World War Z eBook by Max Brooks Click Here to Download the Book The 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.
Reviews You might think this is just another addition to the cheesy zombie/horror/sci-fi genre, but it's really not. True, on the surface it's about a worldwide zombie infestation. But not too far beneath that, it's really about how a global pandemic nearly wipes out the entire human race and how the world as a whole reacts to such a cataclysmic event. The zombie thing is really just a plot tool. The author could have used any type of wildly infectious disease, but he decided to use zombies; maybe because the zombie genre has been having something of a 2nd renaissance in recent years. I actually think the book is better for it because it adds a vaguely supernatural and campy touch to the whole thing, which gives the stories the ability to be interesting, scary, and at times even funny; but you never lose that feeling that something like this could actually happen at some point in the unspecified future. The book is written in the same manner as Studs Terkel's oral history compilation on America's Great Depression in that this narrator is a journalist interviewing hundreds of people all over the world who have lived through the Great Zombie War. The best part about the book is the scope of the stories the narrator uses. You get a good feel of what happens (or what could happen) in every corner of the world once the zombie infection starts, spreads, and eventually envelops the entire planet. And all the different countries' reactions all seem (to me anyway) to be entirely plausible. I can't help but feel that, had Max Brooks decided to base his book on something more serious than zombies (an actual disease, perhaps), he might have been up for some kind of award for the scope and cleverness of his writing. But then the stories would have lost their lightness that I think made the whole thing so appealing.
I absolutely devoured (hehe) this book. I was not immediately convinced that the format (short personal interviews of people from all over the world) would be readable, but after the first pages, I was flying through. Each person's story was eerily genuine and the tapestry that quickly came together was more engrossing than most of the single narrative novels I've read in the past year. I must add the disclaimer that I do, as a general rule, enjoy zombie movies. This book, however, was ** not ** a zombie movie. The "Zed heads" were there and actively eating as many people as possible, but the book is not about victims or monsters or gore or blood or brains. It is about the human spirit, the author's imaginings of our darkest days at the brink of extinction and the perseverence that separates us from beasts. The author reveals a present day people staring into a cyclone of utter despair and horror and destruction and then allows them to tell us the stories of how they survived crushing casualties to begin to reclaim their humanity from the bloody ashes. Both disturbing and sometimes ironic, this book was an excellent example of how a talented storyteller can use our greatest fears to teach us about ourselves.
WORLD WAR Z BY MAX BROOKS: I’ve read two books about zombies this year: one I found fascinating, incredibly interesting, and decreed it the best book of the year!; the other was formulaic, predictable, kind of failed in its goal, and ended terrible – one of them was written by Stephen King, can you guess which one? Being an avid King reader (yes, I’ve read it all!), you would expect the King zombie book to be the former, but alas. Cell was abysmal, World War Z is the best book I’ve read in a long time. The key to World War Z is in its execution not as a horror book – even though it’s about humanity’s struggling war against zombies, and even though it’s most likely categorized as horror in every bookstore – but as a piece of thrilling and thought-provoking and contemplative fiction. Brooks’ genius with this book is in using a quasijournal format where the narrator is traveling around the world interviewing a variety of different people from different backgrounds and cultures on how they managed to survive the war with the zombies. The book is set about a decade after World War Z, giving the reader the reassurance that we survived, and this book is about how. Brooks’ first book, The Zombie Survival Guide, gave step by step preparedness for what to do when confronted by one or a host of zombies: it’s a humor book meant to make you laugh and snicker at this outlandish situation. World War Z is not a funny book, but a deadly serious one. It’s quite shocking to contemplate the extensive research Brooks must have done to find out crucial details not just about the thirty different countries the narrator visits, but to also find out specific slang and expressions to that country and culture, and to know how a member of the military would act as opposed to a ordinary person, or another specifically skilled member of society in that country. He must have gained a wealth of knowledge about the different societies of the world in general. Brooks then takes it one step further in coming out with different operations and game plans for the different countries: what the government did, what the military did, and what its citizens did, all pertaining to the current regime of the time. The book is set not more than twenty years from the present time, so we are all familiar with the regimes and different governments of this world: from Bush’s conservative, military heavy America; to a clandestine and mysterious North Korea; to a potent and still racist South Africa. World War Z is a book about zombies that changes the way you think about the world and its people. It makes you think about how we’re all in this together, we’re all the same – regardless of the world-threatening devastation, be it zombies, terrorism, or a pandemic virus. World War Z serves as a guide book to humanity, so that when the “big thing” – whatever it is – happens, we’ll be a little more caring of other people around the world, regardless of what god they believe in, or the color of their skin.
I couldn't put it down! A huge Brooks fan and avid zombie enthusiast. It was a great take on the zombie apocolypse with a strong focus on the political and social affects of an undead epidemic. The personal stories of various encounters are bound to touch a reader in one way or another wether with horror, sadness, or terror. This book touches you in its basic humanity. Simply wonderful!
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