Shop now Shop now</arg> Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Amazon Music Unlimited Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
1,201
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 21 May 2013
This is fantastic imagining of what life might really be like during and after a zombie apocalypse. It is a great concept delivered in a gripping way.

From a sci-fi perspective, I was frustrated to be left with a number of unanswered questions at the end. While any zombie story is far-fetched by its very nature, World War Z purports to explore the political, military, economic and social implications in a realistic manner. It does this excellently in relation to the United States, but less so for other nations.

Brooks writes chapters about places such as Cuba, India, China, Russia, the UK, France - but most of these are touristic snippets, while the American war effort gets much more detail. Brooks spends no time describing how other nations finally overcame the zombies. I felt short-changed.

Overall its not quite as good as Zone One by Colson Whitehead. This is not because Zone One has a central character - you have to accept World War Z eschews traditional story-telling. Zone One picks a smaller piece of the post-apocalyptic world and explores it in more depth, and is more satisfying.

I also felt physically sick at the throwaway matter-of-fact reference to Clement Attlee as an "unknown third-rate loser" (in comparison to Winston Churchill). I took a star off my rating just for that.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
'World War Z', like Brooks 'Zombie Survival Guide', draws you in until your actually start to live the story. It is written in an interview format, where various people recount their experiences during the zombie war, but half way through you really start to live the story and imagine it could be real. The level of detail Brooks adds to this story is staggering and really adds to the overall reality in the book. It is extremely easy to read and looks at all aspects of life around a zombie outbreak, army response and mutiny, new society development, government plans to escape and then fight back, living on water, eradicating the zombies in water, how civilians fought back, dealing with being stranded in a zombie infested area etc etc the list goes on and is exhaustive. If you like zombie books and movies and if you enjoyed 'The Zombie Survival Guide' (which I kind of recommend you read first) then this is the very book for you. Highly recommended.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 October 2006
The premise of the book is that the author has written the official UN report on the Zombie War, but complained that the facts and figures presented were just too large and too horrific for people to grasp. They needed to read the human story that made up this vast array of horror, but this wasn't allowed in an official report. It was suggested that he go and write a book of his own, and World War Z is the result.

This back story is only the first indication of the thought that's gone into this; from the first infections in rural China, through the global panic, the turning of the tide and the final resolution, the story is told through personal interviews with people who were `there'. This means ordinary people, camping in northern Canada or escaping from their flat in Kyoto, Japan; through military personnel, US pilots or Chinese sub-mariners; to the people making the decisions such as the new Director of Strategic Resources in the US, or the author of the infamous Orange Plan in South Africa, which provided the blueprint for the survival of the species.

As there would be under the circumstances, people refer to other incidents around the world, some of which we have already read an account of, so the whole thing hangs together far better than a series of disparate accounts might indicate, and they're ordered to reflect the overarching progress of the war.

But it's the detail that really makes this so utterly compelling. Brooks has obviously done most of the groundwork in his The Zombie Survival Guide, but this is a brilliant realisation of that theory. The progression of what happens, what people try, what works and what doesn't; such as the failure of cutting-edge weapons technology, leading to the mothballing of the US's combat aircraft (which cost too much money for too few kills) and people adopting tried and tested medieval weapons, walking around with Samurai swords or claymores at their sides; all is brilliantly laid out here in fascinating and utterly absorbing detail.

If one suspends disbelief and accepts the premise that the dead can actually rise up from the grave, everything in this book is completely and utterly, frighteningly believable.

Of course, we know the dead can't rise up from the grave. . . can they?!
0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 March 2014
Firstly, I do not care about zombies. I love horror, and ghost stories and fantasy, but zombies are just not for me. Anyway, I picked up this book to read something different. And it took me nearly 2 weeks to finish "World War Z" by Max Brooks, yes, it was slow-going, I found it a bit boring and repetitive and a struggle at times.

The book is written from the humans' perspective: it is a set of interview notes post the Z (as in Zombie) war, which did not leave any space to wonder what happened, there was no immediate urgency, no speculation if we, people of the Earth, actually had a chance to survive - we obviously did. The missing intrigue was the biggest disappointment. The array of characters, with some of them we get to spend just half a page, left me bereft of any "connection", I would have loved to read more about one person. Instead, we are given a collection of disjointed accounts, with the author not really researching his facts well enough to write, for example, about Russia.

And last but not least, we never get explaination as to how the zombies came to be, and how, in the end, humans "won" the war against them.

All in all, perhaps "World War Z" is a good parable and a reminder for us, people of the earth, about any big catastrophe and ways to deal with (if not prevent) it. But as a work of literary fiction, it will perhaps appeal more to readers with specific interest in all things zombie.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 April 2015
Intelligent and reasonably original and well-written, but I didn't think it worked as a novel. The hundreds of tiny stories - interviews with survivors of the zombie apocalypse - don't build up any narrative thrust or forward momentum. Occasionally there is a good little story, but, frustratingly, it stops after a few pages and a new character is introduced telling another little story. Unfortunately many of these stories are pretty dry and unengaging. Some of the characters are reintroduced at the end of the book, but because there are so many characters, you'll probably forget who they were. An interesting concept, but I can't recommend it as a good read.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 April 2013
Picked this up as I headed off on holiday a couple of weeks ago on the back of excellent reviews and the prospect of a Hollywood movie version coming this Summer.
What an immense disappointment. This book consists of a series of "interviews" with survivors of World War Z, where snippets of individual experiences are gradually dropped in. This leads to a massive problems on a multitude of levels, many of which are described in a number of the other adverse reviews.
Firstly, there is little or no overarching narrative arc joining the interviews and thus no drive for the reader.
The sections are so short and written in the same jargon filled slang, whether it be someone from America, India or Russia. As such, you cannot invest any empathy for any of these individuals because they do not represent characters, just ciphers for a very thin narrative. The very success of The Walking Dead in all its forms from graphic novel, to books and TV series, is its concentration on humanity and how we deal with situations of adversity. The zombie angle is almost peripheral to the human story.
Finally, the overall quality of the writing is poor. I'm only thankful that this was a quick read and didn't waste any more of my time than it did - very disappointing
55 comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 November 2016
This is an extraordinary work. It not about zombies - it is about the polarities of human behaviour towards the environment, each other and everything in between, about the devastation the human plague inflicts on the natural world before and after the infection, with or without conscious thought. ...should be on every school curriculum....
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 September 2007
Not being a zombie nut, or even really a horror fan, I didn't know what to expect from this - but I was absolutely blown away. It was by turns intelligent, thrilling, frightening, funny, insightful and genuinely moving.

In fact, to describe it as a horror novel doesn't really do it justice. Its scale is vast and its scope is epic. Brooks cleverly uses the mock-documentary oral history device to bring us a huge and varied collection of personal stories that chart the course of the Zombie War and the near-extinction of the human race. Individually, each of these stories is a short, highly readable character portrait and snapshot of a single wartime experience, but together they weave into an extraordinarily complex canvas that illustrates the global scale of the crisis. Much of it reads more like a geo-political thriller of the type that Tom Clancy used to write than a horror novel, and those geo-political plotlines have been well-researched and thoroughly thought through. In many cases it makes uncomfortable reading as Brooks' story is set in the very near future and the world we see being destroyed by the multiplying zombie hordes is recognisably our own. Discomfort also comes from stories about the way the living react to the crisis - from the way that a mutiny in the Russian army is put down, to the dreadful sacrifices made as the living retreat into their safe zones.

Apparently the film rights have been sold to Paramaount and Plan B. Unfortunately this news filled me with trepidation, as no movie could possibly do justice to the scope and scale of the story told here. To do so would need a movie twelve hours long and more expensive than any in history. The Battle of Yonkers sequence alone - where the US's finest military hardware is overwhelmed a million-strong zombie horde - would probably cost more to put on the screen than the entire budget of most feature films.

So, highly recommended. Don't wait for the movie. It will inevitably disappoint. The book however will not.
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 March 2012
I've been quite a fan of the zombie genre for a number of years now and noticed this book by the same author as The Zombie Survival Guide. Many of the reviews were positive, commending its innovative structure. And the negative reviews didn't seem to point out anything that would prove an insurmountable problem.
I was wrong. The story has very little innovation to it, being little more than a collection of badly written, mistake-filled short stories. Also, the premise of a beurocrat sent to gather historical data on a concluded zombie war seems interesting at first, it is ruined by the fact that this book make a rather useless historical document in this fictional universe.
For one thing, Brooks is much too willing to overuse tired clichés like the strong female soldier trapped behind enemy lines, or the weak person who can't handle the pressure so kills innocent people. This just makes the whole book feel cheesy and overly dramatic, the kind of book a young student writes in the hope they're making something really unique that'll change fiction forever. In that sense he may be right, because this book has left a stain on zombie fiction almost as big as George A. Romero's "Survival of the Dead" (seriously, watch this film, it's about Irishmen trying to train zombies to eat horses, oh, and the zombies can already RIDE horses).
The political messages are also extremely weak and vague, e.g. "The US government is so big it can't possibly work effectively" is an idea that I have heard from almost every angle over the past few years and is a debate that has been going on since the founding of the USA, so it's not something I would personally describe as original.
But the one biggest flaw is the characters, I did not go in wanting one central character but wanting a host of interesting, diverse characters that could be engaged with. I got nothing, all the characters have a strange way of speaking that makes them seem like they had lived their whole lives in the US. The fact a Chinese doctor, an Israeli Intelligence officer and an English historian would use the exact same terms as the American author is quite a horrible let down for the reader, mainly because it feels like a mistake that could have been avoided. By far the worst of all is the character of David Allan Forbes, who is basically just Hugh Grant, talking in very polite, extremely nervous apologetic nonsense. I could almost forgive this if Brooks didn't claim that UK citizens pay 'tax dollars' (seriously? he thinks we use dollars?) and that Ludlow is in Wales (this isn't a huge problem, it's just incredibly stupid to put a lot of research into a novel only to not bother checking what country a major historical city is in).

I still found this book entertaining as I had nothing better to do for 3 days and I was too ill to get another one. It was by no means a good book.
66 comments| 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 October 2016
Just in case you were expecting the take off the movie: it isn't. This is an exceptional book using the premise of post-war interviews to build the story and fulfil it's conclusion. It's a great read that I've thoroughly enjoyed and is as much a commentary on how we live and how we might react to an outbreak as it is a work of fiction. This isn't a horror with scares around every page but I challenge not to read through it at a pace as if it were.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse