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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 listeners say about World War Z

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,640
  • 4 Stars
    2,527
  • 3 Stars
    1,016
  • 2 Stars
    266
  • 1 Stars
    206
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,183
  • 4 Stars
    1,418
  • 3 Stars
    465
  • 2 Stars
    120
  • 1 Stars
    90
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,154
  • 4 Stars
    1,947
  • 3 Stars
    804
  • 2 Stars
    231
  • 1 Stars
    149

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

needs to be unabridged

i think it misses out on alot of crucial points because it is abridged... i think that they need to do an unabridged version of the book. i was really disappointed with the abridged version.

159 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant production, criminally abridged

World War Z is a fantastic book. Brilliant. Hugely entertaining, intelligently speculative, and with just enough of the Brooks flavor of horror and comedy, it's one of the best things I've read in a long time.
This is also a fantastic production. It couldn't help but be good with an all-star cast performing a book that was practically made to be an audiobook, consisting as it does of a series of interviews with various people from around the world. As a listen, it was a non-stop thrill.

So why rate it only three stars? Because it's abridged.

Setting aside my personal distaste for the very idea of abridging a book, chopping up World War Z is practically criminal; excising entire important storylines, like the fall of Russia and the rise of the Holy Russian Empire, reduces the plot from a global faux-history of the world changing, to a typically American comedy-horror zombie story where the good guys win and the world goes back to normal.

As well, had this book been left full length, there would have been substantially more of it to enjoy. As it is, I felt cheated, teased, deprived when it ended after less than seven hours.

So that's my take: it's a shame that it's only available abridged, because what little of it there is is fantastic. I recommend reading the book, and THEN listening to the audiobook, so that you get the full story as well as the excellent production. I also hope that sooner or later there might be an unabridged audiobook.

151 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great audio book, but...

This is a wonderful experience for an audio book, but it needs to be unabridged. I can't think of a reason to truncate this story. One other thing; I wish there was more detail in this book. The cast is great especially, Alan Alda's part. It's worth getting the book just to listen to that. I rate 4 stars. I reserve the 5th star for the unabridged version. Enjoy everyone.

74 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Ugh - feel robbed

Not that I didn't love the book. I really did. Unfortunately I didn't realize that it was abridged. I suppose that is my own fault, but if you are thinking of buying be sure you know that your only buying about half of the book.

Feeling robbed,
Holly

63 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Ruined By Politics

I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I was. This was very cool at first. Good performances, great concept, I was impressed. But my suspension of disbelief was shattered by the author's riduculous, unncessary political agenda. You find out in part 2 that, like everything else in the world, the zombies are Bush's fault.

To be more specific, the reason the United States wasn't able to handle the zombie outbreak is because the population was so "war weary" and felt so betrayed that they weren't willing to do what was necessary to fight off the undead.

In other words even though flesh-eating monsters were wandering the streets, when the government asked for volunteers people said, "No, sorry, I'm still too upset about Iraq."

This could have been a great story. But the author chose to deliberately cut his potential audience in half by trying to force his politics on us. Very sad.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

love it

I loved it! Best book I got to this year. I almost did not get this book to do to some comment about it having a political agenda. It talks about political stuff as all war stories do but to say it has an agenda it is misleading. I am just glad that I did not listen to that person and got the book. It is entertainment leave your real world at the door and enjoy the show. If you can't there is always the kid sections.

48 people found this helpful

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

left me wishing it was unabridged

Any additional comments?

there's a little of everything- the inception of the virus, a spy's report, family conflict, lone survival, panic, disastrous military planning, fleeing for your like, politics, and THE PLAN, which is chilling but totally believable.

the different characters and their stories weave together a highly enjoyable ride. i really liked how you see the zombie apocalypse from different perspectives from doctor to intel agent to a downed pilot to infantry to radical muslim to disgruntled celebrity bodyguard. each character's memory, story, and experience is unique.

i could definitely see governments around the world acting in the manners portrayed- survival of the species can make you do horrible, but understandable, things.

the production is amazing! the different voice actors bring a sense of realism to the story.

i thoroughly enjoyed world war z. it left me wanting more, to hear more accounts of survival. alas as soon as it began, it was over. it was a rather short audiobook. i didn't read the book, but i feel as though i must b/c as many others have said, the audio book has left out a lot.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Book, Amazing Audiobook

This is by far the best audio recreation of a novel I've ever heard. A star-studded cast, including known stars like Alan Alda, Mark Hamil and John Turturro (though you'll be hard pressed to hear where he comes in because his accent is so good!), along with some excellent "unknown" voice actors, create one of the finest audiobooks I've heard!

The nature of the "oral history" documentary of World War Z lends itself well to the audiobook format, and the acting is so real and believable that you can actually imagine you're hearing first-hand accounts in a real documentary.

As for the book itself, masterfully done. I expected gore, zombies and suspense, but was treated to something altogether different and more interesting. Though you will find some of the carnage and excitement you might expect with any zombie-related book, Max Brooks focuses more on the socioeconomic events that occurred as a result of the Zombie War. It is because he chooses to treat it more as a true-to-life documentary, wherein you hear many different stories from all different parts of the globe and walks of life, that the story is absolutely believable. You can share in the real tragedies and victories, despairs and hopes of an entire world population which must come to grips with a nightmare-come-true!

And in the end, World War Z has a very satisfying basic moral theme: when it comes down to it, humans are humans--no matter your race or skin color--and if you've got a heartbeat, you're one of us.

World War Z is a must-read (or -hear)!

20 people found this helpful

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

BEST ZOMBIE BOOK I EVER READ

APPARENTLY ALL THE STARS AND PLANETS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN BECAUSE I FORGOT TO LEAVE MY REVIEW FOR THIS BRILLIANT PRODUCTION OF THE BEST ZOMBIE BOOK I EVER HEARD.

THIS BOOK IS UNLIKE YOUR USUAL ZOMBIE BOOK CLONE, IT HAS ORIGINALITY CHARACTER AND LOGIC,AND IMHO THE SCENARIO PORTRAYED IN THIS BOOK IS THE CLOSEST TO WHAT COULD HAPPEN IN REALITY.

ABRIDGMENT OF THE BOOK IS THE ONE AND ONLY NEGATIVE PART I NOTICED

PS

THE MOVIE "WORLD WAR Z" WILL BE PREMIERED ON JUNE 21st 2013

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

GREAT Zombie story

I am a huge fan of Zombie movies. This was a great story! Almost perfect. This is what I have always looked for in a zombie story. I loved Brook's Zombie Survival guide as well.

The reading made it come alive. I couldn't believe some of the people involved. Henry Rollins, and Alan Alda were my favorites.

9 people found this helpful

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