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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War Library Binding – 21 May 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,170 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Library Binding: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books; Mti Rep edition (21 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606320873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606320870
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 10.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,572,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" An ' oral history' of the global war the evil brain-chewers came within a hair of winning. Zombies are among us-- turn on your television if you don't believe it. But, Brooks reassures us, even today, human fighters are hunting down the leftovers, and we're winning. [His] iron-jaw narrative is studded with practical advice on what to do when the zombies come, as they surely will. A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." -- "Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
" Max Brooks has charted the folly of a disaster response based solely on advanced technologies and brute force in this step-by-step guide to what happened in the Zombie War. He details with extraordinary insight how in the face of institutional missteps and greed, people in unexpected ways achieve unique, creative, and effective strategies to survive and fight back. Brooks's account of the path to recovery and reconstruction after the war is fascinating, too. "World War Z "provides us with a starting point, at least, a basic blueprint from which to build a popular understanding of how, when, and why such a disaster came to be, and how small groups and individuals survived." -- Jeb Weisman, Ph.D., Director of Strategic Technologies, National Center for Disaster Preparedness
" Possesses more creativity and zip than entire crates of other new fiction titles. Think "Mad Max" meets "The Hot Zone" . . . It's "Apocalypse Now," pandemic-style. Creepy but fascinating."
- "USA TODAY
"" Prepare to be entranced by this addictively readable oral history of the great war between humans and zombies. . . . Will grab you as tightly asa dead man's fist. A."
- "Entertainment Weekly, "EW Pick
" Probably the most topical and literate scare since Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. . . . This is action-packed social-political satire with a global view."
- "Dallas Morning News"
" Brooks [is] America's most prominent maven on the living dead. . . . Chilling. . . . It is gripping reading and a scathing indictment of weak responses to crises real and over-hyped."
- "Hartford Courant
"" A sober, frequently horrifying and even moving account. . . . Brooks has delivered a full-blown horror novel, laced with sharp social and political observations and loads of macabre, gruesome imagery. . . . The real horror of "World War Z "comes from the all-too-plausible responses of human beings and governments to the menace."
- "Fangoria"
"
"" A horror fan's version of Studs Terkel's "The Good War," . . . Like George Romero's "Dead" trilogy, "World War Z" is another milestone in the zombie mythology."
- "Booklist"
"
"" Brooks commits to detail in a way that makes his nightmare world creepily plausible. . . . Far more affecting than anything involving zombies really has any right to be. . . . The book . . . opens in blood and guts, turns the world into an oversized version of hell, then ends with and affirmation of humanity's ability to survive the worst the world has to offer. It feels like the right book for the right times, and that's the eeriest detail of all."
- A.V. Club, "The Onion"
"
"" The best science fiction has traditionally been steeped insocial commentary. "World War Z "continues that legacy. . . . We haven't been this excited about a book without pictures since- well, since ever."
- "Metro"
"
"" Each story locks together perfectly to create a wonderful, giddy suspense. Brooks also has the political savvy to take advantage of any paranoia a modern reader might feel. . . . The perfect book for all us zombie junkies."
- "Paste"
" This infectious and compelling book will have nervous readers watching the streets for zombies. Recommended."
- "Library Journal"

"From the Hardcover edition."

"An 'oral history' of the global war the evil brain-chewers came within a hair of winning. Zombies are among us--turn on your television if you don't believe it. But, Brooks reassures us, even today, human fighters are hunting down the leftovers, and we're winning. [His] iron-jaw narrative is studded with practical advice on what to do when the zombies come, as they surely will. A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
"Max Brooks has charted the folly of a disaster response based solely on advanced technologies and brute force in this step-by-step guide to what happened in the Zombie War. He details with extraordinary insight how in the face of institutional missteps and greed, people in unexpected ways achieve unique, creative, and effective strategies to survive and fight back. Brooks's account of the path to recovery and reconstruction after the war is fascinating, too. "World War Z "provides us with a starting point, at least, a basic blueprint from which to build a popular understanding of how, when, and why such a disaster came to be, and how small groups and individuals survived." --Jeb Weisman, Ph.D., Director of Strategic Technologies, National Center for Disaster Preparedness
"Possesses more creativity and zip than entire crates of other new fiction titles. Think "Mad Max" meets "The Hot Zone" . . . It's "Apocalypse Now", pandemic-style. Creepy but fascinating."
-"USA TODAY
""Prepare to be entranced by this addictively readable oral history of the great war between humans and zombies. . . . Will grab you as tightly as a dead man's fist. A."
- "Entertainment Weekly, "EW Pick
"Probably the most topical and literate scare since Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. . . . This is action-packed social-political satire with a global view."
- "Dallas Morning News"
"Brooks [is] America's most prominent maven on the living dead. . . . Chilling. . . . It is gripping reading and a scathing indictment of weak responses to crises real and over-hyped."
- "Hartford Courant
""A sober, frequently horrifying and even moving account. . . . Brooks has delivered a full-blown horror novel, laced with sharp social and political observations and loads of macabre, gruesome imagery. . . . The real horror of "World War Z "comes from the all-too-plausible responses of human beings and governments to the menace."
- "Fangoria"
"
""A horror fan's version of Studs Terkel's "The Good War". . . . Like George Romero's "Dead" trilogy, "World War Z" is another milestone in the zombie mythology."
- "Booklist"
"
""Brooks commits to detail ina way that makes his nightmare world creepily plausible. . . . Far more affecting than anything involving zombies really has any right to be. . . . The book . . . opens in blood and guts, turns the world into an oversized version of hell, then ends with and affirmation of humanity's ability to survive the worst the world has to offer. It feels like the right book for the right times, and that's the eeriest detail of all."
- A.V. Club, "The Onion"
"
""The best science fiction has traditionally been steeped in social commentary. "World War Z "continues that legacy. . . . We haven't been this excited about a book without pictures since-well, since ever."
- "Metro"
"
""Each story locks together perfectly to create a wonderful, giddy suspense. Brooks also has the political savvy to take advantage of any paranoia a modern reader might feel. . . . The perfect book for all us zombie junkies."
- "Paste"
"This infectious and compelling book will have nervous readers watching the streets for zombies. Recommended."
- "Library Journal"

"From the Hardcover edition."

"An 'oral history' of the global war the evil brain-chewers came within a hair of winning. Zombies are among us--turn on your television if you don't believe it. But, Brooks reassures us, even today, human fighters are hunting down the leftovers, and we're winning. [His] iron-jaw narrative is studded with practical advice on what to do when the zombies come, as they surely will. A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
"Max Brooks has charted the folly of a disaster response based solely on advanced technologies and brute force in this step-by-step guide to what happened in the Zombie War. He details with extraordinary insight how in the face of institutional missteps and greed, people in unexpected ways achieve unique, creative, and effective strategies to survive and fight back. Brooks's account of the path to recovery and reconstruction after the war is fascinating, too. "World War Z "provides us with a starting point, at least, a basic blueprint from which to build a popular understanding of how, when, and why such a disaster came to be, and how small groups and individuals survived." --Jeb Weisman, Ph.D., Director of Strategic Technologies, National Center for Disaster Preparedness
"Possesses more creativity and zip than entire crates of other new fiction titles. Think "Mad Max" meets "The Hot Zone" . . . It's "Apocalypse Now," pandemic-style. Creepy but fascinating."
- "USA TODAY
""Prepare to be entranced by this addictively readable oral history of the great war between humans and zombies. . . . Will grab you as tightly as a dead man's fist. A."
- "Entertainment Weekly, "EW Pick
"Probably the most topical and literatescare since Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. . . . This is action-packed social-political satire with a global view."
- "Dallas Morning News"
"Brooks [is] America's most prominent maven on the living dead. . . . Chilling. . . . It is gripping reading and a scathing indictment of weak responses to crises real and over-hyped."
- "Hartford Courant
""A sober, frequently horrifying and even moving account. . . . Brooks has delivered a full-blown horror novel, laced with sharp social and political observations and loads of macabre, gruesome imagery. . . . The real horror of "World War Z "comes from the all-too-plausible responses of human beings and governments to the menace."
- "Fangoria"
"
""A horror fan's version of Studs Terkel's "The Good War," . . . Like George Romero's "Dead" trilogy, "World War Z" is another milestone in the zombie mythology."
- "Booklist"
"
""Brooks commits to detail in a way that makes his nightmare world creepily plausible. . . . Far more affecting than anything involving zombies really has any right to be. . . . The book . . . opens in blood and guts, turns the world into an oversized version of hell, then ends with and affirmation of humanity's ability to survive the worst the world has to offer. It feels like the right book for the right times, and that's the eeriest detail of all."
- A.V. Club, "The Onion"
"
""The best science fiction has traditionally been steeped in social commentary. "World War Z "continues that legacy. . . . We haven't been this excited about a book without pictures since-well, since ever."
- "Metro"
"
""Each story locks together perfectly to create a wonderful, giddysuspense. Brooks also has the political savvy to take advantage of any paranoia a modern reader might feel. . . . The perfect book for all us zombie junkies."
- "Paste"
"This infectious and compelling book will have nervous readers watching the streets for zombies. Recommended."
- "Library Journal"

"From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 UN citation, Pro Humanitate. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 23 Feb. 2016
Format: Paperback
Having recently watched the move version of World War Z (2013, and a very watchable movie), I thought it was about time I read the book from which the move was derived. The movie version offers a linear narrative, focusing on Brad Pitt’s character of Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator who gets caught up in the pandemic as it unfolds across the world.

The book, first published in 2006, is presented as a series of oral recollections from individuals around the world on their experience of the Zombie War, collected by an agent of the UN Postwar Commission. Having completed a report for the UN with the facts and statistics required, the agent feels that the very human voice of the War needs to be collected, and available for posterity; to ensure that humanity never forgets what it was like.

So the book is divided into sections following the initial Introduction, generally chronologically following the War:
Warnings
Blame
The Great Panic
Turning the Tide
Home Front USA
Around the World, and Above
Total War
Good-Byes

What really triggered the reawakening of the dead and led to their worldwide attacks on the living is never really completely explained, but the recounting from all sorts of individuals over the world tell of the War from the first outbreak, the vaguely awakening realisation that something horrific and unusual was happening through the world, the varous attempts to understand, and combat the outbreak, and the aftermath.

The book utilises the ‘laws’ set up in the author’s earlier work, The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), which I haven’t read, but I don’t think I missed anything in this book by not having read the earlier work.
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By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Mar. 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an accomplished novel written in an unusual style. I thought that the way it was written resulted in a certain lack of engagement with the characters but that was the intention of the book and its style so how much you like it is really about personal preference.

The book is written in a series of interviews with players in an event that is now twenty years in the past. It is talking about a sudden zombie plague and the possibility that humanity would have been wiped out. The shortish interviews are with eye witnesses; those who were involved in the action that had to be taken for the zombies to be wiped out, those who made hard decisions, those who saw people do amazing things, those who profited, and those who behaved badly. The snippets don't appear to be in any order but then you see how they build up the story from the beginning of the plague to the victory of humanity and then the aftermath. They are set all over the world and the story is not particularly Americo-centric.

The author has really considered what might happen in depth. There are lots of examples here of events that you wouldn't have thought of but which you realise really would occur. The moral decisions to be made were more complex than I would have considered possible. This is carefully thought out and very well plotted. Each interview is angled differently and they all have a slightly different voice. The whole picture is made up of the many and its not until you are finished that you really understand the depth and complexity of the plague. I found myself challenges by some of the interviews, outraged by others and upset by some - I felt that they all had the ring of possible truth.
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