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World War Z [Paperback]

Max Brooks
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (979 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Sep 2006
It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. The reports were fragmentary and confused. A world still reeling from bird flu and limited nuclear exchanges had had enough of apocalypse. Most people just wanted to rebuild their lives. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Maybe, Brooks argues, the zombies brought us back to life. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the ten-year fight-back against the horde, "World War Z" brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.

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World War Z + The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead + Recorded Attacks (Zombie Survival Guide)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd; First Edition edition (14 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715635964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715635964
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.4 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (979 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The bestselling author of The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z and the graphic novel The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, Max Brooks has also written for Saturday Night Live, for which he won an Emmy. He lives in New York City.

Product Description


I doubt that I will read a more disturbing book all year ... Brilliantly written, morbidly funny, completely convincing -- Simon Morden, ed. Vector (on The Zombie Survival Guide)

About the Author

Max Brooks is the author of 2003's prescient Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead. He has since received hundreds of awards and honorary degrees from around the world. Last year he received the joint Papal and U.N. citation, Pro Humanitate.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Jon Dee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
World War Z is a different kind of book. In fact it is unlike anything I have ever read. If you disliked the movie - then the book is especially for you - as it is nothing like the movie by the same name, except maybe some of the overall scenarios. This is Max Brooks' 2nd Zombie book, though I did not read the first, as it seemed more technical/Zombie fans genre oriented.

In contrast World War Z is a collection of interviews conducted & edited by the story teller, which started as a document for the UN (to better understand and appraise the zombie war), and ended as a book due to its fabulous human content. Each interview tells a personal story of the interviewee’s involvement in the Zombie war, some not even as combatant but mere bystanders.

At the end of the day, World War Z is an underlying critics of western society. Everything that went wrong during the Zombie War is something that has to do with the modern age laziness and self-oriented culture, and everything that signalled the turning point in the war (and thus mankind’s salvation) has been achieved through cooperation and 'togetherness'. it's freaky to think how fragile the western civilization is, but come to think of that, no detail in WWZ is un-plausible and no scenario is impossible.

This book will make you reflect a lot on western society, whilst some stories/interviews you'd wish would go on and on.
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198 of 226 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. P. J. A. Wicks VINE VOICE
I read Max Brook's previous book "The Zombie Survival Guide", and enjoyed most of it. I liked the realistic assessment of just how things might go down in the event of a zombie crisis, and it was the perfect book for know-it-alls like me who when watching a horror movie yell "aim for the head!!!" at the screen. It took de-zombification to the next level with very practical tips; shotguns and chainsaws might look cool in video games but once you're out of shells and out of gas you're screwed. Contrast that with a shaolin spade or a genine katana however... Anyway, where I felt that book was less interesting was the appendix in the back listing various zombie encounters throughout history. The problem is that all outbreaks follow a similar pattern; mysterious illness, reanimation, fear and ignorance causing more harm than the zombies, discovery of how to defeat them, then resolution (or total ahnhilation of the population involved). Right? Well that's not particularly interesting for isolated outbreaks in Papua New Guinea. But what if we had a big outbreak today; with cheap air travel and people smuggling and loose borders and human rights laws and the internet and thermonuclear stealth bombers... we'd be fine right?

Maybe not. Where Brooks excels is highlighting the worst elements of human society in its initial response to the outbreak. The Chinese try to cover it up, big pharma tries to make a buck out of it, the government release a safety video and then go about winning the next election, and if your kids get worried just bang them on Ritalin and Prozac. When the swarms finally attack mainland USA and western Europe, everyone is caught totally unprepared.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best zombie book EVER! 12 Oct 2014
Format:Audio CD
I went to superlative store and cleared them out in order to write this review.

This is superb.

Utterly brilliant. Enthralling, visceral, well written, well told, exciting, engaging and containing such scintillating verisimilitude it's like actually being there. Take cover people, here come the zombies.

This audiobook version offers us fourteen hours of unabridged narrative genius delivered through the device of reportage from the total Zombie war. Beginning in China at the very beginning of the mysterious infection that causes the dead to re-animate, this listen-fest of guts, gore and genius is the apogee of zombie stories. We experience the slide into chaos, destruction and apocalypse that befalls humanity as the zombie infection spreads, charting its highs and lows from all around the globe. If this was played on the radio to an unsuspecting population as was Orson Welles's adaptation of War of the Worlds back in the 1938 people'd be running for them their hills.

War World Z is quite simply the best zombie novel ever written. Period. Stop reading anything else about zombies - with the possible exception of Charlie Higson's brilliant YA series The Enemy which is like WWZ but for smaller people.

WWZ takes its subject matter and makes it totally real by exploring exactly what would happen if a zombie infection could spread through a 21st century world teeming with people. And it does that through the voices of the people who experienced it across the globe. I mean have you ever wondered what would happen to zombies who fell into the sea? No, me neither, but we find out here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really different. Brilliantly so. 30 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It takes a while to get into, but when you get there you'll spend the rest of the book breathless and stunned. It's a totally new kind of novel - no key characters, no plot as such, no narrative three-act structure. The entire book is a series of fictitious "eyewitness accounts" from people affected in some way by the zombie apocalypse. And somehow, as you read each account - in its author's voice and with their hopes and dreams - you enter the storyworld, as engrossing as any thriller.

It works because so many of the tales ring true. When I mentioned to a friend her cooking skills would in great demand after the zombie war, she exploded with protests about her professional background and job. Right at that point in the text, an organiser was talking about how difficult it was to convince a man who used to "get hold of the rights to classic rock songs for commercials" that his skills weren't just inappropriate, they were obsolete - the post-apocalypse world needs carpenters and builders and manual trades, not marketers...

The way the eyewitness interviews develop over time, spanning countries and viewpoints, come together as a single, coherent picture of just what happened, how we solved it, how difficult it was. This book is truly something different. And that's not common in today's lit. A fantastic read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. One of my favourites
Published 3 days ago by Norman Kwan
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing audiobook
After listening to this book it's not difficult to understand why it has won audiobook awards. The actors are fantastic and really bring Brooks' story to life. Read more
Published 3 days ago by K Flanaghan
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Wanted to read this after watching the film, and was not disappointed, really really well written. the story was nothing like I had expected at all, in a good way though! Read more
Published 4 days ago by Kay kay
5.0 out of 5 stars I keep coming back to it
It's really a great premise for a load of first person short stories of surviving adversity in a fictionalised context. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Paddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot recommend highly enough.
If you're a fan of Zombie media you will absolutely love this. Written in a very easy to read style, almost like 100+ short stories describing a Zombie apocalypse. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Euan Connelly
5.0 out of 5 stars world war z
One of the best books For zombie,thrillers also an exciting adventure with lots of emotional description and mind blowing writing
Published 10 days ago by Timothy R Charman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All good
Published 10 days ago by julie dervey
5.0 out of 5 stars nothing like the movie
This is awesome. Forget that glamourised Hollywood nonsense, this book is dark, gritty and pulls you into what a true zombiefied world would be like. So brilliant.
Published 11 days ago by Jonathan Monkhouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Good...
Really enjoyed reading this, interesting narrative style. If you liked th efilm then wjy not try the book...
Published 14 days ago by Green Tree Frog
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
such a good read and to be honest if zombies ever existed then I think the way the book is laid out, it will most likely happen that way. recommend to all zombie lovers
Published 15 days ago by Kindle Customer
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