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World War Z | Characters

Character Description
The investigator The investigator is the globe-trotting historian whose interviews make up World War Z. He reveals little about himself, asking only brief questions to keep his interviewees talking. Read More
Dr. Kwang Jingshu With years of medical and military experience already behind him, Dr. Kwang Jingshu is still taken aback by the first case of plague he sees in rural China. Read More
Saladin Kader After the war Saladin Kader is a professor of urban planning in Israel. Before the war he was an angry young refugee, opposed to Israel's existence. Read More
Paul Redeker A brilliant strategist whose plan to halt the plague earns him the epithets "savior" and "monster," Paul Redeker spends the postwar years in an institution, going by the alias Xolelwa Azania, perhaps denying his identity or perhaps dissociating from it. Read More
Maria Zhuganova Maria Zhuganova is a Russian soldier who witnesses the Decimation early in the war and later bears many children to repopulate her nation, though she bitterly resents its leaders. Read More
Todd Wainio Todd Wainio is a seasoned, practical U.S. Army veteran who fought zombies in battles from the east coast to the west and back. Read More
Tomonaga Ijiro Founder of Japan's Shield Society, Tomonaga Ijiro fled the war into the mountain, where he received a calling to follow a path of reconciliation of people with the land. Read More
Philip Adler Philip Adler is a German soldier during the war who felt betrayed by the military. Though he comes to understand the decisions leaders made, he still seethes with anger over a leader who killed himself out of guilt rather than staying the course.
Seryosha Garcia Alvarez Seryosha Garcia Alvarez is nearly smug with pride in Cuba's achievements during the war, with good reason. His own prosperity in banking has risen with Cuba's fortunes as well.
Bob Archer CIA director after the war, Bob Archer tried to alert the agency to real intelligence before the Great Panic and was punished with an unwanted transfer to a low-priority city.
Gavin Blaire As a civilian Gavin Blaire piloted a Fujifilm blimp, from which he viewed heart-wrenching scenes of those attempting to flee in Kansas. Blaire becomes pilot of a military dirigible and serves through the war and afterward.
Grover Carlson As White House chief of staff during the Great Panic, Grover Carlson justified any means toward the end of calming the public. Still cynical after the war, he works at a plant that converts manure into energy.
Unnamed chairperson The unnamed chairperson of the UN Postwar Commission objects to the investigator's original report as having too many feelings. The investigator retrieves the material edited out of the report and writes this book.
Hyungchol Choi Hyungchol Choi, who spent his career observing North Korea from the South, acknowledges how prepared the North was for any conflict. Now that the war is over, however, he fears for the silenced population of the North.
Michael Choi Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Choi is an experienced Navy diver who almost enjoys his submarine warfare against zombies. His "surfer dude" attitude belies his graying hair and wrinkles.
T. Sean Collins T. Sean Collins, one of the book's most colorful and profane characters, is a hard-drinking gun for hire who has little respect for those who can't protect themselves.
General Travis D'Ambrosia By war's end General Travis D'Ambrosia is Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. A savvy leader, he understood even before the Great Panic that the largely volunteer military was exhausted and demoralized.
Christina Eliopolis Air Force Colonel Christina Eliopolis tells a story of personal survival that tests not only her physical stamina but her mental endurance. She's a tough, practical soldier, yet she can't explain some of the mysterious experiences she's had.
Roy Elliot Roy Elliot is a wartime maker of propaganda films intended to address the problem of Asymptomatic Demise Syndrome (ADS). Because this disease causes people to die from the lack of the will to live, Elliot's films give people a cause: advocating for the zombies. As a result of Elliot's films, cases of the disease drop, and the value of art is reaffirmed.
Ahmed Farahnakian A major in Iran's army during the war, Ahmed Farahnakian watched as events led unchecked to a nuclear exchange with Pakistan. Afterward, Farahnakian lives in near-exile, regretting the loss of his faith in his nation and his religion.
David Allen Forbes An English historian, David Allen Forbes studies the use (and misuse) of castles and fortifications during the war and reveals, as he reminisces, great fondness and admiration for the queen of England.
Darnell Hackworth A quiet man, Darnell Hackworth trained and served with K-9 Corps dogs during the war, bonding closely with the animals. He cares for retired, aging corps members now and still resents military leaders who regarded the animals as nothing but tools.
Jesika Hendricks A child when the Great Panic began, Jesika Hendricks fled north from Wisconsin with her family. Necessity teaches Hendricks to be practical and collected; now she volunteers to destroy thawing zombies each spring.
Sardar Khan Sardar Khan, a hotel manager, served with the Border Roads Organization in India and was present when the pass into the Himalayas was blown up to cut the zombies off. After the war his memories of a leader's courage under fire continue to inspire him.
Terry Knox Terry Knox, an Australian astronaut, commanded the International Space Station during the conflict. He and his crew kept the satellites active, but after the war, he pays the price of long exposure to radiation and microgravity.
Bohdan Taras Kondratiuk Bohdan Kondratiuk's service during the war made him a national hero. Now dying slowly from respiratory illness contracted during the war, he looks back in anguished awe at the cost of containing the infection.
Stanley MacDonald Canadian veteran Stanley MacDonald fought the plague across Canada and now resides in a former monastery in Greece, where he finds some peace from his memories.
Mary Jo Miller A suburban mother whose protective instincts roar to life during the Great Panic, Mary Jo Miller helps to build an enforced town in Montana and vows, after the war, never to be caught unprepared again.
Joe Muhammad An artist and bike repairman, Joe Muhammad didn't let his disability keep him from protecting his neighborhood during the war and is honored by a bronze statue of himself, seated in his wheelchair, after the war.
Jacob Nyathi Born in post-apartheid South Africa, Jacob Nyathi grew up poor and survived the early outbreak in Cape Town to prosper after the war as captain of a cutting-edge ship.
Ernesto Olguin A naval attaché present at the UN conference on the Saratoga, Ernesto Olguin recalls the tension between so-called First World countries and others about how to execute the war. He was glad when the vote went for a full attack.
Dr. Fernando Oliveira A doctor working in the black market organ transplant community before the war, Dr. Fernando Oliveira lives as an outcast, or perhaps a refugee, among the Yanomami people of Brazil.
Barati Palshigar Linguist Barati Palshigar understands that, whatever the nature of a crisis, the real threat is ignorance. She credits Radio Free Earth, her employer, with saving many lives and providing sanity in the midst of chaos.
Andre Renard Andre Renard helped clear the catacombs beneath Paris during the war. In self-imposed exile in Quebec, Renard is bitter that their work hasn't received the attention it merits.
Father Sergei Ryzhkov Father Sergei Ryzhkov served as a chaplain during the war and took on himself the burden of wounded soldiers' souls. After the war he leads what he confidently believes is a spiritual revival in Russia.
Breckinridge Scott Breckinridge "Breck" Scott made a fortune during the war selling a useless vaccine but shrugs off suggestions of blame or fraud. Still, he lives in hiding in Russia's Antarctic station after the war.
Sharon Sharon, a young woman with mental disabilities, was saved from a death at the hands of a trusted adult who sought to keep her from the zombies; she acts out her disturbing story with gestures and voices.
Ajay Shaw Ajay Shaw managed an office before the war but fled, as did many, to the sea to escape the plague. Years later, he's still moved by the courage and compassion he witnessed on the coast, as well as by pity for the victims.
Arthur Sinclair Jr. Confident to the point of cocky, Arthur Sinclair Jr. led the U.S. conversion to a war economy as head of the Department of Strategic Resources. Now retired, he looks back with pride at the nation's achievements but is willing to admit his stumbles as well.
Kondo Tatsumi A reclusive citizen of cyberspace as the Great Panic begins, Kondo Tatsumi escapes the zombie wave more by luck than by skill. By the war's end he has matured into a calm, purposeful warrior monk.
Nury Televaldi Nury Televaldi smuggled people out of China through Tibet during the war's early months. He lives in Lhasa after the war.
Jurgen Warmbrunn A former Israeli intelligence officer, Jurgen Warmbrunn wasn't fooled by false reports; he co-authored the Warmbrunn-Knight report to alert the world, but few nations heeded the warning.
The Whacko The impassioned man who served as vice president during the war won't give his name but uses instead the name others gave him. His admiration for the president's leadership is apparent as he recalls the challenges of managing the civilian population during the war.
The Sacks A plague victim may go by many names: Zack, Zed, ghoul, G, it, living dead, undead, or the blight, among others. Encounters with Sacks form the shared experience of all characters in World War Z.
Admiral Xu Zhicai A sailor on a nuclear sub during the war, Admiral Xu Zhicai developed deep admiration for Captain Chen, whom he defends after the war as a hero, not a traitor, for taking the Admiral Zheng He, a nuclear submarine, far from China's shores during the outbreak against orders.
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