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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War | [Max Brooks]

World War Z: An Oral History of 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 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.
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Publisher's Summary

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 30 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 12-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.

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

©2006 Max Brooks; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2007 Audie Award, Multi-Voiced Performance
  • Audie Award Finalist, Audiobook of the Year, 2007

"Hard to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
"A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Horror fans won't be disappointed: like George Romero's Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (5410 )
5 star
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4.2 (3680 )
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4.5 (3669 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gabriel Ballwin, MO, USA 10-30-08
    Gabriel Ballwin, MO, USA 10-30-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    6
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    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    What a find!
    This is an excellent re-telling of a fictional zombie world war. Don't worry, most of the story consists of looking deep into the human condition and what would likely happen if a "Great Panic" hit this world. Zombies and Ghouls are just used for dressing the story up a bit.
    The chapters are fairly short, each telling a certain part of the war. The length is perfect for my morning commute, creating a great stoping point. While not a dramatic reading, the different voices are top notch.
    This has become one of my favorite books of the last several months.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Geneseo, NY, USA 09-17-08
    Nicholas Geneseo, NY, USA 09-17-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Unabridged"

    I loved this story! Like others have said, this would have been a 5 star production if it had been unabridged. I would unquestioningly recommend this.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caleb Mechanicsville, IA, USA 05-25-08
    Caleb Mechanicsville, IA, USA 05-25-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    11
    2
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    "CAnt wait for the movie"

    This is brilliant! Not only is the writing and the concept amazing they have managed to get some great voices to do the acting. This is not a zombie book like anything I have ever heard\seen\read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Bai 05-03-08
    Bill Bai 05-03-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    147
    6
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    Overall
    "This book will redefine zombies for you."

    It's as simple as the title says. Forget all of the movies and other stuff, this book covers the zombie outbreak from start to finish and does it so amazingly well that everything else pales in comparison.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Willits, CA, United States 12-17-07
    Chris Willits, CA, United States 12-17-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    141
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    44
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    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    I loved it. Great cast (more names then I could count Alan Alda and Mark Hammil amoung them), well written. Very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Alaska, US 11-07-07
    Cindy Alaska, US 11-07-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    425
    9
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    "Laugh Out Loud"

    When I describe the basic plot of this book to friends, co-workers or even my family, universally everyone will laugh and give me that "whatever" look. Zombies?! It's not too often a book totally unlike anything else I've read comes along AND intrigues, delights and holds my attention. This one did it. It's one of those books I've thought about days after I finished it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Calgary, AB, Canada 10-22-07
    Shawn Calgary, AB, Canada 10-22-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Overall
    "WWZ"

    It's ironic that Max Brooks' tells of his intent to allow the (fictional) personal tales from the survivors of WWZ passionately and at length in his foreword. This particular abridgment cuts many of the deeply personal stories from the print version. Now I realize that all the stories can't have a place in this production, but it was disappointing that the majority of the stories are ones that give to 'macro' view of the conflict, rather than some of the really horrifying 'ground level' experiences.

    All in all, for the over production of the this adaptation, I was generally very satisfying. While not all performances by the cast don't 'sell' as real people telling their stories, it does give a good, if condensed summation of the print novel, which is probably the most enjoyable pieces of fiction I've read in years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray tustin, CA, USA 10-07-07
    Ray tustin, CA, USA 10-07-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Fiction with a twist of reality"

    This is for anyone who loves zombie/horror films as well as reality and how the world would actually deal with a World War against Zombies. At times, you actually feel like this is a true account of these war torn people which really gives it an authentic vibe. Great guest appearances by Henry Rollins and Alan Alda.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael murfreesboro, TN, USA 09-06-07
    Michael murfreesboro, TN, USA 09-06-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    I really enjoyed this book. Well written and comppletely fun fiction told like a non-fiction. The different voices such as Alan Alda and Rob Reiner reading for the different intervies was very cool. This is a book definately better heard than read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-12-07
    06-12-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    19
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "LOVED IT"

    I am a big fan of the Zombie genre, and this book is an A+.
    The story was very interesting and well thought out. The production, and actors did an amazing job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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