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Book Clubbing


World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
by Max Brooks




Max Brooks


About the Book

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is an apocalyptic horror novel by Max Brooks. The novel is a collection of individual accounts narrated by an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, following the devastating global conflict against the zombie plague. Other passages record a decade-long desperate struggle, as experienced by people of various nationalities. The personal accounts also describe the resulting social, political, religious, and environmental changes.


About the Author

Maximillian Michael Brooks (born May 22, 1972) is an American horror author and screenwriter, as well as a television and voice-over actor. He is the son of comedy filmmaker Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft. Brooks's writing focuses on zombie stories.

Discussion Questions

  1. World War Z has around forty different perspective characters telling their individual stories, and we're not even counting the Interviewer.
  2. What's the purpose of having so many different characters from so many different places? Why do you think this story-telling method was chosen? Don't forget to snatch some evidence for your answer from the book.
  3. Back to those forty-three different characters: what do you think are the advantages to having so many perspective characters? What about locations? Any disadvantages? Based on your answer from the above question, how well do you think this story-telling method supports its intended purpose?
  4. What kind of role do you feel gender plays in World War Z? Do you notice a difference in how the women's stories played out versus the men's? If yes, how? If no, explain why not.
  5. Find an example or two of religion being shown as a positive force in the novel. Then find some examples of its negative effects. Do a little comparing and contrasting. Based on this, what role do you think religion plays in the novel?
  6. The Interviewer argues in Chapter 1 that "if there is a human factor that should be removed, let it be my own" (1.1.5). How do you see the Interviewer removing his "human factor" from the story? Do you notice any instances where his human factor pops up? Based on these instances, what purpose do you think the Interviewer character serves in the novel? If you don't see any instances, then explain how this is accomplished and why it matters to the novel.


Awards, Nominations, etc.

Its audiobook version, performed by a full cast including Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, and John Turturro, won an Audie Award in 2007.