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World War Z by Max Brooks
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World War Z (2006)

by Max Brooks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,596597335 (4)3 / 652
  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 1: 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. 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
  9. 51
    Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan (MyriadBooks)
  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: A Novel 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: A Novel 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)

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English (581)  French (7)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (2)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (597)
Showing 1-5 of 581 (next | show all)
As a zombie story, it was pretty good. The book is written as a series on vignettes told by those who survived the zombie war. The geographic diversity is excellent, thus we get a sense of how the epidemic was first denied then quickly gets out of control. I really appreciated the commentary on how different political regimes handled things differently (esp Cuba's story).

Where I found myself disappointed is that in 342 pages, Brooks manages to include few women's voices. As I explained to my 10yo daughter, most of the women had things happen to them. Only one, IMO, had much agency...maybe two if you count the woman at the end who has decided to have babies for new Russia. The fact that Brooks could not manage to make women part of the military (other than one) is disappointing considering how many dystopian novels take the opportunity to break gender stereotypes. Alas, Brooks is trapped by repeating current history's "all-dude" mentality and bringing it to the zombie war history books. There are no Sarah Conners or Katnisses in these pages. You are warned.
  roniweb | May 30, 2019 |
As the author himself admits, this is a mashup of Studs Terkel and George Romero. There is something fascinating about taking the horrific/ridiculous idea of a zombie plague and writing war stories. I liked that he finally tried to touch upon what such a holocaust would do to the environment, other animals, how different countries fought and survived - or didn't. It was a great T read, but I'm glad I didn't get the audio version for my bedtime listening.

Ended up listening to the audiobook (only in the morning) in 2016. Max Brooks sounds a lot like Wil Wheaton. Also - too many dudes. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
My first exposure to World War Z was watching the movie starring Brad Pitt. For better or worse, watching the movie shaped the way I viewed the novel. The adaptation of the book was so radically different from the novel version that it was a bit jarring. The format of the book, a series of interviews conducted by the narrator after the successful completion of the war against the zombies, although interesting, completely robs it of any real drama. It’s just a series of people recounting their own version of the events that happened. The movie was a linear story with a protagonist that followed a chronological order from the beginning of the zombie apocalypse to the point where the humans were winning the war.

I preferred the movie version. Dramatic and exciting beats interesting. It’s distinctly possible that I may have felt differently had I read the book before watching the movie. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book. The retelling of events through a variety of people who had different roles in the apocalypse and subsequent war was pretty cool. I also like the concept. Almost every zombie story these days has the human race falling to the zombie horde, and then telling the story of the people surviving on the edges. An organized military should absolutely be able to take out a zombie hoard. But for some reason, the military always fails so easily without a fight, yet the survivors destroy the zombies on a regular basis. It doesn’t make a bit of sense if you think about it logically, but that is the trend in zombie fiction. For that, I give the novel credit, but overall it was solid but unspectacular.

Carl Alves - author of The Invocation ( )
  Carl_Alves | Apr 7, 2019 |
I read 130 pages and had no interest in continuing. The book would have worked better for me if it told the story of the zombie war through the eyes of a few characters I could care about, interspersed with some vignettes to show what was happening in the rest of the world. An entire book about humanity in peril without a focal point is too abstract. A book about John Doe and his family in peril is a story. ( )
  quietman66 | Mar 6, 2019 |
An interesting journey through the typical zombie story line. So many zombie stories (mostly movies. There are not a lot of zombie books.) focus solely on the infection and survival aspects, but this book went beyond and took the reader right from the beginning to the end, illuminating a victorious humanity. Set up as a series of interviews, I found it easy to read. However, each voice sounded the same, so much so that I couldn't necessarily pick out when the author returned to one person's story as he wrapped up the novel.

I watched the movie after finishing the book. The movie is not worth the time in comparison, changing far too much that didn't need to be changed from the novel (WTF? Fast zombies? No! Almost as bad as vampires that sparkle.) but I did enjoy this book, even if it wasn't the greatest piece of literary fiction every written. ( )
  Wordbrarian | Mar 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 581 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Max Brooksprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
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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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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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.

» see all 14 descriptions

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