- Paperback: 342 pages
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1st edition (October 16, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307346617
- ISBN-13: 978-0307346612
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5,437 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War Paperback – October 16, 2007
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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 the Hardcover edition.
"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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Top customer reviews
I think the following quote best sums the whole thing up: “All human armies need supplies, this army didn’t. No food, no ammo, no fuel, not even water to drink or air to breathe! There were no logistics lines to sever, no depots to destroy… It’s ironic that the only way to kill a zombie is to destroy its brain because, as a group, they have no collective brain to speak of. There was no leadership, no chain of command, no communication or cooperation on any level. There was no president to assassinate, no HQ bunker to surgically strike. Each zombie is its own, self-contained, automated unit, and this last advantage is what truly encapsulates the entire conflict… They had no limits of endurance. They would never negotiate, never surrender. They would fight until the very end…”
If zombie apocalypse movies never made sense to you, this will be a refreshing change of pace. Everything has been well thought out and "documented" in this recount of zombie war (World War Z).
Don't want to spoil the read, so go grab a copy!
The book gave a very graphic depiction of the effect of a zombie apocalypse. I especially loved the wide range of perspectives and what each character had to say during their interviews with the protagonist. There are so many different characters, each with their own unique story to tell. It was honestly impossible to vividly remember each and every small story within the book, but the fact that it jumped around so much honestly made it easier to read. I'm usually not a huge fan of a fragmented narrative due to the information overload that tends to accompany it, but the thrilling and often graphic nature of each individual story made them all a joy to read.
The action and suspense, combined with Max's sense of humor made this one of my favorite books in recent years.
That being said, what a great book! I don’t know why I’ve never read this book before now. It’s fantastic! Brooks’ unique storytelling structure was perfect for his subject matter. In about 350 pages, he manages to encapsulate a complex and colorful global war, all the while keeping the story fresh and interesting by utilizing the personal experiences of the different characters. There’s drama, death, action sequences, victory and defeat, nostalgia…the whole package.
And Christ, I can’t imagine the sheer amount of research that went into this book. Its truly history at its finest hour. Brooks takes real-world current events and blends them perfectly into his hypothetical zombie scenario, and a lot of what occurs in the book is terrifyingly realistic — you could imagine about 95% of what happens in World War Z happening in real life if there ever was a zombie apocalypse. There are no fantastical or rose-colored embellishments in this book. It is brutal and honest.
Now, I have seen complaints about people not liking the storytelling style, but I, for one, loved it. And I can’t imagine a better way to approach subject matter like this. If Brooks had just picked a single character or a couple of characters and told a standard third-person story about their harrowing journeys, sure, it might have been a good book — but it wouldn’t have been history. The title of the book is “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War” not “World War Z: Three Peoples’ Experiences in the Zombie War.” I think Brooks created the perfect story structure for maintaining both an interesting narrative and the “history” feel of the novel.
Anyway, that’s my two cents. I thought this book was a masterpiece, both structurally and plot-wise. It was perfectly researched and perfectly executed, in my opinion.