World War Z

World War Z

[an Oral History of the Zombie War]

Audiobook CD - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:

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 book 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 reader, 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.

Eyewitness reports from the first truly global war

"I found ''Patient Zero'' behind the locked door of an abandoned apartment across town. . . . His wrists and feet were bound with plastic packing twine. Although he''d rubbed off the skin around his bonds, there was no blood. There was also no blood on his other wounds. . . . He was writhing like an animal; a gag muffled his growls. At first the villagers tried to hold me back. They warned me not to touch him, that he was ''cursed.'' I shrugged them off and reached for my mask and gloves. The boy''s skin was . . . cold and gray . . . I could find neither his heartbeat nor his pulse." --Dr. Kwang Jingshu, Greater Chongqing, United Federation of China

"''Shock and Awe''? Perfect name. . . . But what if the enemy can''t be shocked and awed? Not just won''t, but biologically can''t! That''s what happened that day outside New York City, that''s the failure that almost lost us the whole damn war. The fact that we couldn''t shock and awe Zack boomeranged right back in our faces and actually allowed Zack to shock and awe us! They''re not afraid! No matter what we do, no matter how many we kill, they will never, ever be afraid!" --Todd Wainio, former U.S. Army infantryman and veteran of the Battle of Yonkers

"Two hundred million zombies. Who can even visualize that type of number, let alone combat it? . . . For the first time in history, we faced an enemy that was actively waging total war. They had no limits of endurance. They would never negotiate, never surrender. They would fight until the very end because, unlike us, every single one of them, every second of every day, was devoted to consuming all life on Earth." --General Travis D''Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, p2006
Edition: Abridged
ISBN: 9780739366400
Branch Call Number: PS6231.W28 B76 2006
Characteristics: 5 sound discs (ca. 6 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in


From Library Staff

lindseyluce Apr 03, 2012

World War Z is a very interesting take on the very popular zombie trend that is going around right now. This takes place after the Zombie war and is a collection of stories and accounts of what happened during the war. It is about the people and their experiences rather than the zombies. If you l... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

May 26, 2018

For some reason, the creators of this audiobook thought it necessary to skip parts of the book; sometimes whole sections, sometimes just paragraphs, seemingly indiscriminately. What it actually included was great, and I really liked the different readers, but I wanted to listen to the whole book, not just a sample.

May 15, 2018

Before listening to this audiobook, I couldn’t have cared less about zombies. They have never interested me nor held any appeal whatever. But this audiobook changed all of that. It was consistently interesting and very well researched. It did not obsess with the gore and horror associated with zombies, but presented the overall picture of a massive global conflict and how people responded differently in different regions. The narration is, with a few exceptions, extremely good. It is performed by an ensemble cast, which is a very effective approach for the content because the entire book is divided into accounts told from different persectives. Max Brooks, the author, narrates the voice of the government agent who is interviewing various people, and his performance is easily the worst. But the others are excellent and the listener will recognize many voices from their roles in film. I strongly recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in zombies, apocolypses, or just good stories.

Nov 07, 2017

Max Brooks writes and weaves a complex narrative and leaves the reader (listener in this specific instance) to pick up the pieces of the unsaid, and the undead. Listening to this well written book is an absolute treat due to its full cast of readers, such as Simon Pegg, Alan Alda, Rob Reiner, Common and many more.

This is absolutely worth the investment. I enjoyed the recording very much.

My only gripe at all is that the second half is much stronger than the first half (in my personal opinion...)

Oct 04, 2017

I loved listening to this audiobook, the cast really make the story work well. Some of the great voices are instantly recognizable, Alan Alda in a war story what isn't to love?

AL_LESLEY Nov 10, 2016

This audio was completely awesome. Everybody had a different narrator and some really well known actors lend their voices which was great but despite loving the documentary style of the book and the high quality audio... I still just want to give this 3 stars.

Jan 15, 2016

If I would have won the Power Ball I was going to build a time machine and travel back to the year of our Lord 1977 and go on a three to thirteen year tour with the Grateful Dead. For my second time through this, the definitive Zombie Apocalypse novel, I decided to listen to the audio version. And while it was no Jerry Garcia circa '77, it was sweet nonetheless. I realized listening to the "author" interview survivors from around the world that I sadly only read in my own voice and don't use proper accents in my head. But seeing as I can only do one really awful Australian accent this should come as no surprise. Anywho, I highly recommend reading this novel and then a few years later listening to the audio version. Not only is this an entertaining tale playing one my LMOE fantasy but it also has some pretty scathing social commentary to boot.

Jan 04, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed the book for its social commentary. It is well written and well thought out. The fact that it's not all about America and offers such a variety of locations and characters is inspiring.

I would have liked the movie more if I hadn't read the book as it could have been several movies or a mini-series. It became something else: A good movie about one guy. I liked that the fellow retelling individual stories and interviewing people is nothing more than a narrator.

I subjected my family to the audio-book on our latest road-trip and they too enjoyed the cast of voice actors fleshing out the stories. I too regret that it has been abridged.

May 29, 2015

One of the best audio books I have ever listened to. If you decide to read World War Z, I would highly recommend this version. The cast, filled with amazing actors, brings an already great story to new heights. Be sure to get the 2013 version, which is ten discs long, and covers the entire book. Well worth the extra five discs!

Apr 13, 2015

Amazing book with an all star cast. Be warned this is the abridged version! The main story line is there but the best stories are left out. This is critical as it turns an amazing collection of survival stories into a somewhat dull book. Recommend purchasing the full audio book or reading the actual book before indulging in this version.

Feb 12, 2015

I was shocked to find I did not like this book. As a proud and devoted horror fan, on top of this story being such a wonderful idea, it came as both a blow and blessed relief when I finally admitted to myself that World War Z completely and totally bored me. I got a quarter of the way in, skipped through the meat of it, read the last few pages and then put a fork in it.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top