Book Reviews of World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War
World War Z An Oral History of the Zombie War
Author: Max Brooks
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ISBN-13: 9780307346605
ISBN-10: 0307346609
Publication Date: 9/12/2006
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 90

4.2 stars, based on 90 ratings
Publisher: Crown
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

61 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 18
Although WORLD WAR Z is, without a doubt, fiction, it's also so much more than that. You can call it a satire; what you can't call it is a totally made up story that could never happen in the real world.

Told in an interview style, WORLD WAR Z is the story of the Zombie War that nearly decimated Earth. From the Great Panic to VA Day, every possible voice is heard from--politicians, soldiers, divers, dissidents, deserters, and the everyday, average Joe who found himself fighting for his life and way of existence in the face of the undead.

Max Brooks has a very unique writing style, a very loud "voice" that draws you into his story from page one and never lets go. Although there's never been an actual war against an insurgent tide of undead, there have been plenty of wars and squirmishes throughout history that the author had to draw from. From the Vietnam and Korean wars, from World War I & II and the fight against Hitler, from Desert Storm to the current fight against terrorism in Iraq, Mr. Brooks has managed to pull the best--and worst--from everyone involved and use it in his fictional account.

There's no doubt that WORLD WAR Z is an amazing, addictive, wonderful read. It's also emotional, disturbing, and thought-provoking. Although I may not worry, per se, about an upcoming fight against zombies, I do worry about the world that my children, and future grandchildren, will be left to inhabit after I'm gone. In that respect, this story is frightening. It's scary to think that the world, whether it be the mighty democracy of the United States or the iron fist of Russia or China, would not be prepared to defend themselves against a global attack from something outside of their human enemies.

Kudos to Mr. Brooks for such a great read. Fiction or satire, pure speculation or hard fact, WORLD WAR Z is one book you don't want to miss.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
By now, I'm sure all zombie fans, and most people, have heard of this book. With an acknowledged debt to Romero, Brooks sets up a scenario familiar to zombie fans: the zombie apocalypse has occurred. The living dead spread over the entire planet, and although humanity is now ascendant, and recovering from the plague, life is not as we knew it, after long, hard battles worldwide. In order to give an historical perspective on what has come to be known as "World War Z," the author presents a series of interviews between himself and survivors of this war from around the globe.
I had a few doubts, at first, about this non-traditional format for a novel, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well Brooks made it work. It was consistently absorbing and exciting, and the many varied characters were all believably realized. As the best zombie stories usually are, the book's focus is really on social commentary. In portraying how each country, or various individuals, respond to the zombie threat (from altruism or bravery to cowardice, ill-planning, or just the opportunity to make a quick buck), Brook really gives an overview of world politics and current events.
I've heard that the book has been optioned for a movie (not surprising, I suppose, since Max is Mel Brooks' son), but I don't really see how it would work as a film. However, I would highly recommend this book.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Max Brooks' World War Z turns zombie-lore on its bloody, severed head and presents it in a brand new way. Humanity has already won the war on Zombie when the book begins, the struggle for survival has been triumphant. But Brooks is out to tally the physical and spiritual losses humanity endured by interviewing survivors from every continent.

The voices of these survivors, from Cuba, China, America, South Africa, Britian, Canada are real, believable and unique. They are civilians, soldiers, politicians, and doctors. With amazing detail, the humanity of the stories shines through even the bleakest experiences.

Ultimately, Brooks succeeds in more than writing a good story; he creates a world, a world of his own vision that mirrors our own in all its horror and glory.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
An entertaining, thoughtful, well-researched collection of interviews about a fictional war with the undead. The author clearly put a lot of thought into this, as cultural, economic, and historical references were considered when examining the scope of the zombie attack on civilization, how each nation fought it, and how eventually, humans overcame the threat. Excellent, quick read with much to say about humanity.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I could not put this book down! I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre, and it is hard for writers/film makers to add something new. This book examines how the zombie invasion affected different cultures around the world, and how each group of people or characters had to overcome the attack. It is cleverly written as an oral narrative through many different characters who you instantly like and cheer for. The book reveals many political subtexts in the overall context of the story - Cubans taking in American refugees, how Communist China and the North Koreans respond, to name a few. It is definitely a refreshing take on the zombie genre.

Apparently the rights to this book has been bought by a Hollywood production company and will be made into a movie!
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book was amazing. Told from the views of the "survivors" of the war against the undead, it evoked emotional responses to the basic ideas of survival and the means necessary to do so in the most hostile of environments. Although it is undoubtabley fiction, the words used make the reader really feel as though they are reading the words of victims of the war. Great addition to any library and something that I would recommend to anyone.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 158 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I've never read anything quite like World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. But I can say one thing with absolute certainty: I can add the book to the list of novels that I feel compelled to tell people about. It's been awhile since I've finished a book that made such an impression on me.

The book is structured as a series of first-person interviews that detail all aspects of the zombie war, told by people from varying walks of life from countries all over the world. The 10-year global pandemic and subsequent war has been over for 10 years, making it 20 years since the Great Panic occurred across the Earth. From the Chinese physician that encountered Patient Zero in a village in rural Mongolia, to the American infantry that lost New York City to the undead in the Battle of Yonkers, to the "feral" 24-year-old developmentally stuck at age 4 (the age when her mother tried to strangle her to save her from being killed and reanimated), the stories are intimate and fascinating. I found some more interesting than others -- there is a lot of political detail about policy and military initiatives that sometimes got dry -- but it's easy to skim over a vignette or two without losing much of the actual story.

Max Brooks -- yes, son of comic genius Mel Brooks -- has inherited his father's penchant for satire. This is one of the smartest books I have ever read, with humor so subtle you might even miss it at the first pass. One of my favorite interviews was the one provided by the former US White House Chief of Staff. He and the interviewer are on-site at the pilot energy program where he now works, and during the whole interview, the former chief of staff is shoveling the future energy source -- cow patties. See, he's still shoveling shit. Priceless.

I hope the zombie element doesn't alienate people from trying World War Z. I don't think you have to be a horror fan to read this book and enjoy it - yes, there are some horrible things included here. Yes, it's a little surreal to have a zombie plague discussed without the filter of the supernatural. But this book is as much a war story, a political analysis of a global crisis, a plague tale, and a societal survival story.

You should really pick up World War Z and see for yourself. Yes, you. Whoever is reading this. It is just that good. [close]
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
For an audio book - this is amazing! Since the book was told as "oral history" (interviews) - they assembled a full international cast of well known (voice) actors to record this - it's got Henry Rollins, Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, and Mark Hamill!
But, having also read the book, I was kind of disappointed at how heavily they abridged it. It's only 5 CDs and they cut out all kinds of good interviews and semi-important plot points (the canine units, the feral girl's story, everything about Russia and North Korea, the Japanese otaku and the nuclear submarine, most of the African narrative, and the under-ocean zombie stuff. ) I supose they had to, since they were paying big name actors, but Max Brooks did SUCH a great job interweaving all the political and sociological elements of different world groups, as well as practical concerns and how various peoples met challenges... it's a shame to lose all that.
So if you only listened to the audiobook - GO READ THE BOOK!
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on
Helpful Score: 2
If a level 5 outbreak actually occurred, this book would be an excellent, true-to-life account of what happened. The interview style the book uses helps you to really get into the story of the zombie wars.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is the worst zombie book I have ever read and I was surprised since it got such good reviews. I made it a priority to rush out and get the book only to be very dissapointed. It read like a report/interview and was very choppy and difficult to follow. There were alot of politics sprinkled in and none of the characters had any development since there only snippets of accounts of individuals.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An oral history of the Zombie War. Heavily influenced by the cult zombie films of George A. Romero, but on a global scale. Written in the form of a non-fiction oral history a la Ken Burns(Civil War). It is more than a rip off of "the...Living Dead" movies, it is a great compliment, a well-written cautionary tale. It brought forth a question in me: If society crumbles, what skills do I possess to insure my survival...and annihilate the living dead?
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I heard that this was a good zombie read so I put on my wish list and waited until it came around. I was expecting a mix between zombie horror and camp humor. This actually turned out to be an excellent read that was well written and a good comment on war in general. It does show the absurdity of war as well as the heroic side of an armed conflict. One could certainly read a lot of political comment into this or just read the story and enjoy the characters and writing. There is not a lot of character development as each chapter is devoted to one person's story and struggle. The last chapter goes back and shows how some characters did end up but this is a story driven book rather than a character driven book.

As a person who has read a lot of end of world scenario fiction, this rates high as a good read as well. So check your supplies, lock the doors, and remember to get them in the head before reading.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 593 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a very cleverly written and unique book. I am not big on "Zombies", so I didn't expect this book to be as good as it was. It is told in individual interviews conducted by an American who compiled a report for the UN Postwar Commission. The Commission wanted only facts and figures, so he sets out to cover the war from a personal perspective for future generations. The interviews are from all walks of life and countries of the world, ranging from your average citizens to doctors, soldiers, and even a survivor who was stranded in the International Space Station watching from above as the world changed. It tells the story from the first knowledge of the "infection" to the effects of the decade long war in the post war world. Compelling reading. Well done!
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I'm not usually a fan of most zombie books or movies - they usually seemed a bit too self-contained. You have a zombie outbreak in a city, and that's really creepy, but what about the rest of the world? How are governments responding (or how did they fail to respond)? These issues are usually overlooked in favor of telling the immediate story. Well, World War Z seeks to answer these questions. Told as a series of survivor interviews, and set 10 years after the end of a world-wide zombie outbreak, it chronicles both personal responses to events and the overreaching governmental responses. It clearly shows how such a thing *could* happen, were there ever such a disease vector as could turn people into walking corpses.
This book is not a horror novel in the traditional sense. There isn't that much suspense - after all, these interviews are with the survivors, so we know who lived through it. Nor is this some fairy-tale world - evil people survived as well as good, and most of humanity fell somewhere in the grey area between. Moreover, this book has moments that are far more emotionally moving than any book about zombies has a right to be.
And there is the crux. This isn't really a book about zombies. Oh, it has zombies in it, enough to please most horror fans. But, ultimately, it's a book about humans, their ingenuity, and their will to survive. This is a book about hope. The hope that, no matter what we humans, as a race, do to ourselves, we can still band together and overcome.
So, if you like zombies, read this book. If you hate zombies, read this book.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 228 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Excellent book about War with the undead!! Very scary at first even for a horror veteran like me!!
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
By now, I'm sure all zombie fans, and most people, have heard of this book. With an acknowledged debt to Romero, Brooks sets up a scenario familiar to zombie fans: the zombie apocalypse has occurred. The living dead spread over the entire planet, and although humanity is now ascendant, and recovering from the plague, life is not as we knew it, after long, hard battles worldwide. In order to give an historical perspective on what has come to be known as "World War Z," the author presents a series of interviews between himself and survivors of this war from around the globe.
I had a few doubts, at first, about this non-traditional format for a novel, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well Brooks made it work. It was consistently absorbing and exciting, and the many varied characters were all believably realized. As the best zombie stories usually are, the book's focus is really on social commentary. In portraying how each country, or various individuals, respond to the zombie threat (from altruism or bravery to cowardice, ill-planning, or just the opportunity to make a quick buck), Brook really gives an overview of world politics and current events.
I've heard that the book has been optioned for a movie (not surprising, I suppose, since Max is Mel Brooks' son), but I don't really see how it would work as a film. However, I would highly recommend this book.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this to be a refreshing and enjoyable change of pace. Forget that the book is about the "zombie" war. The method of its telling reads like a documentary of any world wide threat. I like the style with each chapter being interviews from the wars participants. From the disastrous and heart wrenching to the uplifting, this story has it all.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on
Helpful Score: 1
Zombie fans will love this book! Told from the survivor's point of view, the book is made up of short stories from people all over the world, and how each was able to survive the Zombie War. Some of the tales are heroic, some are sad, some are just plain scary! All in all, a frighteningly original take on the classic zombie story.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Have to disagree with most reviewers on here. I'm a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, though admittedly usually not books dealing with the zombie apocalypse; I had heard so many good things about this book that I was hoping it would be the one to change my mind. Unfortunately it didn't hold my interest at all and I found it an absolute chore to get through it.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you love zombies, your gonna love this book. It's written in the style of interviews with survivors of the zombie war. Well written and thouroughly entertaining. You won't want to put it down! I suggest you don't read it if your alone at night!
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Although WORLD WAR Z is, without a doubt, fiction, it's also so much more than that. You can call it a satire; what you can't call it is a totally made up story that could never happen in the real world.

Told in an interview style, WORLD WAR Z is the story of the Zombie War that nearly decimated Earth. From the Great Panic to VA Day, every possible voice is heard from--politicians, soldiers, divers, dissidents, deserters, and the everyday, average Joe who found himself fighting for his life and way of existence in the face of the undead.

Max Brooks has a very unique writing style, a very loud "voice" that draws you into his story from page one and never lets go. Although there's never been an actual war against an insurgent tide of undead, there have been plenty of wars and squirmishes throughout history that the author had to draw from. From the Vietnam and Korean wars, from World War I & II and the fight against Hitler, from Desert Storm to the current fight against terrorism in Iraq, Mr. Brooks has managed to pull the best--and worst--from everyone involved and use it in his fictional account.

There's no doubt that WORLD WAR Z is an amazing, addictive, wonderful read. It's also emotional, disturbing, and thought-provoking. Although I may not worry, per se, about an upcoming fight against zombies, I do worry about the world that my children, and future grandchildren, will be left to inhabit after I'm gone. In that respect, this story is frightening. It's scary to think that the world, whether it be the mighty democracy of the United States or the iron fist of Russia or China, would not be prepared to defend themselves against a global attack from something outside of their human enemies.

Kudos to Mr. Brooks for such a great read. Fiction or satire, pure speculation or hard fact, WORLD WAR Z is one book you don't want to miss.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well, on the plus side, the book was better than the movie. In fact, the book bore almost no relationship with the movie whatsoever except for one chapter set in Israel. That's too bad, because the perspective of the book -- a history of the war that took place a few years before, seen through a zillion different perspectives -- was interesting. Not very deep characterization, but interesting.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am not a zombie fan, but I loved this book. If this could happen the world would be a very scary place and Brooks captured that terror.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 15 more book reviews
Brooks really captures a full view of what a potential outbreak would entail. I was very impressed with the book.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 8 more book reviews
The best thing about this book was the same as the worst. The best thing: I wasn't scared out of my mind reading this book. The worst thing: I wasn't scared out of my mind reading this book.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 31 more book reviews
I very nearly didnt read this book. Why? Because its written in first person; I hate first person. I decided to give it a shot though.

My final reaction? I liked it. I really, really liked it.

In World War Z you see reactions to the zombie epidemic from across the globe: China, Russia, South Africa, Israel, France, etc. It shows you the responses of individuals, militaries, governments, and big businesses. It shows you how these reactions changed over time and how humanity eventually pulled itself together and won the war.

How could a book do all this and actually make sense? Format. This book is not your typical story book. It doesnt follow a single set of characters from the start to the end of the story. Instead, the narrator of this book interviews survivors from across the world. The interviews follow the progression of the zombie war, with each individual interview giving you pieces of the big global picture.

Here I must stop to address some issues, as this is where they are most likely to emerge. The format of this book - which in my opinion is one of the reasons it works so well - is what seems to be putting off other people. This format can make it harder to connect to the characters, since you only see them for two to ten pages. If you need to be able to connect to a character to enjoy a book, and need a hundred pages to do so, then this is not a book for you.

The book is best compared to a TV interview of storm survivors. You already know they survived the storm hence the interview so instead youre watching to find out how they survived the storm, and what impact the storm had on their lives. If you dont like those sort of TV shows, then you wont like this book.

Some people complained about all the characters dialogue sounding too similar. This may very well be the case, but engrossed as I was in the book and as busy as I was gleeing over having my reaction itch scratched, I didnt notice.

Ultimately, this book looks at human psychology, politics, and socioeconomics. Some of the scariest parts of this book - as is the case many dystopia novels - is how plausible parts of it are. I often found the living humans scarier then the undead ones, and really, I think thats an important point in this book. How much of the fault rested with the zombies, and how much rested on us?
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 7 more book reviews
Anyone who likes the Walking Dead series will like this book. It focuses on the human aspect of a world wide plague. I had a hard time putting the book down because I wanted to see what the next country came up with to deal with the problem of a never ending tide of zombies crashing against their walls and inevitably rising up within them. I can't wait for the movie!
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 21 more book reviews
The title says it all: this is an ORAL history of the zombie war. The book is composed of many short "chapters," each of which is supposed to be a direct transcription of a recorded interview with a survivor. There are two problems with this format. First, it makes the book somewhat difficult to follow. The interviews tell a story that is essentially in chronological order, but they jump from Canada to China to India to Cuba, from a battle to a government meeting to a group of survivors camped in the woods. Add to this the fact that most of them are very short - only a few pages - and it's very easy to get lost when you put the book down for awhile.

Second, while the prose is excellent, it is exactly that - prose. We do not speak in the same way that we write, and these interviews do not read like someone talking, they read like someone writing. If you read them aloud, they do not sound like natural conversation, which is what they are supposed to be. As I read the book, I tried to imagine myself giving the interview and listening as the interviewee spoke, but Brooks's prose kept getting in the way.

Overall, the story was exciting, interesting, and engaging, and clearly Brooks did a great deal of research to make it as accurate and believable as possible. The format is unique - you must give him credit for that - but I can't help but think that I would have enjoyed the book more if it had been written as a straight novel.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 97 more book reviews
This was not what I was expecting. I expected the typical zombie novel but was pleasantly surprised by the format the author used. It is written somewhat as an historical reference book written after the zombie war. It is the story of the war as told by people whose experiences greatly varied. Some of the stories tie into one another. The author didn't miss a thing either; he covered every possible angle and proved that his imagination is of a unique quality.

I am not so sure the average reader would appreciate this book, but I can guarantee that anyone fascinated by zombies will devour it!
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 336 more book reviews
I don't have the words to review this. I already know I wouldn't do the book or the author justice so I'm going to leave it alone.
I will say that this man is brilliant. This, IMO, can be read by just about anyone... and loved. I never thought for a second I'd fall for it like I did.
He's a master at a what he does. That's no exaggeration - he's truly a master.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on
Awesome book! Will make a great movie one day. A must for any zombie fan who likes Walking Dead or any other zombie movies.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 42 more book reviews
The premise of this bestselling book is that we have survived the zombie apocalypse, but are still haunted by what happened when the dead began to rise. This book is a compilation of the stories of several survivors. The tales of how it began, the great panic, when we stopped ignoring what was right in front of our faces, and tells what happened around the world, and above it, to average people who rose to deal with the challenge of dealing with the living dead. The personal accounts describe the changing religious, geo-political, and environmental aftermath of the Zombie War.
Max Brooks is also the author of The Zombie Survival guide that gives the reader complete instructions on how to deal with the living dead. Survivalists and disaster preparedness are themes throughout the novel. Several interviews in the novel, especially those set in the United States, focus on fictional policy changes to train the surviving Americans to rebuild the country and fight the zombies.
The book was bought in 2007 and was supposed to start filming in 2009 but there have been delays. I will defiantly watch this in the theaters if its finished before the next zombie uprising.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 336 more book reviews
I don't have the words to review this. I already know I wouldn't do the book or the author justice so I'm going to leave it alone.
I will say that this man is brilliant. This, IMO, can be read by just about anyone... and loved. I never thought for a second I'd fall for it like I did.
He's a master at a what he does. That's no exaggeration - he's truly a master.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 11 more book reviews
This book was just what I needed to fill the gap between seasons of The Walking Dead! The two could easily be intertwined. This book, set in the world after the zombie apocalypse, tells the story from eyewitness accounts of what happened during the zombie outbreak. It's a good read for any zombie fan, but if you're suffering withdrawal from The Walking Dead, you'll love this book!
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 215 more book reviews
This was a really great book, and a standout even among the zombie genre. Told in a series of short stories by survivors from all over the world, it is chillingly realistic. You can truly believe that these are oral accounts from survivors of a Zombie War. As you read, you gradually piece together what happened and the story grows into a cohesive whole. Whether you're into zombie stories or just into horror, apocolyptic stories, or whatever, this is definitely a book well worth reading.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 44 more book reviews
Excellent read. If Zombies are your thing I strongly recommend this book. It`s like the "Living Dead" on TV only in print.
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I don't usually read zombie books, or even horror novels in general, but this one sounded different enough to interest me.

The premise of this novel, written as if it's nonfiction, is that roughly 20 years ago, a disease broke out (probably originating in China) that, after the victim has died, reanimates said victim as a bloodless, flesh-eater who can only be stopped by destroying its brain. This enemy became known as zombies or ghouls (shortened in military speak to Zack or Gs). The world war that broke out between the zombies and the living lasted roughly 10 years, and now another 10 or so years have passed. The author has traveled around the world, interviewing survivors from various countries, backgrounds, and roles, all of whom offer different perspectives of the war. His original purpose was to create the "United Nations Postwar Commission Report," but distilling all the interviews into black-and-white facts didn't feel right to him, so he put together this book as a supplement.

My husband keeps saying that it's only a matter of time before Nature takes care of the overpopulation problem, be it some type of super flu or whatever. Obviously, a zombie outbreak seems unlikely, but otherwise, this book hypothesizes what that type of catastrophic event could look like, in chilling, fascinating detail.

Edit:
Second reading (for book club): March 11-18, 2013
I still really enjoyed this book the second time around, but trying to see it through the eyes of my book group members, Brooks includes a fair amount of gore (really not anything compared to the average zombie book, though...at least what I'm guessing the average zombie book contains since I don't usually read that genre) and a lot of f-bombs and their various little friends. Unless you've been strong-armed into reading this book by members of your book group (another woman actually suggested it, I just seconded), you're probably prepared for these two elements.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 42 more book reviews
I couldn't put this book down. It is written as transcripts from interviews, after the "zombie war" is over. The characters seemed so real, it made the book fun.
I highly recommend this book.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 712 more book reviews
I am not a reader of horror, but I thought this was very well done. The realism made it even creepier for me. Rather than a traditional novel format, it's a series of interviews between the UN report writer and those who were somehow involved in the zombie war - military, mercenary, smugglers, leaders and regular citizens. It's a pretty amazing thought experiment - which countries would use the nuclear option, what would happen to the astronauts in space, who gets sacrificed, what weapons are most effective, how do the governments of countries reform in the aftermath...
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 9 more book reviews
This is a pretty fun book with an alternative format. Each section is about 5 to 10 pages and follows a new person who plays an illuminating role in the story line.

I love the genre and really enjoyed it.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 62 more book reviews
Fun book, written with spot-on deadpan humor. It's a keeper!
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It started off slow until I realized how this was building up to all the different people who had "dealt" with the war in their own specific ways. From soldiers, to doctors, to refugees, to your everyday joe...definitely a good read! So not like how people say the movie is (haven't seen it). Definitely kept my attention after the first chapter.
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Being a fan of zombie films, I had high hopes for this novel. I was disappointed. As others have mentioned, this book is told in an interview style with various participants' POV from all over the world. This book was a real chore for me to read, and I'm sorry to say that I finally gave up half way through. The unique storytelling was interesting at first, but I found myself longing for a novel with characters... the 'interviews' are too short to adequately develop any sort of characterization, and in any case, no participant is interviewed more than once (that I could find). Life is too short to read difficult books.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on + 422 more book reviews
Excellent accounting of the apocalyse. A must read for zombie fans everywhere. 4 stars
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As others have said, this book is more of a series of interviews with survivors, and their different accounts of events as they unfolded. The same characters only appear like once to twice; in general, the fictional interviewer meets with each one, gets their story, and records the relevant details.

I really enjoyed this; it is COMPLETELY different from the movie, since a movie has a hard time representing this same format, but the movie starts earlier. In the book, the apocalypse has already happened, and we are hearing stories of the survivors (where the movie starts as people are hearing about the outbreak).

I definitely enjoyed the interview format, and since I sometimes just read at lunch, it was easy to get to a stopping point, as the interview stories are usually pretty short.
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I love zombies and vampires but I did not love this book. It was one of the most boring books I have tried to read in a long time. Did not get through half of the book and had to give up and I almost never give up on a book. But this one I could not finish.
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Wasn't really feeling this. Parts were good, but you'd think with it being a book about zombie war it wouldn't be boring.
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This was my first foray into an apocalyptic zombie world and overall I liked the book and would recommend it as a good read. For me, the first half of the book was definitely more interesting and a faster read than the second half. The book is not really a novel in the traditional sense, as there are no real characters that the reader becomes attached to. If it were a movie, it would be a documentary (even though the content is fiction, obviously). Every chapter, some as short as a few paragraphs and few longer than 10 pages, is told by a different person in interview format. Although I initially enjoyed this narrative technique, by the end of the book I was over it and wishing for a traditional narrator to just tell the story chronologically, but the book still kept my interest to the end.

With that said, the author, Max Brooks, is an amazing story teller. He covered how the zombie apocalypse affected the world on every level: social, economic, and civic repercussions. I'm not even sure how one person could have such a good understanding of the people and governments of so many different countries to be able to tell this story so realistically. In short, I think Max Brooks may be a genius.
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Well, when you fill your mind with this stuff, it's only a short journey to bombing innocents in Syria.
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Fun read....of what it could be like during a real zombie apocalypse from the point of view of survivors around the world.
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This is my first time listening to a book. I LOVED IT!!! I listened to it in the car and actually looked forward to driving to and from work. I specifically liked the change in orator for each section of the book. Kept it very interesting. Have ordered more audio books.
reviewed World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War on
This was a fantastic read. I really loved the way Brooks weaved real history from diverse parts of the world into the narrative, creating multiple layers in the story. I'm also a sucker for the the oral history/interview format.
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Sort of modelled after "War Day", the 80's fictional account of post-nuclear America. The author doesn't quite succeed in sounding like different people all of the time (most people sound gruff, like they are trying to impress someone). But it is an interesting story, even though the body count is high.
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SciFi / Horror. * * *. A host taking virus has nearly eradicated the world population. The author travels the world collecting eyewitness accounts from survivors to record them for historical purposes.

The book has a documentary feel to it because the novel progresses with someone else's story. The fascinating (for me) part is seeing the effects a full on attack has on the world in so many ways: politically, economically, religiously, and many more.

Amazingly, although the "transcripts" are collected in a post-Z world, there aren't many scences involving Z-attacks. The few that are described are viscerally horrific.

The one drawback: because of the multitude of eyewitnesses, there is no protagonist and therefore no emotional attachment as in a typical novel.
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It took me nearly forever, but I finally finished it.

The book was good, it was the format it was written in that did me in. It was basically written like one of those documentaries where the whole story is told by an interviewer asking questions. There were just days (or maybe it was the specific sections) where I just couldn't stand reading it.

I can imagine something like this taking place if the ZA were to really happen.

Good book. Glad it's done. It's king fu was NOT stronger than mine!!
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World War Z is not your typical zombie novel. Told from the perspectives of several survivors, Brooks story reads more like a war memoir than a work of fiction. When you are reading the stories you cant help but think that these might be real people.
Brooks incorporates many different countries and nationalities (US, Russia, China, Cuba, Germany, and more)into these oral retellings. If you have ever wonder how you could survive a zombie apocalypse in any part of the world, Brooks addresses it. He takes us to the International Space Station and the brave astronauts who chose to stay and maintain the satellite network. The reader meets the commander of Chinese sub whose crew chose to run from their military duty in order to save their families. We also hear from the soldiers on the front lines, those tasked with fighting the Zs (zombies) and sometimes humans as well.
What you take away from this book is that behind all the scariness and coolness of zombies, there is the humanity of the survivors. George Romero first showed us how the zombie apocalypse might start and The Walking Dead showed us how a select few might survive, but Brooks shows us how humanity will survive. He concerns himself with the psyche of the survivors, not just their methods. He also focuses on the environmental side effects of a zombie apocalypse something that I have never seen addressed in a zombie story.

Read more at: www.bourgette.com
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I don't have the words to review this. I already know I wouldn't do the book or the author justice so I'm going to leave it alone.
I will say that this man is brilliant. This, IMO, can be read by just about anyone... and loved. I never thought for a second I'd fall for it like I did.
He's a master at a what he does. That's no exaggeration - he's truly a master.
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Mom told me if I don't have something nice to say, not to say anything at all.
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One of the most disappointing books I have ever read in my entire life. I hated the writing, the story line, and all the characters (lack of). This book had major potential, but it just fell apart right at the beginning.

The story is basically just snippets told to a reporter by some of the major players who were involved in the Zombie War. A majority were military related that made no sense since and were hard to understand being that this is a made-up war in the authors mind. If you have no military experience or understanding the whole book will be lost on you. Even with my extensive knowledge of the Civil War I was still lost and could barely follow along.

I felt nothing for any of the characters or story tellers in the book. I felt nothing for the reporter as well since he seemed to be yelled at or made to look stupid at times which I could understand since he annoyed the ever loving hell out of me as well.

I could go on and on, but I could care less. I'm just thrilled to be done with this and I find it silly to repeat what has already been said in many of the other 1 star ratings that have already been published. I agree with all of them.
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Not sure what the fuss is about, this book to me was boring, even after forcing myself to read the entire book. I guess I wasn't ready for the "diary" entry format. The book takes a few pages on average to "hear" first hand experiences during the zombie war but nowhere does it give a reason for the outbreak. Some of the first hand accounts could have easily been made into a stand-alone book. This was my first and probably the last of my zombie reads.
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Brooks can write really harrowing zombie scenes, unfortunately here he buries those underneath pages of survivors' ramblings and various information on government strategizing. I read zombie fiction for the zombies, not for the geopolitical ramifications of a zombie outbreak. I also have to admit I was a bit disappointed in just how well human governments survived. Scenes such as zombies climbing all over a submarine sitting on the bottom of the ocean made it well worth the read, however. Just be aware that you have to earn those scenes by wading through a bit of non-zombie related information first.

Check out my full review.