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World War Z by Max Brooks
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World War Z (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Max Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,582456355 (4.05)3 / 537
Member:AHS-Wolfy
Title:World War Z
Authors:Max Brooks
Info:Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (2007), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:Sci-Fi, Horror, TBR

Work details

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (2006)

  1. 192
    Feed by Mira Grant (Aerrin99, andreablythe, HenriMoreaux)
    Aerrin99: An awesome look at the world post-zombie-apocalypse with history, politics, and fantastic world building.
  2. 141
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (divinenanny)
  3. 141
    The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An awesome look at the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse in the longer term.
  4. 152
    The Stand by Stephen King (timspalding)
  5. 111
    Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (timspalding)
    timspalding: Very similar style.
  6. 82
    Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry (stmartins)
    stmartins: Also a killer Zombie thriller and an awesome first book in the "Joe Ledger" series. Teaser and free prequal story avaiable at stmartins.com/JonathanMaberry
  7. 60
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (timspalding)
  8. 50
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (infjsarah)
    infjsarah: Older sci-fi but still very effective. Survival against mindless, ever increasing enemy.
  9. 41
    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan (MyriadBooks)
  10. 41
    Zone One by Colson Whitehead (ahstrick)
  11. 52
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (storyjunkie)
    storyjunkie: Both are tales of how to survive a world gone mad, though there are no zombies in Butler's. Both works' treatment of the human questions are equally nuanced, variable, and detailed.
  12. 30
    Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead by Jonathan Maberry (ShelfMonkey)
  13. 30
    Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S. G. Browne (FFortuna)
  14. 20
    The Three by Sarah Lotz (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Speculative fiction, same piecey storytelling style.
  15. 20
    The Rising by Brian Keene (yoyogod)
    yoyogod: The Rising is probably my favorite zombie novel.
  16. 31
    Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist (elvisettey)
    elvisettey: A completely different take on zombies: here, they're not "out to get you," just beings who may or may not have souls, and Lindqvist treats all those related questions.
  17. 20
    Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro (jorvaor)
    jorvaor: Similar zombie apocalypse from a single protagonist point of view.
  18. 21
    Zombies of Byzantium by Sean Munger (meggyweg)
  19. 32
    Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry (Scottneumann)
  20. 10
    Fallout by Todd Strasser (meggyweg)

(see all 34 recommendations)

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English (442)  French (5)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (2)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (455)
Showing 1-5 of 442 (next | show all)
This book is one of the most fun and innovative zombie outbreak/war stories that you'll read! In that same way that The Walking Dead fulfilled the desire for a never ending zombie story with boundless (horrifying) horizons, this fulfills that long-unsatisfied desire, a need even, for a real beginning-to-end how-it-happened zombie story. The documentary style is genius, and it makes for a legitimately thrilling and entertaining audiobook as well! As a sort of follow up to The Zombie Survival Guide this book is streets ahead of its predecessor, and the ZSG was outstandingly good in it's own unique way. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to almost any reader. Even a history buff who's never touched a horror book in their life could get into this, given the right set up. If I made any sort of negative remarks I would just be nitpicking, so I won't. I love this book. ( )
  Booktacular | Aug 17, 2014 |
The movie version totally trashed a great novel
  avidreader85 | Aug 12, 2014 |
Interesting modern social and political commentary barely-disguised as a zombie book. Or maybe its not a disguise but a thinly veiled vehicle? Not at all veiled?? In any event, its an interesting story with a fantastic cast of readers, the highlight of which is Mark Hamill's rendition of Todd Wainio...seriously, wow, it's worth it just to listen to his part. Enjoy! ( )
  eenerd | Jul 30, 2014 |
Incredible! This is a collection of recollections from survivors of the "Zombie War." There is really little in the way of graphic zombie attacks because this is all human perspective. And it's done very well. Very engaging and, I believe, very real (if there was ever a World Wide Zombie War). ( )
  RottenArsenal | Jul 28, 2014 |
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Or similar.

I really liked this one. I stayed away for a long time, thinking it was just another "braaaaaaains" horror show. But it ended up not really being about the zombies at all--it's about how humans (individuals, groups, families, governments) behave when they're trying to survive. Think The Road, not Night of the Living Dead.

The book is told as a series of Q+A interviews between a narrator and a sampling of survivors from all walks of life around the world. This has pluses and minuses--we get personal and global perspectives (for once!), but we don't get the typical connection with a protagonist and supporting characters. I do think that Brooks did a good job of getting across a story arc despite the lack of a "main character" other than himself as narrator.

It's hard to judge the pacing because I read it as an ebook--I have trouble with them anyway. The ebook format also made it difficult to pop in and out of the supporting "footnotes" as I went along.

The only substantive negative comment I have is that I would have preferred a bit more buildup before the outbreaks got going...for example, how did the infection get outside of China, or at least the initial villages? Maybe he could have had an airline rep be one of the interviews? But really, this is just nitpicky.

It's funny--the movie isn't really about the zombies, either; it's about Brad Pitt, Action Hero. But the book is so much better, well, fleshed out. (moan) ( )
  Pat_F. | Jul 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 442 (next | show all)
And while all the action and drama is top notch, it would just be a mechanical exercise if it weren’t for the sociological commentary inserted. It may be out in the open but Brooks does not beat you over the head with it. I love how he shows how both the general public and governments deal with zombie crisis, mainly with denial. If you want, zombies are simply a symbol for the entire real world such as climate change or a dwindling supply.
added by paradoxosalpha | editDaily Kos, billssha (Jul 4, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Max Brooksprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elias, MariaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keränen, HelmiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petersen, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ramírez Tello, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reiner, CarlNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reiner, RobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tran, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Henry Michael Brooks,
who makes me want to change the world.
Bana dünyayı değiştirme isteği veren
Henry Michael Brooks için...
First words
It goes by many names: "The Crisis," "The Dark Years," "The Walking Plague," as well as newer and more "hip" titles such as "World War Z" or "Z War One."
(Introduction)
Greater Chongqing, the United Federation of China
The first outbreak I saw was in a remote village that offically had no name.
Quotations
'Fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe' Turn on the TV what are you seeing? People selling you products? No. People selling you the fear of you having to live without their products' Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, fear of poverty, fear of failure. Fear is the most basic emotion we have. Fear is primal. Fear sells. pg 55 (edit)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307346617, Paperback)

“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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