Apr 052012

Author: Max Brooks

Pages: 342

PublisherThree River’s Press

Release Date: September 12, 2006

Genre: Horror, Zombie, Mock Journalism

Characters: Nearly every chapter focuses on a different character, a Chinese doctor that finds Patient zero, a soldier that fought in some of the greatest battles in America, and a deep-sea diver battling underwater dead long after the rest of the world has gotten back to normal and many others.

Synopsis: When Max Brooks wrote the Zombie Survival Guide in 2003, he included a few short stories about historical Zombie attacks in the last chapter. In World War Z, he has taken his skill with narrative zombie stories and expanded it into a vivid alternate future 20 years after a massive outbreak of the living dead. In each chapter, the narrator interviews the people who fought in and survived the zombie apocalypse.

Analysis: I’m a great fan of zombie movies, novels and almost any other format you can find. Occasionally, I will find myself thinking about what I would do to avoid being the first guy to die in an outbreak. It appears that Max Brooks has also done his fair share of thinking and has come up with solutions to this problem. He has created a fantastic and entertaining series of short stories tied together and advanced by placing himself in the novel as the interviewer. I think one of the best parts about this novel is that in taking place after the war, it promotes the idea that humanity can pull together to overcome a large problem and avoid extinction. Despite the gore and zombies it is hopeful in the end.


  • The interviewer does not directly contradict his subject, but the footnotes often do.
  • Funny little details:“A guy who I’m damn sure was Michael Stipe, although I never got him to admit it.”- Todd Wainio
  • Very good advice if you are in that situation: “Don’t write their eulogy, don’t try to imagine who they used to be, how they came to be here, how they came to be this.” -Christine Eliopolis


  • Brooks needs to give a better of description of things like the Lobo.
  • Several times he mentions several songs in a way that makes them seem common and popular, but I did a poll and barely anyone I know has heard of Roxy Music, much less their song “Avalon”.

Conclusion: This is a very decent book that entertain, shock and get you thinking about what you need to do to get ready to survive World War Z.

Trivia: Max Brooks is the son of actor, director and comedian, Mel Brooks.

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