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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.

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,501
  • 4 Stars
    2,119
  • 3 Stars
    858
  • 2 Stars
    228
  • 1 Stars
    152

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    4,128
  • 4 Stars
    1,192
  • 3 Stars
    393
  • 2 Stars
    100
  • 1 Stars
    67

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,364
  • 4 Stars
    1,564
  • 3 Stars
    663
  • 2 Stars
    190
  • 1 Stars
    111
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kathryn
  • Antelope, CA, United States
  • 03-17-12

Couldn't Finish It

What would have made World War Z better?

The story was so disjointed. I understand that the author was telling it from various viewpoints, but it went so slowly that I kept losing interest.

Has World War Z turned you off from other books in this genre?

This was my first book in this genre. I probably will not try another.

Which scene was your favorite?

I didn't even have a favorite scene. I just felt apathy for the whole thing.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to like this. The premise was good. The narrator was good. I liked the idea of the different narrators. It just didn't come together enough to hold my interest. Bummer.

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  • J
  • Laguna Niguel, CA, United States
  • 03-16-12

Just Generally Boring

What would have made World War Z better?

I get the interview concept of telling a story but where is the suspense, the build up, the climax? Story was just flat.

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  • Story
  • Kris
  • Helena, MT, United States
  • 03-15-12

Never Buy Abriged

Would you consider the audio edition of World War Z to be better than the print version?

No. The audio version has wonderful voices, but the book has a better story, and that's what I listen for. So much of the book was taken out I felt robbed.

What was most disappointing about Max Brooks’s story?

Allowing some hack to carve away his most powerful chapters.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

All the voice talent is superb.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The sequence where the pilot is shot down in the swamp and has to make it to safety. Also, that someone would destroy a wonderful book by essentially censoring it, that moved me.

Any additional comments?

Don't listen to it. Read it. NBA - Never Buy Abridged!

  • Overall
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  • Story
  • Bruce
  • Sacramento, CA, United States
  • 03-14-12

Nicely done!

This is my first audiobook and I really enjoyed it. I think the story is perfectly suited to the audio format, considering that the book is basically a series of interviews with different survivors of the zombie war. I recognized a number of well-known voices and I thought all of the performances were quite good. I would definitely recommend this.

  • Overall
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  • Gene
  • United States
  • 03-13-12

Exciting!!!

Would you listen to World War Z again? Why?

Due to my Loud job occupation I would listen to again, just to feel in the parts i've missed and to fully understand the book better.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There was few parts and characters that really grabbed me and as I said will have to listen to again.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Spoke very clear, had passion in what the situation called for.

If you could rename World War Z, what would you call it?

I would not.

Any additional comments?

Great audio book. Just wish it was longer. At first it is hard to grasp that we were almost annihilated. To pick up where the stories start and run with it. To me some were easier than others and can visually see myself in a couple circumstances. Great audio book and hope to listen to again soon.

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  • Joseph
  • Alliance, OH, United States
  • 03-05-12

The Performances Are Fairly Good

The performances are are good but some of the actors gave the impression it was their first time seeing the text (Alan Alda was the worst for this although it may just be he was the most recognizable voice for me). They did not seem to put a lot of effort into their readings. John Turturro's reading was probably one of the better ones.

The story didn't keep my attention. I realize it was abridged and the premise is based on interviews of survivors but I was hoping the people were going to be tied together in some way at the end. It had a fragmented feel for me. This may have been one those books better read. It did not make me anxious to see the coming movie adaptation.

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  • Richie
  • plains, pa, United States
  • 03-05-12

World War Zzzzzz

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Was mildly entertaining. I have not read the book but the audio version left me asking

Would you ever listen to anything by Max Brooks again?

Yes, I did enjoy how the story was presented by the author.

Could you see World War Z being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Can't see it.

  • Overall
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  • Ryan
  • United States
  • 02-29-12

Would be better unabridged.

I wasn't careful when I purchased this, and didn't realize that it was abridged. Performances were excellent, the book is pretty novel in concept, but I feel like it was missing something. Perhaps this was because it was abridged.

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  • a
  • Dahinda, IL, United States
  • 02-27-12

Reminded me of the old War of the Worlds

What made the experience of listening to World War Z the most enjoyable?

I loved the interview format.

What did you like best about this story?

Although it wasn't the best written piece of sci-fi, it was very thought provoking.

Have you listened to any of the narrators???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

If you could take any character from World War Z out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Probably one of the soldiers to hear the stories of taking the planet back.

Any additional comments?

Very cool, very fun story. I enjoyed it very much. I wish it was unabridged. Can't wait for the movie.

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  • velvet
  • West Jordan, UT, United States
  • 02-22-12

The book was great can't wait to see the movie now

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, the narrators were excellent. I couldn't even recognize some of the more famous voices.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I didn't really have a favorite. Each one was excellent in their own way.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Again, I didn't really have a favorite. The narrators did an excellent job.