World War Z | Study Guide

Max Brooks

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Max Brooks

Year Published





Dystopian, Horror

Perspective and Narrator

The narrator of World War Z is an investigator, a fictional version of the author, who travels widely to gather accounts of the plague that nearly wipes out life on earth. He speaks in the first person, as do the interviewees.


The accounts of the war in World War Z are told in past tense, though the investigator's descriptions of the interviewees and their current circumstances are in present tense.

About the Title

The title is an allusion to World Wars I and II, indicating a world-wide conflict. The Z in World War Z stands for zombie, the term people commonly use to refer to the plague victims whose assault nearly destroys nations around the world. The extended title An Oral History of the Zombie War is a further allusion to a Pulitzer Prize-winning title by author Studs Terkel, The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two (1984). This interview-based text provides the structural model for World War Z.


This study guide and infographic for Max Brooks's World War Z offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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