World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks - NEW Novel
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (abbreviated WWZ) is a 2006 novel by Max Brooks. Though a follow-up to his humorously deadpan previous book, The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z is more serious in tone, and strives to be both factually and psychologically convincing. Brooks also states that World War Z follows the "laws" set up in The Zombie Survival Guide, and that the guide exists in this world as a precursor to the war.
Brooks plays the role of an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission who published the novel in this fictional future after the United Nations left out much of his work from the official report. Rather than a grand overview or a single perspective, World War Z is instead a collection of individual accounts in the form of interviews between the author and the characters. Taking place in the 2010s, the book charts a war against zombies from remote oddities, to a global pandemic to mass panic, and then to an armed struggle to reclaim the planet from the undead. In addition, the personal accounts describe the changing religious, geo-political, and environmental aftermath of the Zombie war.
Inspired by the The Good War and George Romero, Brooks uses World War Z to provide commentary on a wide range of topics including government ineptitude, survivalism, and uncertainty in our times. It has been praised by critics and the audiobook version, complete with an all-star cast, won the 2007 Audie Award. A film based upon the book is currently in development, and is expected to be released in 2010.
A film adaptation is in development, following a bidding war between Brad Pitt and Leonardo Di Caprio's production companies, with the rights being obtained by Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment and the screenplay being written by Babylon 5 and Rising Stars creator J. Michael Straczynski. In an interview Straczynski said it was a challenge to create a main character out of a book that reads as a UN Report on the zombie wars, but he says his solution was create the guy who wrote that report and follow his process. Marc Forster signed on to direct on November 13, 2008. The director described the film as reminiscent of 1970s conspiracy thrillers like All the President's Men.
When asked if he would have anything to do with the movie, Brooks stated that he had "zero control", but he admitted he would love to see Brad Pitt have a role in the movie and thought Straczynski was a great choice to write the script. In an interview with Fangoria Brooks said "I can’t give it away, but Straczynski found a way to tie it all together. The last draft I read was amazing."
About this Book
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. Brookssays 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.
About the Author
Max Brooks (born Maximillian Michael Brooks on May 22, 1972 in New York City) is an author and screenwriter.From 2001 to 2003, Brooks was a member of the writing team at Saturday Night Live.
Brooks is the author of The Zombie Survival Guide, a book published in 2003 (ISBN 1-4000-4962-8). The book explains in great detail how to survive an impending zombie apocalypse. The book touches on what it describes as pop cultural myths about zombies.
Brooks' book World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which deals with the war between the human race and zombies, was released on September 12, 2006. Paramount Pictures has acquired the movie rights; Brad Pitt's production company Plan B will produce the film. In the October 2006 issue of Fangoria Magazine, Brooks explains that he will not be writing the screenplay for the motion picture, as he feels he is not an accomplished enough screenwriter to "do it right." (J. Michael Straczynski is writing the screenplay.)
Brooks has also written the introduction for the hardcover collected edition of Dynamite Entertainment's zombie miniseries Raise the Dead which is to be released in 2008. Brooks has a number of other creative credits.Roseanne, Pacific Blue, and 7th Heaven. He also has a career voicing animation; his voice has been featured in the animated shows Batman Beyond, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and Justice League.
Brooks is the son of director Mel Brooks and the late actress Anne Bancroft. He is a 1994 graduate of Pitzer College. His wife, Michelle, is a screenwriter, and the couple have a son, Henry.
When asked at a lecture at Case Western Reserve University whether he preferred the movie History of the World Part I or Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Brooks picked the former, citing the "Hitler on Ice" and "Jews in Space" gags.
Max Brooks lives in Los Angeles.
Max Brooks’s previous book, The Zombie Survival Guide, formed the core of the world’s civilian survival manuals during the Zombie War. Mr. Brooks subsequently spent years traveling to every part of the globe in order to conduct the face-to-face interviews that have been incorporated into this present publication.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks - NEW Novel
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