World War Z (Abridged): An Oral History of the Zombie War Audiobook, by Max Brooks Play Audiobook Sample

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World War Z (Abridged): An Oral History of the Zombie War Audiobook, by Max Brooks Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Max Brooks Narrator: a full cast Publisher: Random House Audio Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780739340141

Plot Summary

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is not your typical zombie story. There is little gore or violence. Instead, it chronicles worldwide governmental responses to a world-changing event that comes close to completely eradicating humanity.

The book is presented as if it was written by an agent who is working on chronicling the decade-long Zombie War for the United Nations Postwar Commission. The novel itself is the resulting report, composed of facts, figures and personal interviews that document the fall of civilization as we know it.

The zombie apocalypse begins as any plague does, with a Patient Zero. In this case, the epidemic started with a 12-year-old who lived in the village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China. From there, mass infection and panic begins to spread and rash political decisions are made by many leaders worldwide. Socioeconomic consequences soon begin to follow, and these are what the book focuses on.

Telling these stories through the guide of a fictional war with zombies allows author Max Brooks to explore the ideologies of different countries and to critique their reactions to issues that put their citizens at risk. The book compares and contrasts the reactions of those in different regions, and provides a commentary on the modern worldwide political landscape without addressing it directly.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, published in 2006, is a follow-up to The Zombie Survival Guide which was published in 2003. Brooks is a novelist and screenwriter. While his books have focused on zombies, he's best known for his years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live.

This audiobook version of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War features an ensemble cast including high-profile names such as Alan Alda, Mark Hamill and John Turturro.

Publisher Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Prepare to be entranced by this addictively readable oral history of the great war between humans and zombies.”—Entertainment Weekly

 

We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z is the only record of the apocalyptic years.

 

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, 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.

THE INSPIRATION FOR THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE



“Will spook you for real.”The New York Times Book Review

 

“Possesses more creativity and zip than entire crates of other new fiction titles. Think Mad Max meets The Hot Zone. . . . It’s Apocalypse Now, pandemic-style. Creepy but fascinating.”USA Today

 

“Will grab you as tightly as a dead man’s fist. A.”Entertainment Weekly, EW Pick 

 

“Probably the most topical and literate scare since Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds radio broadcast . . . This is action-packed social-political satire with a global view.”Dallas Morning News

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Quotes

  • “A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat.”

    - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “World War Z provides us with a starting point, at least, a basic blueprint from which to build a popular understanding of how, when, and why such a disaster came to be, and how small groups and individuals survived."

    - Jeb Weisman, PhD, director of Strategic Technologies, National Center for Disaster Preparedness
  • Brooks [is] America’s most prominent maven on the living dead. . . . Chilling. . . . It is gripping reading and a scathing indictment of weak responses to crises real and over-hyped.

    - Hartford Courant
  • “A sober, frequently horrifying and even moving account. . . . Brooks has delivered a full-blown horror novel, laced with sharp social and political observations and loads of macabre, gruesome imagery. . . . The real horror of World War Z comes from the all-too-plausible responses of human beings and governments to the menace.

    - Fangoria
  • This infectious and compelling book will have nervous readers watching the streets for zombies. Recommended.

    - Library Journal

Awards

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Winner of a 2007 Audie Award for Best Narration
  • Nominated for the 2012 Abraham Lincoln Award
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • A Washington Post bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times bestseller
  • A Gizmodo Pick of Immersive Audiobooks That Will Transport You to Another World

Customer Reviews

Write a Review
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " I tried so hard with this book but eventually I just gave up mind numbingly boring pretentious drivel "

    - Antony, 2/14/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Great potential but poorly executed. The story was at times interesting but there was a lot lost in the interview and dialog method. I did not care for this method of the delivery, and ultimately found it boring. Luckily, it was short. "

    - Greg, 2/14/2014
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Was not really anything I enjoyed, maybe the movie will be better. Read about 25 pages, moving on . "

    - Lisa, 2/6/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Interesting book. Not usually a huge zombie fan but this was good. The oral history part made for a confusing read at times. The book skipped around a lot and the reader is left to fill in the blanks which is why I gave it 4 stars. Will be interesting to see how the movie turns out. "

    - Candy, 2/2/2014
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Didn't actually finish it... Thought it was going to be something else entirely. "

    - Glenn, 2/2/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A innovative storytelling style, though one that also tends to suck the drama out of the story. The individual stories run the gamut from dull to moving. Overall, a worthwhile read, and pretty well-written zombiefic. "

    - Shannon, 1/27/2014
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Even as a distraction this book didn't work for me. It's written as a series of interviews, and I don't think that made for an exciting book. No character development. Not much plot. Worst sin of all in a horror novel, it was boring. "

    - Fred, 1/25/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This was cleverly written, bouncing between interviews of people involved in the war. I am not a big vampire/zombie reader but I really enjoyed this book! "

    - Brady, 1/20/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Good but lengthy. Strange format, but definitely worth it. "

    - Gina, 1/15/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A chilling account of 'what if' "

    - Baneet, 12/15/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " It was just ok... I am curious to see this turned into a movie... "

    - Sandra, 12/13/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " While some of the characterizations of how each nation would react to a zombie plague are American-centric, this book was a very good compilation of military history, epidemic biology, ecology, and anthropology...with zombies. Enjoyable read. "

    - Heather, 12/5/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A great book which uses the zombie genre as it was meant to be: a way of reflecting and commenting on humanity. "

    - Alex, 11/23/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I was glued to the format; a set of short stories designed to illustrate a global zombie outbreak. It took into account geopolitical attributes to give a believable narration of a past WW Z. Loved every minute. "

    - Joel, 11/23/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Entertaining! The interview style worked very well in understanding the whole story & it also makes the book unique. There was a lot of military POV and too many acronyms. I wish it ended in a different way. I was expecting more. :/ Easy & Light read. Looking forward to the film. :D "

    - Kuch, 11/17/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I just changed my review from 4 to 5 stars. I thought this book was incredible. Nothing like it. "

    - Aj, 7/28/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I really liked this book. I was interested in reading this because I enjoy watching The Walking Dead TV show. If you like The Walking Dead, you will like this book. Also the movie for World War Z looks amazing. Zombies are awesome! "

    - Josh, 5/5/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Once you get past all the acronyms and failed bureaucracy, you'll find an interesting take on how a "Zombie Apocalypse" would cause the world to reevaluate its traditional stances on war, disaster, and survival. Maybe George Romero would be proud... "

    - Howard, 5/3/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I really enjoy the personal perspectives and the short story-like format that fits together into a full-length novel. "

    - Patrick, 5/3/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I really enjoyed this book. Well written. The format made it an easy read with a lot of information. "

    - Faith, 1/6/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Super idea just not very good. Too bad. "

    - Mikey, 12/18/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Really very good book. Admit I'm into the zombie thing right now, but this book was different. The telling the story in short news clips was refreshing. I would recommend it to anyone. "

    - Gregory, 6/22/2012
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Surprisingly good Walking Dead-style zombie fiction. An interesting fictional account. "

    - Maribeth, 5/12/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I loved it. It felt unique in its approach to telling the story. The numerous perspectives and accounts gave it an authentic quality - not easy for a zombie book. I will read again. "

    - Leigh, 10/27/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Covers a lot of ground, good fun. "

    - Lara, 7/31/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Amazing. Made me feel like I was actually there. "

    - Justine, 5/24/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This book was written in a very interesting voice, which made it a good and interesting read. "

    - Kimberly, 5/23/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " My first impression was... how did all of this happen and I never heard about it? The author did such a good job of making all so realalistic and seem as though this was a true world disaster. In my opinion this is a good read for people of any age and it would be worth reading. :) "

    - Noah, 5/23/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " So much fun. It took awhile to pick up but when the action arrived I was hooked. He ties all of the interviews together well building a the reader a wonderfully vivid image of his world. Zombie fantasies fulfilled! "

    - Alexander, 5/22/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Brooks clearly put a lot of thought into this, and the result is quite readable, somewhat scary, and oddly realistic for a book about zombies. "

    - Raisu, 5/21/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This was a good fun vacation read. "

    - Charlie, 5/19/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Excelente libro. Lo mas importante, para mi gusto: transmite las emociones y logra que te identifiques. "

    - Speedy, 5/19/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " For a book about zombies this is very well written! (VERY!) Can't put it down. "

    - Nikki, 5/18/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Awesome book and really good read. It is told from the perspective of somebody interviewing a bunch of people involved in the Zombie War, it's really interesting. And I may go arm myself in the near future now haha. "

    - Gary, 5/16/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " One of my best books of all time "

    - Mansour, 5/16/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Loved this. Smart, thoughtful, and engaging. "

    - CarrieMae, 5/15/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I loved this book. It would make an excellent movie if they did it seriously. Imagine a history channel documentary on the zombie uprising and you have this book. Highly entertaining and different from the usual zombie books out there. "

    - Princessfaz, 5/15/2011

About the Author

Max Brooks is a senior nonresident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point and the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. His bestselling books include Minecraft: The Island, The Zombie Survival Guide, and World War Z, which was adapted into a 2013 movie starring Brad Pitt. His graphic novels include The Harlem Hellfighters.

About the Narrator

Moira Quirk, a British actress and Earphones Award–winning narrator, co-narrated Ben Bova’s Mercury and has narrated other popular audiobooks for which she received Audie Award nominations. She is a successful comedian and can be heard on Nickelodeon’s cartoon My Life as a Teenage Robot as well as in The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, The Wild Thornberrys Feature, and Serendipity, among others. She has also lent her voice to several video games, including Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction and Haunting Ground.