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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (original 2006; edition 2011)

by Max Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,026554285 (4.01)3 / 611
Member:Kasiabasia
Title:World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Authors:Max Brooks
Info:Three Rivers Press (2011), Ausgabe: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 432 Seiten
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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. 151
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (divinenanny)
  3. 152
    The Stand by Stephen King (timspalding)
  4. 131
    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.
  5. 91
    Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (timspalding)
    timspalding: Very similar style.
  6. 60
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (timspalding)
  7. 72
    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
  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
    Zone One by Colson Whitehead (ahstrick)
  10. 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.
  11. 30
    Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead by Jonathan Maberry (ShelfMonkey)
  12. 42
    Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan (MyriadBooks)
  13. 20
    The Rising by Brian Keene (yoyogod)
    yoyogod: The Rising is probably my favorite zombie novel.
  14. 31
    Handling The Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist (ijustgetbored)
    ijustgetbored: 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.
  15. 20
    Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S. G. Browne (FFortuna)
  16. 21
    The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love, and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs by Lisa Rogak (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Yes, it's a history nonfiction being recommended for association with World War Z, but readers who enjoyed Darnell Hackworth's interview will love the true stories in this book.
  17. 10
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  18. 21
    Zombies of Byzantium by Sean Munger (meggyweg)
  19. 10
    The Three by Sarah Lotz (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Speculative fiction, same piecey storytelling style.
  20. 10
    Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro (jorvaor)
    jorvaor: Similar zombie apocalypse from a single protagonist point of view.

(see all 33 recommendations)

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English (541)  French (6)  Spanish (3)  Danish (2)  Italian (2)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (555)
Showing 1-5 of 541 (next | show all)
The usual zombie apocalypse... with a twist. Brooks' book is about the fashionable story from a new point of view. The whole book is series of interviews with the soldiers, survivors, etc. of the great zombie war. The whole story, the happenings after the dreads came alive, outlines from their tales... ( )
  TheCrow2 | Sep 18, 2016 |
This book was terrifying on many levels. What I find to be the most terrifying aspect is the sheer amount of selfishness, greed, and short-sightedness that humanity exhibits that led to such a global catastrophe. Humans display this level of depravity every day, so it really is an accurate depiction of what could actually occur if the dead were to rise again. It is truly sad, and wasteful to consider, but I think most people coast along daily without thinking too much about how we take advantage of, or conversely, ignore one another on a daily basis.

What really made the ending for me though, is that humanity has finally come together on a global level to work together and rebuild. There's even a quote from one of the characters that is basically summed up as follows: "Because everyone in the world shared this experience, we can all relate to one another as humans, without cultural identities getting in the way." This is the power of fiction, if the storyteller is skilled enough, they bring people together through storytelling, instead of a giant tragic event occurring to unite individuals. ( )
  quickmind | Sep 11, 2016 |
I found the book to be much different than I imagined. I never saw the movie, but I watched the trailer, and expected it to be something like that-- one cohesive story. The book is actually all fictional interviews. It's an interesting take, but it's like reading an anthology--if you were hoping for one big story beforehand, you'll be disappointed (although, I like anthologies and all of the different kinds of stories in them). I don't know, I guess I just expected something more. ( )
  SarahStroud | Aug 24, 2016 |
The epistolary format really doesn't work for some people, but for me, it totally did.

I like the story, and I like that it's not focussed on the slasher gore aspect - there's only so many ways you can describe someone holed up in a house, fighting their way out with a machete, and after the first few it's tired, so I really enjoyed putting a different spin on it.

I like the sentiment, there's some astute observation about the nature of modern society and it's similarities and differences around the world. I particularly like the fact that the entire "World" war wasn't played out in Southern California, and that most of the survivors "interviewed" are clearly suffering from various kinds of PTSD and other fallout. Winning the war didn't save the day entirely, it damaged people.

I can see why a lot of people see this book as needlessly gimicky, and lacking characterization, but I found neither of those things to be true.

To each their own I guess... or you know, go tell it to the whales. ( )
  krazykiwi | Aug 22, 2016 |
A strange virus appears in China, after Fengdu Ghost City is destroyed in building the Three Gorges Dam. It spreads rapidly throughout the world carried by the nummerous immigrants and the black market organ trade. Those infected become aggressive zombies, passing on the virus through their bite. And then the whole world is as war.
The book's made up of a series of interviews with survivors of the war of different nationalities, achieving in this way a vast picture of a most devastating conflict.
The movie based on the book will be released this year, starring Brad Pitt. They would have to invent a main character, I guess, since the book doesn't have one.
The downside of the book for me was being too descripive in terms of weaponry / uniforms /military strategies, but after all, this is war book...

( )
  LauraM77 | Jun 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 541 (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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Dedication
For Henry Michael Brooks,
who makes me want to change the world.
Bana dünyayı değiştirme isteği veren
Henry Michael Brooks için...
First words
Introduction - 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."
Setting - Greater Chongqing, the United Federation of China
Chapter One - 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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:36 -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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