World War Z book review

World_War_Z_book_coverMax Brooks writes World War Z as if the worst of the zombie apocalypse has passed. In a Q&A interview style, Max Brooks writes the first-hand accounts of a variety of people effected by and involved in the zombie apocalypse. The interviewees include scientists and doctors that saw the very beginning of the disease, families chased out of their homes by the threat of the living dead, the President of the United States, a pilot whose plane crashed in the middle of zombie breathing ground but managed to find her way out, and so many more…

Interview-style Structure

This is the only novel I’ve read written in an interview style. The interviews were organized chronologically, starting by explaining the beginning of the outbreaks, widespread panicking, contained villages, soldiers traveling across the U.S. and leaving mountains of zombie corpses behind them, and finally with the aftermath.

One reason I didn’t like the interview style was that it created a very choppy structure. It read more like a collection of short stories than a novel. Besides the interviewer (Max Brooks) characters come and go as quickly as their story is told. Therefore, I didn’t get emotionally connected to the characters, often forgot their names, and didn’t care if their entire family turned into zombies and tried to kill them or not.

My favorite part of the interview style were the variety of first-person perspectives that were given. Each character told their own story, that I love.


I listened to World War Z on audiobook and would recommend doing so. The novel was read by a full cast of characters, a different voice actor for every interview, which adds an entertaining twist.


One of my favorite scenes from the World War Z movie. Photo taken from


Movie Adaptation

World War Z the movie, starring Brad Pitt, was released in 2013. I loved the movie (even though zombies are not my thing) so I thought I would give the book a try as well. Besides the title and the presence of zombies, the book and movie have nothing in common. The story line and structure is drastically different, as the movie does follow a certain character (played by Brad Pitt) through the entire movie.

I was pleased to hear that a sequel will be made, World War Z 2, and is expected to be in theaters in 2017. Not surprising considering the original was Brad Pitt’s highest grossing movie of his career.


The book gets 3 stars; the movie gets 4.5 stars! A very fun style of writing but overall I didn’t love the structure or the story itself, both of which were better in the film adaptation. I’m not much of a zombie enthusiast and although the structure of the book is unique, its still a typical zombie story.

About Sarah JS

Aspiring writer, lover of words, book nerd, working editor, and permanent student of the world

Posted on May 28, 2015, in Book Review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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