World War Z

World War Z

An Oral History of the Zombie War

Book - 2006
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Now a major motion picture

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
Publisher: New York : Crown, ©2006
ISBN: 9780770437404
Branch Call Number: BROOKS
Characteristics: 342 p. ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

The audio book is also spectacular.

Also available as a downloadable audiobook. We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firs... Read More »

From the critics

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Jul 08, 2020

Well, I tried...

The story required a few too many 'suspending disbelief' moments in it.

Apr 23, 2020

World War Z is a Zombie novel written by Max Brooks. It is regarded as one of the greatest zombie tales of all time and for good reason. The book is set from the view of interconnected interviews by several characters retelling their own stories of surviving the zombie apocalypse ravaging the world. The storytelling is unique due to the fact that there is no central protagonist. The story unfolds through the eyes of the witnesses. This method of storytelling works exceptionally well for a story like this one. The characters are also unique and each have their own personalities and goals. One character is an everyday guy who turns into a full fledged survivor. All the way to a high ranking military man. The novel is very gritty and realistic and isn't afraid to show a mature and engaging storyline to the reader. I greatly enjoyed this book as the chapters aren't very long and the pace never falls. I would give this a full five stars.
@Moebooks of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Aug 26, 2019

IT was better than the movie in some ways. The interview style that book has is fun, and lets a story betold as remembered. It does however, get boring, and not really having the action described as it happens. Better than the movie, but that doesn't say much.


Truly, the books are better than the movie. World War Z is a phenomenal narrative that contains several “interviews” following the aftermath of the Zombie War, which the author gathers the perspectives of survivors and their survival stories in a zombie plagued Earth. The confusion of the infection of the plague in remote villages to the hospitals of major hospitals will pump you full of adrenaline and anticipation. Pakistan's and Israel’s conflict, astronauts watching the globe burn before them, people seeking survival to the sea, the military breaking outside New York, are just some of the stories written as if they had taken place. World War Z was a great read and definitely recommend. Rating 4/5
@Ezekiel_Hannegan of the Yorba Linda Public Library Book Bloggers

Mar 06, 2019

thank you all the comments are very helpfull. Thanks

Dec 27, 2018

I think this book is great. Most science fiction horror stuff focuses more on the zombie, technology, or the alien in this. WWZ doesn't do that it focuses more on the international factor of this. It sees what happens to countries and politics and what happened financially. This made the book very interesting and entertaining.

BookReviewer2015 Nov 06, 2018

Excellent audiobook and has an all star cast!

Looks at the Zombie War with a lens towards how it would realistically affect the world--in terms of politics, society, religion, and economics.

Oct 18, 2018

This quick read offers fans of zombie related fiction the story of a world-wide zombie epidemic told in the form of interviews with various survivors. It is actually quite interesting because it isn't from the perspective of one protagonist. It was fast paced, sometimes funny, definitely full of gross zombie details and overall a good "entry level" book for anyone looking to explore the literary world of zombies!

Jul 06, 2018

Not good, y'all. Really, really not good.
All the dialogue and characters seem as though they were written by a teenage boy, I constantly found myself laughing or rolling my eyes at things that were being said by the speakers and was never really able to get into the story because of how melodramatic it all was.
The voice actors were great but they weren't given great material to work with.

May 26, 2018

For some reason, the creators of this audiobook thought it necessary to skip parts of the book; sometimes whole sections, sometimes just paragraphs, seemingly indiscriminately. What it actually included was great, and I really liked the different readers, but I wanted to listen to the whole book, not just a sample.

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Jun 07, 2019

pink_chicken_224 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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WestCoastFilms Oct 25, 2013

WestCoastFilms thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 11, 2013

violet_cat_4942 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Feb 22, 2013

rayyan0705 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 31

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Add Notices
WestCoastFilms Oct 25, 2013

Coarse Language: Almost every swear word used at least once. But most are used several times.

WestCoastFilms Oct 25, 2013

Violence: Plenty of violence. It's a zombie horror event, you gotta expect it.

WestCoastFilms Oct 25, 2013

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Of course, people just escaping zombies, and multiple shootouts. There is quite a bit of intensity.

mariednguyen Sep 23, 2013

Other: Release date June 21, 2013 (USA)

Feb 22, 2013

Violence: there is alot of killing and war

Apr 03, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Apr 03, 2011

Violence: Gore, dead bodies, walking dead, cannabalisim,

librariann Jan 27, 2011

Violence: It's a book about dead people coming back to life and eating other people. I think it may be a TOUCH violent, don't you?

librariann Jan 27, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

librariann Jan 27, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


Add a Quote
Aug 01, 2015

"The book of war, the one we've been writing since one ape slapped another, was completely useless in this situation. We had to write a new one from scratch."

Jul 28, 2013

What about your parents?
What about them? We lived in the same apartment, but I never really conversed with them. I’m sure they thought I was studying. Even when school closed I told them I still had to prepare for exams. They never questioned it. My father and I rarely spoke. In the mornings my mother would leave a breakfast tray at my door, at night she would leave dinner. The first time she didn’t leave a tray, I thought nothing of it. I woke up that morning, as I always did; gratified myself, as I always did; logged on, as I always did. It was midday before I started to feel hungry. I hated those feelings, hunger or fatigue or, the worst, sexual desire. Those were physical distractions. They annoyed me.

username1998 Jun 14, 2012

scary and a really good book

Nov 20, 2011

It's fear, dude, just fear and you don't have to be Sun freakin Tzu to know that real fighting isn't about killing or even hurting the other guy, it's about scaring him enough to call it a day. Break their spirit, that's what every successful army goes for, from tribal face paint to the "blitzkrieg" to... what did we call the first round of Gulf War Two, "Shock and Awe"? Perfect name, "Shock and Awe"! But what if the enemy can't be shocked and awed? Not just won't, but biologically can't!


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