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.
“The end was near.” –Voices from the Zombie War
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.
Most of all, the audiobook captures with haunting immediacy
the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid
nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of
the listener, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction,
“By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal
detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it?
And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and
the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”
Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained
in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United
Nations Postwar Commission. Download and start listening now!