Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


World War Z (2006)

by Max Brooks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,017655334 (4)3 / 672
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.
Recently added byJayneWarren, Arina42, private library, aspiereads, ajack40, bettie
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
  1. 202
    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. 152
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (divinenanny)
  3. 131
    The Walking Dead, Volume 01: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An awesome look at the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse in the longer term.
  4. 153
    The Stand {1978} by Stephen King (timspalding)
  5. 91
    Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (timspalding)
    timspalding: Very similar style.
  6. 70
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (infjsarah)
    infjsarah: Older sci-fi but still very effective. Survival against mindless, ever increasing enemy.
  7. 60
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (timspalding)
  8. 61
    Y: The Last Man Vol. 01: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan (MyriadBooks)
  9. 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
  10. 62
    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. 41
    Zone One by Colson Whitehead (ahstrick)
  12. 30
    Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead by Jonathan Maberry (ShelfMonkey)
  13. 64
    And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts (timspalding)
    timspalding: Some may take offense at the suggestion, but I think don't think World War Z could have been written without And the Band Played On, an oral history of the all-too-real AIDS epidemic. Shilts' is by far the better book, even if it weren't true and important.… (more)
  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 (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.
  17. 20
    Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S. G. Browne (FFortuna)
  18. 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.
  19. 10
    Day by Day Armageddon by J. L. Bourne (rcollett)
    rcollett: Great Books!
  20. 21
    Zombies of Byzantium by Sean Munger (meggyweg)

(see all 33 recommendations)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (637)  French (7)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (2)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (653)
Showing 1-5 of 637 (next | show all)
I'm not usually a fan of "full cast recordings." i find it easier to keep up with voices from one narrator than a collective. But, in this case, it works.

This is more a collection of vignettes and short stories than a signal narrative. If you'r elooking for a novelization of the movie, you are out of luck. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
3.5/5 stars.
I imagine a lot of people are going to be reading zombie books during this COVID-19 crisis. Just like the Contagion film has seen a spike in popularity, so too, I feel, will many zombie stories. I can't blame people for turning to fiction during this time of crisis; it can be cathartic to view a disaster movie in a time of disaster. But that's not why I finally picked up World War Z. World War Z is one of those books I've been meaning to read for years. It's frequently touted as one of the best zombie novels. I read an early screenplay for the film - back when it still tried to adhere to the book's structure - and loved that, but I just never got around to reading the book. And then I heard that the novel's author, Max Brooks, was publishing a new novel this year - Devolution - and I thought now was the time to finally give World War Z a read. At the end of the day, I totally see why World War Z is as beloved as it is. It's a really unique take on the zombie genre, combining it with a traditional oral history of a real-world war is a stroke of genius. But I don't know that I loved this book. It's good, but the hype might have killed it for me.

There's a lot about World War Z to love. It's filled to the brim with authenticity. The world-building feels authentic. Each of the interviews feels authentic. Even the structure of the novel feels authentic. Everything feels authentic to what an oral history should be. And all of it is very well-written. It's surprising and engaging. Sometimes it's emotional and scary. It adheres to the structure of an oral history very well, bouncing around from person to person in a mostly logical fashion (though, more on that shortly). Brooks ensures that all of the characters feel as though they've gone through this conflict; every time someone is interviewed, it's apparent that they've suffered something and that feels really authentic to this kind of story. The novel's themes are also explored remarkably well and it frequently emphasizes the idea that humanity has to come together in order to overcome an obstacle as severe as a zombie plague - instead of falling into the trap that captures most zombie media: the over-importance of the individual over the group. There's a lot to like about World War Z and it definitely ranks among the better zombie novels.

Then why didn't I adore this novel? Well, there are a few reasons. The first: oral histories are not known for being the most exciting reads. While I think it's a good thing that World War Z adhered to the structure of an oral history book as closely as it did, doing so does make the book a bit less exciting than it otherwise might've been. All but the best-crafted oral histories are pretty much devoid of tension because you already know these people made it through the event. And without that tension, it does often read as more of a dry history book than a compelling work of fiction. Which, to be fair, might have been what Brooks was going for. But it definitely isn't the most exciting read. The first part of the novel takes forever to get going as several people are interviewed at the very beginning of the outbreak, but they don't really have any interesting or useful insight to shed on it and it just reads as a pretty generic opener to a zombie plague. Which is fine, but it's not the easiest to get through. That said, once the second part of the book kicks in, it does pick up some.

Additionally, while I think the book is mostly structured well, it can be hard to follow why a certain person is being interviewed at the time they're being interviewed. The book mostly organizes the interviews based on what part of the conflict the bulk of that interview represents, but there's a lot of overlap in those time periods and many of the interviews don't quite seem to flow together. It just often feels a bit jumbled together. And, like I said, they may be kind of accurate to real oral histories, but it doesn't always make for the most compelling read. Once you get used to Brooks's style, it does become easier to jive with the book's structure, but it can take a while to get used to that structure and the book almost completely lost me several times during that period before I finally started vibing with it. Once I did, though, I started enjoying it a lot more, even with these structural flaws.

The second and most problematic reason is that the characters lack any discerning voice. While all of the characters certainly feel as though they've lived through this zombie war, all of them are written in a very similar voice. The novel is a true globe-trotter, bouncing back and forth between a vast array of countries. But all of the characters sound the same. Nearly all of them use similar vocabulary and similar grammar. I understand that you might not want to imitate certain dialects for fear of inadvertently writing a stereotype instead of a real character, but I think it does just as much of a disservice by writing everyone in the same voice. I couldn't tell you which plot point was said by which character because all of the characters read exactly the same as each other and that's a major problem when trying to write an oral history that is remotely interesting to read. When none of the characters sound distinct from one another, it's a lot harder to care about any of them as they all coalesce into a gelatinous "interviewee."

Now, the audiobook largely fixes this problem by simply casting actors from the regions each of their characters are supposed to be representing, but that doesn't excuse the writing. Just because a good actor can make subpar writing sound good doesn't mean the subpar writing shouldn't be pointed out. I didn't read this book alongside the audiobook - I merely occasionally played an interview alongside the book - so the experience I had was that every interview had a sameness to it and it made for a monotonous read at times. It's clear that Brooks did a lot of research, but it might have benefited him to really study how different people talk. There's a way to write dialects and true-to-life dialogue from different cultures without veering into the realm of stereotype, but it doesn't feel like an effort was even made here and that's a disappointment and a definite detractor from the overall reading experience.

All of that said, I did still enjoy World War Z quite a bit. The positives greatly outweighed the negatives but those negatives did turn what should've been a home run for me into something that was merely enjoyable. I understand why World War Z has gotten so much love over the years, though. When the book works, it really works. And, at the time, there was nothing like this. I have a big soft spot for fiction that imitates nonfiction. I love dramatic fake-documentaries that cover a sci-fi/fantasy topic as seriously as a real documentary would cover its topic. World War Z is exactly that kind of novel. There's no tongue-in-cheek aspect to this novel. It's an oral history about a zombie plague that's executed in a way that's every bit as serious as an oral history about World War II might be executed. And, for that reason, it's a really enjoyable read. But its lack of character distinction and occasional odd structural choice don't always make for the easiest or most exciting read. And, in that respect, it's a bit disappointing. I'm glad I finally read the book and I did enjoy it, but I don't think it's one I'll be returning to. ( )
  thoroughlyme | Apr 23, 2021 |
Yeah, I've got this in paperback, hardcover, and as an audiobook. So? ( )
  jlweiss | Apr 23, 2021 |
2/20/12 - Reread/listened concurrently. Made me realize some small parts they had cut from the stories they did include, which seemed odd. Still love it.

Great reading of the book. Although I hate the fact it's abridged, I have to admit they did a good job with it. ( )
  jlweiss | Apr 23, 2021 |
Zombies ate my neighbors. I've hated them ever since. A lot of zombies die (for good this time) in this here book. That makes it good. ( )
  illmunkeys | Apr 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 637 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Max Brooksprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alda, AlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elias, MariaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimÜbersetzersecondary 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

Has the adaptation

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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 officially 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)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4)
0.5 4
1 64
1.5 11
2 214
2.5 43
3 709
3.5 191
4 1600
4.5 201
5 1411

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 158,018,703 books! | Top bar: Always visible