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World War Z (Mass Market Movie Tie-In Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z (Mass Market Movie Tie-In Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War

4.2 12
by Max Brooks

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Now a major motion picture

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty


Now a major motion picture

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

Eyewitness reports from the first truly global war

“I found ‘Patient Zero’ behind the locked door of an abandoned apartment across town. . . . 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. . . . 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 . . . cold and gray . . . I could find neither his heartbeat nor his pulse.” —Dr. Kwang Jingshu, Greater Chongqing, United Federation of China

“‘Shock and Awe’? Perfect name. . . . But what if the enemy can’t be shocked and awed? Not just won’t, but biologically can’t! That’s what happened that day outside New York City, that’s the failure that almost lost us the whole damn war. The fact that we couldn’t shock and awe Zack boomeranged right back in our faces and actually allowed Zack to shock and awe us! They’re not afraid! No matter what we do, no matter how many we kill, they will never, ever be afraid!” —Todd Wainio, former U.S. Army infantryman and veteran of the Battle of Yonkers

“Two hundred million zombies. Who can even visualize that type of number, let alone combat it? . . . For the first time in history, we faced an enemy that was actively waging total war. They had no limits of endurance. They would never negotiate, never surrender. They would fight until the very end because, unlike us, every single one of them, every second of every day, was devoted to consuming all life on Earth.” —General Travis D’Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

Editorial Reviews

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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

Product Details

Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

MAX BROOKS' previous book, The Zombie Survival Guide, formed the core of the world’s civilian survival manuals during the Zombie War. Mr. Brooks subsequently spent years traveling to every part of the globe in order to conduct the face-to-face interviews that have been incorporated into this present publication.

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World War Z (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
SeriesJunky More than 1 year ago
With the movie coming up I figured I'd see what the book was all about first. Let me tell you it's a short book, but wow a great read and almost a spot on recount of how the world would truly react in the event of some kind of pandemic. Uniquely written in the form of an interview process. There is no main character, only interviews with people across the world and their account on what happened to them. Very Very Interesting and a MUST READ!! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book “World War Z” by Max Brooks for my ELA 9 assignment. There is no exact setting or main character because the book is written through interviews of people aroung the world who survived the zombie apocalypse and they explained what happened or how it happened. The main conflict is how the world survived a disease that wiped out a lot of the world’s population and those who were infected ate other people infecting them. The infection continued to annihilate the remainder of the population. This book shows the people who survived it whether they were scientist or a person stranded in an area overrun by zombies. This is what the main plot of the story is. I liked this book because it was really interesting the way it was written through other people’s eyes. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes any kind of zombie book or post disaster scenarios. The book was a little confusing at the star because of the way it was written, but got easier to read in the end. One thing I don’t like was that the book was so short. Yes I would recommend this book to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good read, especially if you enjoy reading or watching zombie related things. The way the author chose to have many different characters instead of just main character really helped to make this book more interesting. And the way the author did this was by having interviews with different characters throughout the story. For me it was kinda confusing the start but once I started to  understand when these transitions happened I realized what a great organizing  tool it was for this kinda book.  And the way the author shows how the zombies affected different  countries depending on the country and how it might react to this kind of apocalypse. Also the ending  (without spoiling anything) was very well done and quite a realistic outcome if something like this ever  happened in today's world. If you have already seen the movie and wanna read the book its ok! I feel  the book and the movie were quite two different stories. And if I had to give my opinion I would definitely say that i enjoyed the book more than the movie. I would say this is a must read even if you don't like zombie  related books you should try and give this one a shot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For a side reading assignment for my honors ELA9 class I read World War Z by Max Brooks. There is no real setting or main character as the entire book is played out as interviews from people all around the world on how they fought/survived the zombie apocalypse. The main story of the book is how humanity itself survived this disease that wiped out millions in a matter of days then continued to eat the remainder of the human population. I really enjoyed reading this book because there are really no others like it, I would recommend anyone to read this if they like survival scenarios and at the same time a science aspect to how it all happened. The relevance of this book is somewhat realistic because we have yet to find a disease that brings the world together to fight it, now I’m not saying that the walking dead will show up at our door but it could be any kind of pandemic that would bring the world leaders together in fear of it. There is lots of suspense all throughout the book, it would sometimes make me look behind me to make sure nothing was creeping up one me. It really had you on the edge of your seat throughout all of the interviews, whether the person was discovering how the disease worked or was abandoned all alone in a highly infested area. There is really no specific point of view due to the different accounts from survivors. I would say that the book is a pretty simple read, but that doesn't mean it is boring. Max Brooks really is the best at these kind of stories, his imagination is put through all of his books and that is what makes it such an interesting read. The language is relatively easy although there are some science words that had me reading them a few times and some paragraphs that you had to reread to really understand. The imagery of the book is truely amazing with the in depth descriptions of the places around the people and the close encounters with the undead. Over all I thought this book was awesome, I really enjoyed it and I will read it over and over again. Ryan C. (Mrs.Cleland) 1st hour--- (Sign up required for pen name)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
           I read this book as an outside reading assignment for my Honors English class. I would recommend this book because as the reader I loved how the book was broken into separate short stories about the war. The story was told with short narratives from different  interviewees, which served to be very engaging. The novel took an interesting approach  on the zombie apocalypse. The content was well written and it was evident that it had  been well researched. World War Z gave an accurate portrayal of humans of all  nations coming together under extraordinary circumstances. For example, the American  government responded by declaring Martial Law in most cities across the country. To the  modern audience, the idea of zombies carried undercurrents of AIDS, biological warfare, and  terrorism. Brooks is one of the first to recognize and tap into this in an intelligent manner. He  catered the novel towards the audience which I appreciated. I felt as though I was a part of  the story-line as it progressed, and this was highly entertaining. However, I feel that it could  have been made longer because the story ended rather quickly. Ironically, the author shared  the same thought as he mentioned this himself in the introduction. All in all, readers will not  put this book down once they start reading it. World War Z is a worthwhile read and one of the  best novels I have read. -    Aadil Ali (From Mrs. Eastman Class)+(Pen Name doesn't work)  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
World War Z an Oral History Of The Zombie war was a great book. This action filled horror will keep you on the edge of your seat, and keep you guessing on what's to come next. I would definitely not recommend for a younger audience, do to the of the great deal of gore and death. The visualization in this book was excellent you could almost picture the dark gloomy hospitals where the infected were held during the outbreak. Although World war Z is slow at times, it definitely makes up for with all the action and horror. If you read and enjoyed this book i would definitely prefer reading Dan Brown's Angels And Demons. It also was a great action packed thriller. Again i would recommend this book to any older audience looking for a classic horror novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a fun book to read. Very entertaining. can't wait to see the movie. I don't like this kind of fiction but its an awesome book. Highly recommended.
ReadingByCandleLight More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Not being a fan of horror and eschewing anything related to zombies, I shocked myself when I not only bought World War Z, but read it. I don't read these types of books for a reason--my mind likes to replay scenes over and over while I sleep, giving me nightmares. I Am Legend gave me nightmares for a week and I had to walk out of Warm Bodies. I can hear you laughing from here.... Surprisingly enough, I loved this book, and as long as I didn't read it before bedtime and "cleansed my brain-palate" with another book, I didn't have too many zombie dreams. World War Z is a well-executed and thought-out book, which appealed to my scientific side that craves exploring every scenario and leaving no stone unturned. Presented in interview format, it tells the story of the Zombie apocalypse through firsthand accounts of those who fought and/or survived the war. I particularly enjoyed how Brooks gave us a realistic view of what would happen to the world if the walking dead were a reality and how the living would react upon first hearing the news. How many of us would actually believe that zombies were real? How many governments would take the threat seriously if someone tried to raise the alarm? And how many mistakes and lives would be lost before we started to get something right? It is a chilling tale. And while it does highlight mankind's dependence on technology and the belief that our government will bail us out, these are the issues that cripple mankind in the fight against the zombies. Eventually the living figure out a better way to fight, but not before we are brought to the brink of near extinction and the loss of most of the civilized world. What is left is a planet that is a mere shadow of what it once was and yet not all the changes are negative. I particularly enjoyed the socio-economic shift of the United States. The prize jobs went to the blue-collar worker with the skills to rebuild a country while the white-collar worker with little skill outside the boardroom became the janitors and labor crews in the war against the zombies. It's almost enough for me to hone the skills I learned growing up on a farm.... Maybe I'll take up welding as a hobby. For the record I refuse to go see the movie. My husband and son saw it, and I know the movie and the book aren't very similar. But either way, I cannot do zombie movies (unless it's Shawn of the Dead, which I found hilarious and not the least bit scary). Do I plan to carve out room on my bookshelf for more horror books? Probably not. But I might be willing to give I Am Legend a try. It's been on my Kindle for a year. Haha!