Books Like World War Z
Before it appeared on the big screen as an apocalyptic action horror starring Brad Pitt, World War Z was actually a 2006 novel by Max Brooks. The novel, which was subtitled "An Oral History of the Zombie War" is written in the form of individual accounts of events involving the outbreak of a global zombie plague. What is interesting about the novel is that it also features personal accounts from people of different nationalities as they try and cope with the changes caused by the zombies. There have been many other books featuring zombies and post-apocalyptic disasters, but World War Z still remains one of the harrowing. If you are looking for something in a similar vein then check out the following books like World War Z.
by Max Brooks
World War Z is actually not the first book about zombies written by Max Brooks. That honor goes to his 2003 release, The Zombie Survival Guide. It is written in the form of a fictitious survival manual in the event of a zombie apocalypse, but the tone is much humorous than World War Z. The Zombie Survival Guide has various chapters describing the virus that causes zombies, weapons and combat techniques, as well as tips on surviving a world that is overrun with zombies. Although The Zombie Survival Guide was supposed to be produced as a live-action film after the release of World War Z, this has not happened yet.
by Daniel H. Wilson
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson is a 2011 science fiction novel that became a New York Times bestseller. Wilson is a robotics engineer and just like Brooks he first wrote a fictitious survival guide before following it up with a novel. In the case of Wilson, the menace in the books stems from robots instead of zombies, but the stories follow a similar style. The novel even follows a narrative structure that is the same as World War Z by telling the story from the perspective of different survivors. It's about an intelligent sentient AI that wages war on humanity, forcing a desperate fight for survival.
by J. L. Bourne
Day by Day Armageddon is also about a zombie apocalypse that is engulfing the planet, but it is told from the perspective of one survivor keeping a handwritten journal. It chronicles his daily struggles to stay alive in a world where the dead have become the dominant species. J. L. Bourne also uses the journal style to keep the suspense up by starting entries with shocking statements before going on to explain what happened. The journal entries actually start before the global catastrophe, which makes it even more unnerving as the protagonist begins to mention strange events that build-up to the zombie outbreak. Bourne also went on to write a couple of sequels to Day by Day Armageddon, so fans who get hooked on the first book have plenty to look forward to.
A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
by Raymond A. Villareal
Take World War Z and replace the zombies with vampires and you have A People's History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal. The story begins with the disappearance of a body from the morgue, which then spirals into more cases of vanishing cadavers. It soon becomes clear that these bodies, who all appear to have died from the same inexplicable disease, has risen as vampires. However, these vampires don’t just develop a thirst for blood but also become stronger and more beautiful than their human counterparts. They quickly begin to dominate society, but not everyone is pleased with this happening. A People's History of the Vampire Uprising is told from the perspective of multiple characters and features plenty of unique twists and turns.
by Chuck Palahniuk
Rant is a typical grim thriller by Chuck Palahniuk and tells the story of a man named Buster Casey. In this novel, Casey is basically patient zero who dedicated his life to cause as much death as possible in all kinds of extreme ways. These include purposely infecting himself with rabies to spread it to other people. Just like World War Z, the story of Casey is told from multiple viewpoints, which in this case includes interviews with people who knew him. These accounts are often contradictory, which makes the oral history of Buster "Rant" Casey even more bizarre.
by Stephen Jones
Zombie Apocalypse! is a near-future novel that is told in mosaic style describing how the UK government inadvertently releases a centuries-old plague. This is no ordinary plague, as anyone infected becomes zombies who can then pass on the contagion to others through bites or scratches. In true zombie fashion, this virus can even revive those who are already dead. It's not long before London falls and the virus spread to Europe and then the rest of the world. Readers get to experience all these events through e-mails, letters, diaries, official reports, blogs and other forms of communication that are used in the novel. Close to 20 authors were involved with this book, which ensured that the story remains unique and compelling.
by Studs Terkel
The Good War is not a novel, but the true accounts from men and women across the world who were influenced by the Second World War. The book was published in 1984 and the author of World War Z, Max Brooks, read it as a teenager. According to Brooks, it was The Good War that inspired him to write World War Z in a similar vein as this book. Although The Good War is non-fiction, it is every bit as compelling as the other books on this list.