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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War [Paperback]

Max Brooks
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
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Paperback, Oct. 16 2007 CDN $15.16  
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Book Description

Oct. 16 2007
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z, now a #1 New York Times bestseller, is the only record of the plague years.

Frequently Bought Together

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War + The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead + The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks
Price For All Three: CDN$ 43.31


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In the wake of the great zombie war, Brooks's fictional alter ego travels around the world to ask tough questions of individuals and leaders about their experience and actions before, during and after the undead menace decimated the human population. Brooks remarkably identifies and articulates the nuances and unconsidered realities of what a zombie war would look like. This intriguing "oral history" stands apart from his previous zombie-related book, The Zombie Survival Guide, as Brooks uses the postwar culture here to provide political and social commentary on a wide range of real-life individuals and institutions. An all-star cast including Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, Jürgen Prochnow, Henry Rollins, John Turturro, Rob and Carl Reiner, and many others deliver their parts with such fervor and intensity that listeners cannot help but empathize with these characters. Max Brooks acts as the interviewer, providing an inquisitive but stagnant demeanor. The abridgment keeps the story tight but struggles with the interviewer's narration during interviews. When Brooks interrupts characters to indicate that the person rolled his eyes or appeared apprehensive, his comments are often moot because the performers are already portraying such body language with their tone.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"The Crisis" nearly wiped out humanity. Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and author of The Zombie Survival Guide, 2003) has taken it upon himself to document the "first hand" experiences and testimonies of those lucky to survive 10 years after the fictitious zombie war. Like a horror fan's version of Studs Terkel's The Good War (1984), the "historical account" format gives Brooks room to explore the zombie plague from numerous different views and characters. In a deadpan voice, Brooks exhaustively details zombie incidents from isolated attacks to full-scale military combat: "what if the enemy can't be shocked and awed? Not just won't, but biologically can't!" With the exception of a weak BAT-21 story in the second act, the "interviews" and personal accounts capture the universal fear of the collapse of society--a living nightmare in which anyone can become a mindless, insatiable predator at a moment's notice. Alas, Brad Pitt's production company has purchased the film rights to the book--while it does have a chronological element, it's more similar to a collection of short stories: it would make for an excellent 24-style TV series or an animated serial. Regardless, horror fans won't be disappointed: like George Romero's Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos. Carlos Orellana
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down Sept. 15 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books that I have read in a long while. Its descriptions of a zombie holocaust and the worldwide response to it is realistic.

The book is a collection of short stories told as a post war interview of survivors.

Stories range from all over the world(including outer space)a young soldier who recounts the disastrous battle of Yonkers where "shock and awe" tactics failed in the face of mindless undead hordes to the actions of the Chinese submarine commander.

What surprised me is the great amount of sympathy the reader gets when he reads some of the heart breaking tales in the book and even some of the ironic and even surprise twists that you get after some of the stories(eg. the twist at the end of the one about the inventor of the Redekker plans leaves a lot of questions and is quite unexpected).

Even after two readings, I was left with the feeling that I would like to know more about the world of world war z...Its a feeling rarely found in many a book...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
After reading and discussing this book with others, I now find there is a significant subculture surrounding Zombie lore, that I wasn't familiar with.

I bought the book sight-unseen (not a huge zombie afficionado), thinking that it would be good popcorn for a vacation; I was exceedingly surprised at what I was reading.

The zombies are there for sure, but they are really tertiary plot devices to the fantastic narrative, and the personal stories and scenarios that Brooks uses to tell the tale. Because the book is completely anecdotal, there isn't a traditional plot - yet you keep flipping page after page to see what insight (several aha! moments) and character might pop up next.

The only criticism I might have is the highly 'ordnance heavy' sections (Brooks likes his weapons I think), but even then - it is a war, and it interesting to see how traditional tools of destruction are unable to match the "Z's" tenacity.

Kudos Brooks! An excellent work, engaging and innovative. A must read for anyone that has ever wondered "if they move so slow, why don't you just run away?".

TMS
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good May 29 2008
Format:Paperback
For starters, I'm not a fan of zombie movies. However, my dad had left this book lying around one day and started to read it. It was one of those few books that grabbed my full attention from start to end. I thought it was a very good read. I do read a lot and finish most books, but this was one of those few books that I've read cover-to-cover in a while without getting bored during the process.

It is told as a report on the Zombie Wars, written in first-person accounts of the war that took place in a not so distant future. I enjoyed how the author unfolded the story, with different patches coming together and eventually creating this huge world.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read Oct. 12 2006
Format:Hardcover
This book is essentially a description of a future war with hordes of zombies told via interviews and news clips. Of course, for the narrative, they all take place well after the event, but the collection is enrapturing. Sometimes, some of the best parts of a movie about zombies, are the news clips and interviews the characters see on TV/hear on the radio, and that's basically what this book is all about.

From the interviews with soldiers fighting drug lords in Central Asia and doctors trying to stem the 'disease' in China, to action reports from the front lines of troops fighting the zombies to average citizens telling their tales of survival, it is a collection of anecdotes that are sometimes humourous, terrifying, or just plain intriguing.

A good solid read that kept me turning the pages until late into the night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what to expect June 11 2013
By Dennis Madison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While I've had a passing interest in the recent Zombie popularity I never read a Zombie book or saw more than one episode of Walking Dead. The only experience I've had was the original Romero Night of the Living Dead film.
I'd seen World War Z on Amazon before and always considered picking it up, but when the movie came out and the price dropped to $9.99 I decided to pick it up not even sure what to expect. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. The narrative of interviewing participants in the war was a little tough to follow at the beginning, but once you got used to the fact that this was a story of the war and not the people I came to really appreciate this form of story telling.
It was one of those books I was anxious to read and was sorry to see end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different style, but quite a unique perspective Aug. 9 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I fully admit to my bias as I am a huge fan of zombies. It was destined to be a winner for me from the start. It actually is a collection of short stories, various perspectives throughout the world. It is not a typical horror story (though certainly some of the storytellers have had their share of scares.) I really have to admire how many of the stories were unique yet were held together by a cohesive world. One that the author did an excellent job detailing, as it unravels for the reader from Patient Zero to Victory Day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An alternate history...just around the corner Sept. 10 2007
Format:Hardcover
One of my most enjoyable reads in 2007. I listened to the audio version, which is also one of the best audiobooks I've ever experienced - the all star voice cast includes Mark Hamill and Alan Alda; I kept thinking..."I know this voice!". A documentary of the alt-history Zombie War, told by the survivors. Not classic literature, but thoroughly engrossing nonetheless, ontologically complete and sometimes just plain fun for boys who like guns.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I have seen the movie first, and found it ...
I have seen the movie first, and found it average. But that book, if only they could just have stick with it when making that movie...
Published 10 days ago by Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars The stories are very engaging
Excellent set of stories. Much better than the movie. The movie is good, but shouldn't have been called the same as the book, but I understand it's a marketing thing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lloyd Christmas
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Completely different from the movie. Interesting to put it together like a series of interviews/short stories like that. Well done.
Published 1 month ago by Trevor
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
VERY well written. I really enjoyed reading the stories told through different characters. Can't wait to see the movie. Highly recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Violet
4.0 out of 5 stars movie and book
Never have I seen a movie that is so totally different from the book that I can't see one similarity but luckily both were great. Movie worth watching. Book worth reading.
Published 3 months ago by Spinko Rama
5.0 out of 5 stars Liked the book
Read it many years ago and was really let down by the movie. Seriously, what happened to all the different characters?
Published 4 months ago by M. N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Very good, Good condition. Do it Do it Do it i dont have anything else to say do it do it
Published 10 months ago by Xavier Charest-Morin
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the movie
How many times have I said a book is better than the movie? Almost always.

This is not your traditional zombie story, but an anthology of the experiences of survivors... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ron White
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT a traditional novel
Even though I'm not a fan of zombie fiction, I absolutely loved this book, perhaps exactly because it's not an average zombie fiction. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Nameless
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
I admit it... I purchased this book due to the hype behind the movie and was very disappointed. It's not what I expected in the least with it being more of a compiled report from... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Chris Lahay
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