World War Z

World War Z

An Oral History of the Zombie War

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.
Soon to be 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, Su

Baker & Taylor
An account of the decade-long conflict between humankind and hordes of the predatory undead is told from the perspective of dozens of survivors who describe in their own words the epic human battle for survival.

Publisher: New York : Crown, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307888686
Branch Call Number: FIC BROOKS
Characteristics: 342 p. ;,25 cm


From the critics

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JCLDianeH May 09, 2017

While I enjoyed reading the book some years ago, I relished the audio version with its star-studded cast. Having a different voice for each character added a whole other delightful element to the story.

May 01, 2016

This fascinating novel reads more like a collection of loosely-related short stories. Most of the stories are interesting and quite a few are very cleverly written. On the surface, these are realistic, visceral stories about zombies. But reading between the lines, you'll discover some excellent insights about human nature and how the world as a whole chooses to deal with global crisis situations.

Feb 25, 2016

Finally a zombie story that isn’t shit! WWZ is a document of the first person accounts by survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Zombies take a backseat in this story and Brooks instead focuses on characterization and political satire.

Brooks didn’t skip on his homework. He researched technology, politics, economics, culture, and military tactics which is more than Congress can say. I absolutely loved this book if you haven’t noticed yet. The author has almost redefined what a zombie book is. The format is unconventional, it is character as opposed to plot driven, and has the drama of a Matthew Weiner script. The book has recently been adapted into a blockbuster hit (or Redbox for that matter…ha!) Okay I digress. What the movie doesn’t have is the political satire. What the book doesn’t have is Brad Pitt. Both mediums have their advantages and stand on their own feet but what is remarkable about the book is the fact that you easily forget you are reading a FICTION book. The first person narratives of the well rounded characters are that badass. Hands down, the best zombie book on the market at the moment.

Feb 19, 2016

I enjoy zombie stories as much as anyone, but I truly think this book is so much more than that. I feel Brooks uses the zombies as more of a means to talk about how humanity works; the unfortunate way we would allow politics to get in the way of working together to stop something big before it gets out of control.

This book was an easy read for me as well. Well-written, with interesting stories from all walks of humanity.

If you're expecting it to be like the movie, know that it is quite different (especially as the movie was merely based on the book, not meant to be an adaptation).

Feb 16, 2016

I love zombie stuff...shows, books. But I don't get the hype with this one. It was so disjointed, not really tying any of the stories together. I know it was meant to be written that way, but I just did not enjoy it.

Jan 15, 2016

World War Z is a fictional history written in the form of a series of interviews with numerous and diverse survivors of what was known as The Zombie War. The anonymous interviewer invites each subject to tell his or her story, with occasional further prompting via open-ended questions, giving the reader an impressive, relatively complete picture of how the catastrophe unfolded, evolved and eventually culminated in a precarious victory for the remaining living human population.
Although I was initially doubtful based on the number of words in gratuitous quotes contained within the introduction, that phenomenon was thankfully short-lived, and I was actually quite captivated by this book. It felt like a real, historical account, an impression aided by the interview format. The breadth and variety of interviewees was fascinating, and I wished many of their tales could have been lengthened. In addition, I was perpetually curious about who the interviewer was. Overall, a captivating, disturbing read containing some potentially good ideas to consider should we ever find ourselves in the midst of a real zombie plague.

Sep 02, 2015

The thing I love about this book (and also Mira Grant's Newsflesh world) is that it's about what happens to humanity after the zombie apocalypse. Rather than focusing on a plucky group of survivors, this is an oral tale from people all over the world telling their personal stories before during and after the rising. In doing so, it shows the change in culture, politics and humanity itself. As a result you have a surprisingly deep book that happens to have zombies.

Aug 20, 2015

I couldn't get into this book. I haven't watched the movie so I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I found the story strange. :(

Aug 01, 2015

As previous people mention, the book is completely separate from the film. The film is centered around Gerry Lane whereas the novel is an interview with several people discussing how the war "ended." It's much better than the film in almost every single respect except for the fact that zombies somehow survive under water. That was where Max gotta' a bit carried away.

Apr 03, 2015

I confess that I have yet to read this book, but I have spoken before with Max Brooks, and he's a great guy (also Mel Brooks' son - - the talent continues . . .).

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Add Notices

Feb 25, 2016

Coarse Language: Quite a bit of swearing,

Feb 25, 2016

Violence: Gory violence in parts, however, unlike most zombie novels this one goes more for the suspense.

WestCoastFilms Oct 25, 2013

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Of course, people just escaping zombies, and multiple shootouts. There is quite a bit of intensity.

WestCoastFilms Oct 25, 2013

Coarse Language: Almost every swear word used at least once. But most are used several times.

WestCoastFilms Oct 25, 2013

Violence: Plenty of violence. It's a zombie horror event, you gotta expect it.

Sep 23, 2013

Other: Release date June 21, 2013 (USA)

Feb 22, 2013

Violence: there is alot of killing and war

Apr 03, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Apr 03, 2011

Violence: Gore, dead bodies, walking dead, cannabalisim,

librariann Jan 27, 2011

Violence: It's a book about dead people coming back to life and eating other people. I think it may be a TOUCH violent, don't you?

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Add Age Suitability

Aug 19, 2016

L97 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Dec 24, 2015

Ep1c thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 01, 2015

jferrerosa2 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

black_hawk_403 Nov 02, 2014

black_hawk_403 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

WestCoastFilms Oct 25, 2013

WestCoastFilms thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 11, 2013

violet_cat_4942 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Feb 22, 2013

rayyan0705 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 31

Feb 16, 2013

Kumakmibru thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Violet_Bee_66 Nov 17, 2012

Violet_Bee_66 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

scifinerd Jan 16, 2012

scifinerd thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Quote

Aug 01, 2015

"The book of war, the one we've been writing since one ape slapped another, was completely useless in this situation. We had to write a new one from scratch."

Jul 28, 2013

What about your parents?
What about them? We lived in the same apartment, but I never really conversed with them. I’m sure they thought I was studying. Even when school closed I told them I still had to prepare for exams. They never questioned it. My father and I rarely spoke. In the mornings my mother would leave a breakfast tray at my door, at night she would leave dinner. The first time she didn’t leave a tray, I thought nothing of it. I woke up that morning, as I always did; gratified myself, as I always did; logged on, as I always did. It was midday before I started to feel hungry. I hated those feelings, hunger or fatigue or, the worst, sexual desire. Those were physical distractions. They annoyed me.

Jun 14, 2012

scary and a really good book

Nov 20, 2011

It's fear, dude, just fear and you don't have to be Sun freakin Tzu to know that real fighting isn't about killing or even hurting the other guy, it's about scaring him enough to call it a day. Break their spirit, that's what every successful army goes for, from tribal face paint to the "blitzkrieg" to... what did we call the first round of Gulf War Two, "Shock and Awe"? Perfect name, "Shock and Awe"! But what if the enemy can't be shocked and awed? Not just won't, but biologically can't!


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