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World War Z (2006)

by Max Brooks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,956676333 (3.99)3 / 682
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.
  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 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 34 recommendations)

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English (661)  French (7)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (2)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (677)
Showing 1-5 of 661 (next | show all)
A very clever companion to the Zombie Survival Guide. I just wish this didn't read like a High School creative writing project. Maybe the author should take some college level writing classes! ( )
  Carmentalie | Jun 4, 2022 |
Interesting style: story told through interviews of the people who participated, fought, endured, etc. ( )
  MarkLacy | May 29, 2022 |
The full cast recording salvaged what would have been an otherwise mundane book. ( )
  dustinmroberts | May 3, 2022 |
This wasn’t what I expected. Maybe the subtitle should have clued me in, but I was expecting something a little more along the lines of The Handmaid’s Tale. Not in subject matter of course, but in the sense that The Handmaid’s Tale is written in such a way as to make it sound like the main character is recounting her story orally. I figured World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War would be told in a similar style, by one character, or maybe a handful of characters, “talking” about what happened.

Instead, this book is a collection of interviews that the author conducted with a huge number of people after the zombie war was over. Um, I mean that in a fictional sense of course. We “hear” from each person for a few pages, learn about what they saw or did or learned during some aspect of the war, and then we move on to a new person. I like to go into books blind, and mostly I think that enhances my reading experiences, but occasionally it doesn’t serve me well and this was one of those cases. It’s been a while since I’ve managed to get really engrossed in a book, and I was hoping this might be one I could really sink my teeth into. In a non-zombie-like way. If I’d known about (or remembered, since I know I’ve read other people’s reviews for it over the years) the style of the book, I probably would have saved it for another time.

It was moderately interesting, and it does tell a pretty coherent story. The interviews are grouped in chronological order, so the early interviews show us the beginning of things and the final interviews show us more of the aftermath after things started to calm down. There are usually only a few short comments or questions from the author, so it’s mostly the interviewees who are doing the talking. Some of their stories were pretty interesting, and sometimes I got caught up in them, especially the longer passages in which the person was telling about things that had happened to them personally as opposed to just talking in general about the impact of events and what people were thinking and deciding.

The problem was, there was no suspense whatsoever. The very nature of the book implied from the beginning that things would be more-or-less handled by the end, and of course you knew each person telling their story would survive because they were still there at the end to be interviewed. I also never felt any investment in the characters since we spent so little time with each one before moving on to new people.

One thing I did appreciate was that we saw what happened in many different parts the world. As I read, I was contrasting that to Stephen King’s The Stand which I read earlier this year. The Stand was originally published in the late 1970’s and dealt with a flu epidemic exclusively from the perspective of the US, with very little hint as to what if anything might have been happening elsewhere. It felt weird, reading that in the year 2022, especially after recent events, and feeling so confined to one country. This book, published in 2006, felt much more realistic in that regard. We not only learned what happened in a variety of countries, but most of the people were, as one would expect, aware of what was going on in other countries and often commented on it.

Overall though, this was another average read for me. Interesting, but not gripping. ( )
  YouKneeK | Apr 24, 2022 |
Now that I've read this book, I must have a lobo. ( )
  dcrampton | Apr 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 661 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brooks, MaxAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
Rollins, HenryNarratorsecondary 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 officially 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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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.

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