Full Story Synopsis: World War Z
World War Z
World War Z
The book follows many different points of view being taken down in an interview format with the author as the interviewer.
We start with a man who was a doctor who treated patient zero. He remembers how the boy lost his toe after being attacked while treasure hunting with his dad. He then grows sick and when he attacked several of the villagers he was locked away and restrained. As he is trying to diagnose his friend warns him to get out of the country. Before he can do so he is locked away. By time he gets out the war was already underway.
Another man tells his tale of smuggling people, some with infected passengers, out of the country. Eventually he takes all the money he made and gets away knowing the infection is spreading to other countries now.
The next man worked in the military and was looking for terrorists when he stumbled upon what look to be an attack. They find many people from a terrorist group dead, all from what appeared to be their own fire. They find one man still alive but as it turns out, he isn’t all that alive at all.
Then he speaks with a doctor who helped perform heart surgery with a heart acquired from the black market. When the patient slips into a coma he goes home only to be called back by a frantic nurse. When he gets there he finds the patient eating the other doctor and kill him accidentally. He ran then, but he never found out what happened to the dead doctor. This case shows that the infection was also spread through organ, blood, and other donors.
Then it starts to move into later stages of the infected when a man recounts how he believed it to be a gunfight in his small poverty-stricken town in Barbados. He recounts how he saw the walking undead coming towards him and remembers trying to get away. It ends with him being hit by a fleeing car and waking up in the hospital high on painkillers. He did not remember much else during that time.
There is a small chapter about a man who worked for an intelligence agency who heard through encrypted files about the outbreak. Through digging of his own he was able to write a report on how to deal with the oncoming crisis. It had plans on how to avoid turning it into an epidemic. No one read it and he remarks to look at the cost.
As the story moves deeper into the epidemic we meet a young man (not so young anymore) who had lived in Israel before things got bad. He rebelled against the government and their voluntary quarantine, not believing the story of ‘African Rabies’ turning the dead into cannibals. When his father forces his family to leave the country he sees first hand the measures others are taking to prevent the infection from spreading. There are long lines of cages with dogs, which can smell out the infection that many people have to go through. Those who don’t pass are taken away in mysterious black vans. Later, while trying to rebel, the young boy watches as the creatures destroy a city. Only then did he believe the stories.
A man working for the CIA describes how his agency overlooked what was happening when the plague hit China. He describes how even the mention of the plague would send his coworkers running because no one wanted to believe what was happening out there. Until the facts came out he was under stress. But no one believed what they read.
The next interview is with someone during hunting season (which is the time when the bodies of the undead are still frozen in the snow and are able to be safely dealt with) who describes how he worked with the government. There was a plan to deploy the military to deal with smaller infected areas until they could get the next step underway. The next step never came.
In the Artic lies a large dome where people live in safety that was built during the ‘Great Panic’ of the infection. There the interviewer speaks with the man who created the fake cure which lead to the outbreak becoming more than it should have. Because of the drug not working when the people found out it caused the ‘Great Panic.’
The next is another man who worked for the US government. He describes in great detail how they knew about the plague but covered it up to prevent a panic and to keep the political agenda. They felt no guilt over what happened to the people.
In the US lies a town where all of the houses are high on stilts with retractable staircases and solar cells to power them. The woman who built them tells the story of how her family lived in a normal community and she never paid any attention to the warning signs. One night she was with her son when one of the dead burst through her back door and attacked her husband. Then one attacked her daughter and she killed it before taking off with her children into the night.
Another man drives north in heavy traffic when he notices people on foot running by. Behind them he spots slow moving heard of the dead ripping people from cars and killing all they can get their hands on. The man remarks how these people didn’t even know where they were going. The panic was so advanced that people saw a line of cars and joined it in hopes that they would get away some how.
A man tells the story of what happened to those living by the ocean. Many people boarded anything that would float in hopes of getting away from the dead. Most ships sank killing all on board while thousands of people on shore scrambled through the infested waters hoping to get onto a ship. He was saved while swimming only to watch many other ships become slaughterhouses as the infected reanimated leaving the people nowhere to go to survive.
The interviewer speaks with a beautiful woman who became mentally challenged due to her experiences during the war. When she and her mother hid out with in a church with a couple other families she was only four years old. As they waited for help to arrive the dead arrive first. As the older members fight back with guns the mothers take it into their hands to make sure the dead won’t eat the children by strangling them to death. One mother, whose daughter was eaten before hiding out, saves the young girl and makes a run for it. As the monsters pull her down she throws the girl yelling for her to run. Since then she has been in a mentally unstable state. But this incident happened all over the world as people tried to protect their children from the dead.
The next woman tells his story about patrolling in the military during the panic in Russia. She was instructed at first to question every person they came across about their family to make sure nobody was infected. When a member of the group refuses to kill a little girl severe crackdowns were enforced. One out of every ten of the military group was to be killed and they had to be killed by their own men. The woman had to kill many of her own friends just to stay alive.
Another man that lived in the US tells the story of how he was a security guard at a famous mansion on an island. The man living there would allow only the most famous people to seek refuge on his island where they would be safe until the war was over. When people found out what he was doing they stormed the place destroying all the safety measures just to find safety. The man left with what he could intent on getting far away from the chaos.
In Iceland there are cities underground that are safe from the terror that once gripped the land. The man there tells the story of millions of refugees fleeing from Pakistan causing outbreaks all over the place. To stop the refugees from coming into the country the man bombed the main bridge separating the countries permanently. This caused a war between Pakistan and India. Many were killed in the battle that no one saw coming.
The next man tells of the battle of Yonkers, a small suburb just out of New York City. While the military is put on parade for the media there is no protection from the oncoming horde of zombies. Almost all of the military is wiped out except a few who were lucky enough to survive. This shocked the US government as they realized the threat was worse than they had thought.
The next man is a man who seems to know a lot about a man who helped to turn the tide on the war. The man wrote a report on how to save the population you had to sacrifice those who couldn’t make it. By only protecting the most important he thought they could save the world. After some convincing the government enacted the plan. As the interviewer leaves the man he sees the name on his door is in fact the man he claimed to know.
A man from Germany tells of the time during the war where he and his unit were forced by their commanding officer to leave civilians to die without telling them of the plan. When they retreated they ran into many more military groups that were left behind to cover their retreat. To that day he still feels the regret and hatred of leaving the people behind.
Another man was forced to retreat to a ‘safe town’ only to be told that they were beginning an evacuation there as well and was forced to help more citizens retreat. They made it to a bridge that connected two cities when they are told to control the traffic. They had to strip down as many people as possible to check for infection but people rebelled against them. All this time the dead are closing in. Over the river a plane comes carrying poison bombs. With all the people dead the undead start to rise allowing the gunner to kill them.
During the panic many people tried to flee north where they knew the winters would keep the dead away. A young woman and her family go as far north as their car would allow without realizing what it took to survive. At first people stuck together and protected one another. But as the food grew scarce the people grew colder. The young woman recounts how she watched many die and many turn to cannibalism to stay alive, even her own parents. When the winter was over no one was prepared for the dead that came upon them.
In India thousands of people fleeing the dead in the city climb a mountain trail accompanied by monkeys all going as far as they can go. People fall from the cliff every minute and behind the crowd the dead are slowly advancing. The man being interviewed was sent up the path to blow up the mountain path in the hopes of preventing most of the dead from following. But as the time to blow the charges come the people fleeing are not clearing the zone. As the dead advance there is little choice but to blow it anyway of risk losing more lives. When they try to blow the charges it doesn’t blow. Thanks to a high ranking hero officer they manage to blow the charges by hand. And as the man lies on the destroyed road watching the dead tumble to their dead he thinks the war is turning around.
The world starts to come together trading resources in order to destroy the dead and protect the human population.
Small towns pop up across the world where certain rules are put in order to stay safe. One man, in a wheel chair, began working as security for these towns. He had to deal with the dead on a few occasions but mostly had to deal with quisling. Quislings were humans who were so mentally unstable from the war that they began acting like zombies. They would bite people and attack people, and even get eaten by zombies, but they moved faster.
One famous cameraman creates a film showing the advancement of military power in fighting the undead to help boost moral in the population. The result was less people dying from depression and many more people joining the fight back.
One woman who flew planes over infested areas to bring supplies to save zones crash lands into a very infested zone and is guided through surviving by a mysterious woman on her radio. With a broken leg and little supplies she manages to make it to a highway and signal a passing plane to save her just in time. Only afterwards did she figure out that her radio was broken the whole time and that the woman she spoke with never existed to begin with.
All over the world people start turning castles into fortresses from your dreams and raising armies within them.
Radio stations inform citizens of the world about what is happening around them and giving them advice on how to stay safe.
In japan a young teenager who spends all day on the computer doesn’t notice the infection plaguing his town until it is banging on his doorstep, literally. With little knowledge of anything beyond technical know-how he tries to make it to safety by climbing down his tall apartment building. By time he gets close to the ground he is almost prepared to take on the dead. He is only missing a weapon. In the last room he finds what he is looking for: a shiny katana.
Still in Japan an old man who has been blind since the Second World War hears news of the undead and flees to the country side so not to be a burden to his family. There he learns the way the land works and is able to defend himself from the oncoming army of the undead. One day he hears someone running past his home and nearly kills the teenager with the Katana. The two have been together ever since killing many undead in Japan.
In Cuba the war was won by allowing refugees in but separating them into prisons to be monitored. Those who last a few days without turning are released and those who die and turn are put down without having to worry about spreading the infection.
In China at the beginning of the war a captain of a military submarine abandons his country taking his crew and their family with them to flee from the dying country. As they create a livable environment on the sub they fear they are being followed. They try to surface once but are chased away by an attack on other subs in the area. Eventually they find a sub from their same military only to find that it is the captain’s son and that they are needed back in the country.
The people on Earth were not the only people feeling the effect of the war. In space a small few remained to keep the satellites working knowing that they might lose all that they loved in the war. They were able to watch the war destroy the Earth through small cameras with no hope of ever coming home. But when a neighbouring space station radios for help they are able to take their escape pod and head home safely.
Now that people had survived the war it was time for the people to go on the attack to take back their world.
With the new attack plan specially trained soldiers and citizens are taken out to the desert the form a large square firing squad. With dogs bringing the dead to then millions of zombies appear and are killed for a period of days until every single one is killed by the skilled army. All citizens who could not hold a gun were on clean up patrol. Everyone had a job to do and every zombie was killed that day.
Other than human soldiers dogs are also used to hunt the undead. Because they can sense them so well they are able to distract the undead while the soldiers take them out. They are able to run missions into highly infested territories to clear them out. They are trained from birth and are just as useful as human soldiers.
Under the water the undead are still very much a threat. Because nothing can kill them they float around killing anything they can get their rotting hands on. The solution to this was to create suits that allowed divers to complete their work and kill the dead when given the chance.
With the dead being pushed back people must also clear tunnels that have been filled with the dead. This being such a dangerous task many men an woman died just trying to clear the tunnels.
With the war almost over and people able to slowly move back into their old homes the rate of suicide begin to go up. People go crazy seeing something that reminded them of what they lost.
There is a glance back at everyone who has been interviewed before the interviewer signs off.