World War Z
Books | Fiction / Horror
Now a major motion pictureThe 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 thirty 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 twelve-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. Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren't we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn't the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as 'the living dead'?”Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.Eyewitness reports from the first truly global war“I found 'Patient Zero' behind the locked door of an abandoned apartment across town. . . . His wrists and feet were bound with plastic packing twine. Although he'd rubbed off the skin around his bonds, there was no blood. There was also no blood on his other wounds. . . . He was writhing like an animal; a gag muffled his growls. At first the villagers tried to hold me back. They warned me not to touch him, that he was 'cursed.' I shrugged them off and reached for my mask and gloves. The boy's skin was . . . cold and gray . . . I could find neither his heartbeat nor his pulse.” —Dr. Kwang Jingshu, Greater Chongqing, United Federation of China“'Shock and Awe'? Perfect name. . . . But what if the enemy can't be shocked and awed? Not just won't, but biologically can't! That's what happened that day outside New York City, that's the failure that almost lost us the whole damn war. The fact that we couldn't shock and awe Zack boomeranged right back in our faces and actually allowed Zack to shock and awe us! They're not afraid! No matter what we do, no matter how many we kill, they will never, ever be afraid!” —Todd Wainio, former U.S. Army infantryman and veteran of the Battle of Yonkers“Two hundred million zombies. Who can even visualize that type of number, let alone combat it? . . . For the first time in history, we faced an enemy that was actively waging total war. They had no limits of endurance. They would never negotiate, never surrender. They would fight until the very end because, unlike us, every single one of them, every second of every day, was devoted to consuming all life on Earth.” —General Travis D'Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Community ReviewsSee all
"Different than the movie since it reads like news clips but I thought it was a good zombie book!"
"I've never been a zombie fan, but the premise of this book as a history of the rise and fall of the zombies and how the various parts of the world attempt to recover from the "war" was very compelling. This story would have been better served as a series that followed the journalist on his quest around the globe to put the pieces together as opposed to just another zombie movie. "
"Very different from the movie. The book is basically a collection of interviews that eventually piece together what happened. (The movie kind of puts them all in order and Forest-Gumps the main character into everything.) I really enjoyed the book; the movie is fine on its own but is barely the same thing. "
"Written as interviews from the zombie war. In the beginning I did not enjoy this. I of course assumed it would be like the movie. But instead of following a hot Brad Pitt with shoulder length blonde hair I was stuck with an interviewer, don't even know his name, going all around the world listening to people's accounts. Then the relatable factor kicked in. I am by no means a conspiracy nut but these accounts started clicking into place.<br/><br/>People making vaccines to console the masses. Doesn't matter if it works as long as your first. Countries leaving their own as bait while they escape. Fear being more of a killer than the actual zombie themselves. All of these things hit a little too close to home for me. But that's what I enjoyed most. Every interesting theory became uncomfortably relatable zombies or no.<br/><br/>Epistolary books in their own right are interactive and unique but you also miss out on the emotion behind it. Still there was gore and zombie beheadings but you never stay long enough with a character to grow attached. There was no thrill, just manly politics and strategy. Though like I said still unique, as when the interviewer would ask questions I would like to know. The ending wasn't wrapped up at all just cut off like this one will be. So didn't love the book but glad I read it."