all going to come together in a way only to find out that they don't. Utterly disappointed in this purchase. High expectations and bland substance. Sorry that's just my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story and writing. Really makes you think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
World War Z:                           What if the world everyone knew suddenly turned into a Zombie Apocalypse? What would you do? How would you handle it? How much would everything and everybody change around you? Max Brooks has done it again, he has written an amazing fictional portrayal of a zombie apocalypse book, showing this time many peoples point of view and retelling their stories.  Brooks has a very vivid imagination, he has so many stories to tell, not one of them true but when the reader is reading it doesn't seem like it, he make you put down the book and tell yourself it’s not real. Brooks makes for a great storyteller. He can easily make anything up in each story making all of them full of plot twists and very clever. Brooks makes the reader want to read it all in one day. Brooks makes up phenomenal characters in the story, some actually seem realistic and he makes them unlike any other characters he describes. They are each unique and definitely have their own story. One character Brooks made up was a woman named Colonel Christina Eliopolis, she was in the air force and her story is like a real and seems like it would really happen if it wasn't for the Zombies following her around in an well-known area, she escapes with her life intact and she only knows that the woman that helped her never existed. Another character that stuck with me throughout the book is that of a girl named Jesika Hendricks, who went north with her family to get away from all the nonsense, and to be safe. Her family was close and happy, but after a little while of being with others in their same position they turn on each other, but when she grows up and is talking about her past she seems distant and cold, Brooks shows how well he can write by making it so believable. There are many characters in the book that all have special stories and unique responsibilities. The book is formatted so there isn’t an awful lot of dialogue but it is used when needed. It does have, however, a lot of descriptive writing, the way he wrote the book is fascinating and only something he could pull off. When I was reading parts of the book before having to stop I would get sucked in with all the imagery and descriptive language he uses so beautifully. I literally had a small movie playing in my head with what was happening in the interview.  Overall the book was five star worthy. It was enticing and extravagant; I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great book and anyone who has a love for a good zombie book.
AprilCee More than 1 year ago
This book is so thoughtful; it’s hard to believe it came out of the mind of one man! I recommend everyone, form horror mongers to thrillerphobs check out this book. (Or at least listen to it on audio/cd book format)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol I got this in paperback for Christmas, along with Max Brook's survival guide. Very good! For 14, a little hard to understand, but good! Can't wait for movie! Even though it will probably be 100% different by the look of the trailer xD ZOMBIES ARE MY LOVE <3 *Zombie Girl*
kickxrocksx More than 1 year ago
One of the Best Zombie Books This book is based on the zombie apocalypse, which, at first, sounds the many failed attempts to make a suspense novel on zombies, however, Max Brooks nailed it! This novel is so disturbingly realistic; it&rsquo;s hard to stop reading. There really is no main character in this book; it&rsquo;s more of a collection of interviews done with survivors of the zombie apocalypse and their views of what happened and what&rsquo;s awaiting them in the future. The first chapter of World War Z starts off great. There is no anticipating the suspense; it&rsquo;s already on the first page. Although, when you first begin reading it&rsquo;s a little hard to grasp what is going on but it&rsquo;ll be less confusing once you read a few more interviews you&rsquo;ll be just fine. The message to this is probably, &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t do anything ridiculous when a zombie apocalypse breaks out!&rdquo; Over all this was a awesome book, worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There were some parts that I found original for the whole zombie genre. However, after a while the stories began to sound repetitive and the numerous characters share a common voice. If you love zombies read it, if not, skip it.