World War Z by Max Brooks

Medium ImageJust finished reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. Murdoc’s not particularly a zombie fan, but this book was a good read, definitely enjoyable for casual zombie fans. How it holds up for hardcore zombie freaks I can’t say, but one of them I know enjoyed it thoroughly. Here’s the blurb:

Brooks tells the story of the world’s desperate battle against the zombie threat with a series of first-person accounts “as told to the author” by various characters around the world. A Chinese doctor encounters one of the earliest zombie cases at a time when the Chinese government is ruthlessly suppressing any information about the outbreak that will soon spread across the globe. The tale then follows the outbreak via testimony of smugglers, intelligence officials, military personnel and many others who struggle to defeat the zombie menace. Despite its implausible premise and choppy delivery, the novel is surprisingly hard to put down. The subtle, and not so subtle, jabs at various contemporary politicians and policies are an added bonus.

Most of the military aspects of the story appeared to be spot on, with the exception of a few cancelled programs that are written about as if they entered the field. As far as I can tell, the Zombie War took place sometime in 2009-2012, in the term of the US president following George W. Bush.

I know that there are bunch of zombie fans out in the bunch of MO regular readers. Has anyone checked out this book? Is this considered a solid piece of zombie fiction? Most of what I’ve seen is pretty weak, honestly, and this book is not. Or does Murdoc ‘just not get it’?


  1. The movie is a joint project between J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) and Max Brooks. Brooks will be playing the role of the interviewer as he did in the book. As long as they have the Battle of Yonkers, I’m set.

  2. I read the book earlier in the year and enjoyed it. Brooks has definitely thought this zombie stuff out thoroughly. Some of the stories are quite disturbing. Mudroc – did this book cause you paranoia, weird dreams, and an irresistible urge to carry a weapon? It sure did for me (okay, the urge to carry weapons pre-dates the book).

  3. Skrip00: Wow. That sounds good. Too bad Michael Bay couldn’t make it, though, with an adaptation by a team of nine screenwriters. [ducks for cover] Bram: No, the book didn’t cause me much in the way of paranoia. But I’ve always thought that I was a bit immune to the whole zombie thing…except for the original Night of the Living Dead I’ve never really cared for the stories or movies.

  4. I thought the book was awesome. However, I don’t think the book translates well into a movie. Even if the movie was 3+ hrs. long, you couldn’t squeeze all the stories into it, which would be a shame. It’d be better off as a mini-series on cable such as HBO’s Rome or Band of Brothers.

  5. I listened to the audio version of this book on a trip to the Porcupine Mtns. I thought it was terrible. (good thing I did not pay for it) Nothing but a blab fest on how socialism would be the only thing to save us if we were ever attacked by zombies. FFS they had Alan Alda reading the part of a commie bureaucrat who saved the day. More than likely that is the version that they will make into a movie.

  6. ASW – That sounds nothing like the printed book. The governments that survived used very draconian measures, but I don’t remember socialism as part of the solution.