Taking place in the 2010s, the book charts a war against the undead from global pandemic to mass panic, and then to an armed struggle to reclaim the planet. Rather than a grand overview or a single perspective, World War Z is instead a collection of individual accounts, each revealing an aspect of the larger plot and simultaneously presenting a very personal tale. These different accounts take the form of interviews. The book draws from post-apocalyptic and zombie literature. "The Great Panic" chapter describes the rout of civilization in a similar manner to H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds. The tales cover many genres – the story of a Chinese admiral who spent the war on a submarine would fit easily among techno-thrillers. The viewpoint is not exclusively American, but focuses on the global nature of the struggle. This use of small personal tales creates a patchwork tapestry of the larger events unfolding in the book. Brooks addresses current issues such as environmentalism, the War on Terrorism and international health care. He also offers an interesting juxtaposition between the modern world and that of postwar Earth. For example, Cuba becomes the world's leading economy, Great Britain becomes a major producer of oil, and Tibet becomes the most populous country. This vision of a postwar Earth is startling in its contrast to that of today. It is implied that tribal groups such as South American Indians, Zulu of Southern Africa and Māori of New Zealand fared surprisingly well. One character relates an anecdote about how 500 Māori took on half of the Auckland horde, using traditional tribal weapons, and fared much better than the world's various military forces or Western civilians.
Slightly… Badly written summary by Wikipedia, but read both books. Read the Survival Guide first, to understand it all, then read WWZ, which is the story of what COULD happen in that world.
Anyone who has read it… What you think?