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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie…

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Max Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,268None375 (4.06)3 / 507
Title:World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Authors:Max Brooks
Info:Broadway (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 342 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction/Literature/Plays/Essays, Read (Personal Collection)
Tags:Zombies, Survival

Work details

World War Z by Max Brooks (2006)

2013 (30) alternate history (124) apocalypse (168) audiobook (34) dystopia (77) ebook (62) fantasy (107) fiction (785) history (28) horror (640) humor (70) interviews (33) Kindle (45) library (28) military (39) novel (71) oral history (83) own (38) post-apocalyptic (213) read (125) satire (30) science fiction (453) sf (55) speculative fiction (47) survival (80) to-read (162) unread (43) war (216) wishlist (26) zombies (1,150)
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  2. 150
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    Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (timspalding)
    timspalding: Very similar style.
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    Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry (stmartins)
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  7. 50
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (timspalding)
  8. 50
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    infjsarah: Older sci-fi but still very effective. Survival against mindless, ever increasing enemy.
  9. 52
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (storyjunkie)
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  10. 30
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  13. 31
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  14. 21
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    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.
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  16. 10
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  17. 10
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(see all 33 recommendations)


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English (426)  French (5)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (2)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (439)
Showing 1-5 of 426 (next | show all)
If you've read my review of Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick, you would know that my interest in zombie apocalyose fiction has been heightened thanks to The Walking Dead. Thanks to fantastic stories behind different fictional apocalypses, my reading interests in the genre have expanded. This inevitably led me to World War Z.

The 'history' of World War Z is told through a series of interviews and first-hand recounts of people who lived through ten years of zombie war, twelve years since VA Day. There are stories from throughout the world - nowhere was untouched by the devastation wrought by the living dead. I thought this was a unique way to present original fiction and slowly, before I knew it, I was reading it as if it was a nonfiction reflection of the war years - something that happened many years before and we should not forget.

The line between fact and fiction felt so blurred to me. It seems silly, I know. But the accounts given by those who lived through it were written with such conviction and of course, the human factor. All the mistakes and triumphs, the shock and grief, humanity bonding together against a common enemy, I'm not going to lie. I found it moving and heart warming, espcially when in those final chapters we are given a few small glimpses of hope.

This book however still falls short of a 4 star read because after a while I missed the familiarity of a developing storyline and the presence of characters to get attached to. I enjoyed the anecdotes and varying perspectives on the war but I think there's a lot of potential for Brooks to expand into a series of novels set during World War Z as I find it a fantastic premise. Also a bit disappointed in the back of Australian representation (the one character interviewed in Sydney was actually in space for the whole war so I feel like he missed out) but I should be used to that by now! ( )
  crashmyparty | Apr 9, 2014 |
One of the better recent zombie novels ( )
  bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
This might have been the fastest I have read any book. I could not put this one down. It races along with survivors telling their stories of the zombie apocalypse. It sounds simple enough, but the stories are riveting. A very exciting book. ( )
  juliettehendrikx | Mar 26, 2014 |
I liked this book quite a bit. I felt like it was a pretty accurate cultural portrayal of what might happen in the event of the zombie apocalypse. It was fresh (ha! Get it? Zombies? :>) as an apocalyptic novel for me because instead of being told during the apocalypse or hundreds of years afterwards - the story was told in a compilation of 'oral histories' ten years after the 'end' of the zombie war.

The fact that it was a global history was also really appealing.

Easy, light, fun read. I'm haven't seen it, but I'm sure the movie is awful. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
This was surprisingly an emotional story. I was expecting to laugh and get spooked what I was not expecting was to get a bit teary eyed. This is not your humorous zombie story. Its about surviving a war with the zombies, Zacks or Gs. It is scary and very realistic. I kept on imagining in my head, "What if this really happens?". I guess authorities wouldn't have any problems, they can use this book as guidelines. This book has got me panicked. I just want to stock up on goods and weapons. You never know. This book will get you paranoid, sad and prepared. Buy one. You might need it in the future! ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 426 (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)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Max Brooksprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ramírez Tello, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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."
Greater Chongqing, the United Federation of China
The first outbreak I saw was in a remote village that offically had no name.
'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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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)

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