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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

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,691
  • 4 Stars
    2,162
  • 3 Stars
    873
  • 2 Stars
    229
  • 1 Stars
    163

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,323
  • 4 Stars
    1,218
  • 3 Stars
    397
  • 2 Stars
    101
  • 1 Stars
    73

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,527
  • 4 Stars
    1,612
  • 3 Stars
    675
  • 2 Stars
    194
  • 1 Stars
    116
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing but needs unabridged version

What did you love best about World War Z?

The Way it tells multiple stories in detail

Who was your favorite character and why?

The soldier from yonkers

Which scene was your favorite?

Both accounts from the soldier from yonkers

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

the soldier from yonkers

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good read but...

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

Was an interesting read but, it was really a collection of stories so there is no central character that you bond through or experience things through or go through an end of story climax. Some of the short stories were good and there were some interesting new ideas as well.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully Human

This is a must listen. The cast of performers is wonderful...I think I even heard Jurgen Prochnow in there as the Tank Commander. The story itself is well written and the humanity in them is both painful and touching at times. This is not standard Zombie fare.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • fitchburg, WI, United States
  • 04-22-12

Abridged-What a problem

If you could sum up World War Z in three words, what would they be?

I would like to say that the book is good, although the abridged version was a problem. There were parts of the book that were really well thought out and others where I felt something was missing-because it was.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon
  • Bend, OR, United States
  • 04-21-12

A Good Tale and Nothing More

If you could sum up World War Z in three words, what would they be?

entertaining, thoughtful, mockumentary

Any additional comments?

I read a few different reviews before picking this one up. All of the listeners, both good and bad, had great points to make. I only want to add -- if you don't care for the diary/mockumentary format -- this isn't the story for you. If you have enjoyed books like Dracula, then this book will also hold your attention. Max was able to give realistic voices to his characters. They were people witnessing their experience. The readers were very much their characters and set the tone for each of their pieces very well. The hyper tension in Mark Hamel's voice, the confidence and 'now let me tell YOU' voice of Rob Reiner, John Tuturo as the brash and proud Cuban. The voice actors made this story excellent.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • CogMom
  • Brookline, MA, United States
  • 04-20-12

Zombies not for me

Although I am not a zombie or other monster fan, the rave reviews here about this book and the star-studded cast of readers lured me in. Well, I was left cold - like a zombie - listening to this one. It seemed silly rather than engaging or funny. I listened through to the end because it is quite short and I know a movie version is in the works, so I figured I would at least know what people around the water cooler are talking about if I gave this a chance. Time wasted. I also do not like Max Brooks' own narration introducing each of the other characters' sections. His voice is annoying. I would say he should stick to writing and not narrating, but I am not planning on reading anything else of his if World War Z is typical.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best zombie book to date.

When someone tells me their favorite book I tend to buy and this book was one of those situations. I got in a conversation with a co worker about books and he loves zombie books and has read anything he could get his hands on about them. He told me World War Z was his favorite and I see why. I cant remember any other book I have read that uses this Literary technique, and loved this. I prefer character development and knowing the names of people and feeling a relationship with the characters. This book uses the approach of telling a bunch of short stories of the Zombie war from the perspective of the people that experienced it which worked out great and was excellently done.

A must read.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • Sept-Iles, Quebec, Canada
  • 04-18-12

Viewing hardships through many eyes

Any additional comments?

Overall this is a great read, too bad it is an abridged making it short but an enjoyable experience none the less. I really enjoyed when the War Veteran was telling his experience made it more enjoyable for the violence and gore crowd, which I am part of. If your looking for good zombie gore book, check out Dead meat, awesome narrator too.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not only for zombie fiction fans

What did you love best about World War Z?

Deeply human story-telling with a wide range of situations and characters, all centering around a commonly faced crisis.

What did you like best about this story?

The way Brooks shifts perspectives constantly, but somehow manages to kees a common thread througout the story.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

A wide cast featuring many dream-picks for different characters. As I had read the novel before listening to it, I had done some fantasy casting before-hand. I was pleased to see that some of my picks were among the chosen narrators.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Solid powerful emotions come through in the book.

Any additional comments?

I would very much like to see an unabriged edition, as some of my favourite chapters were missing from the audio version. All in all though, a great listen, even if you've read the print version.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • Lees Summit, MO, United States
  • 04-09-12

Very good - worth the listen

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

By far the number of voices played a great part of the story and the accents they brought to the mental images.

Any additional comments?

There were a couple of places that slowed down but for the most part it was a great story.