FALL IN WITH THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS

Also from Max Brooks...

   

The Harlem Hellfighters

From bestselling author Max Brooks, the riveting story of the highly decorated, barrier-breaking, historic black regiment—the Harlem Hellfighters

THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS is a fictionalized account of the 369th Infantry Regiment—the first African American regiment mustered to fight in World War I. From the enlistment lines in Harlem to the training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the trenches in France, bestselling author Max Brooks tells the thrilling story of the heroic journey that these soldiers undertook for a chance to fight for America. Based on true events and featuring artwork from acclaimed illustrator Caanan White, these pages deliver an action-packed and powerful story of courage, honor, and heart.

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Alternative Cover
Original Cover

Praise

World War Z

An Oral History of the Zombie War

We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z is the only record of the plague years.

Audiobook

The Complete Edition is a new recording of Max Brooks’ bestselling novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, featuring 21 additional Hollywood A-list actors and sci-fi fan favorites performing stories not included in the original edition. New narrators include Academy Award®-winning director, Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star TrekBattlestar GalacticaHeroes and more! Max Brooks will be reprising his role as The Interviewer.

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The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks

This is the graphic novel the fans demanded: major zombie attacks from the dawn of humanity. On the African savannas, against the legions of ancient Rome, on the high seas with Francis Drake . . . every civilization has faced them. Here are the grisly and heroic stories–complete with eye-popping artwork that pulsates with the hideous faces of the undead.

Recorded attacks include:

  • 60,000 B.C., Katanda, Central Africa
  • 3,000 B.C., Hieraconpolis, Egypt
  • A.D. 121, Fanum Cocidi, Caledonia
  • A.D. 1579, The Central Pacific
  • A.D. 1583, Siberia
  • A.D. 1611, Feudal Japan
  • A.D. 1690, The Southern Atlantic Ocean
  • A.D. 1862, St. Lucia, Eastern Caribbean
  • A.D. 1893, French North Africa
  • A.D. 1942-45, Harbin, Japanese Puppet State of Manchukuo
  • A.D. 1960, Byelgoransk, Soviet Union
  • A.D. 1992, Joshua Tree National Park
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Praise

The Zombie Survival Guide

Complete protection from the living dead

Your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

Zombie Survival Guide Scanner

As we all know, the world we live in has become a scary place, and the global increase in zombie attacks is of major cause for alarm. Developed by bestselling author and noted zombieologist, Max Brooks, the Zombie Survival Guide Scanner iPhone App is the ideal zombie detector tool. Use your camera-enabled iPhone to scan friends and neighbors and determine their level of infection. Use the app’s sharing functionality to spread the word. Don’t be foolish with your most precious asset — life. Hordes of zombies may be stalking you right now without you even knowing it. The Zombie Survival Guide Scanner iPhone App is your first line of defense in an undead world.

Watch the video on YouTube

World War Z Audiobook Issues and Fixes

Recently it’s come to my attention that there are some issues with the new WWZ extended cast audiobook. For starters, I’ve read that the digital edition of the audiobook initially was offered as ‘unabridged’ by a few retailers. This has caused some confusion because, although newer recorded chapters are almost word for word, the earlier readings were slightly edited. I sincerely apologize for the confusion. Initially I thought this newer version was going to be unabridged, but then found out that it was simply impossible to recall all the original voice actors and re-record their voices. That is why the audiobook is listed as ‘complete’ but still ‘abridged.’

The second, more serious issue is that several minutes of Dr. Kwang Jingshu’s story on Disc #1 were omitted from the new version. Random House Audio assures me that the digital master has been fixed and the new version is available. The majority of you have downloaded from Audible. They have dropped the new version of WWZ into your library. To access this updated file, you simply re-download it from your library. Audible will be sending you an email alerting you of this update. If you’ve used another digital retailer you should contact their customer service. All defective audio CDs have been pulled from circulation, and reformatted audiobooks containing the missing minutes are on their way to stores now. If anyone has already purchased the audiobook in disc format, you can contact Random House directly at: 1-800-733-3000 or email Random House Customer Service and they will mail you a new Disc #1.

Your ‘Ask Max’ Questions Answered

Dear Readers,

First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. I’m sorry if your question doesn’t appear below, but given my own time constraints, I had to focus on the ones specifically related to the audiobook. Also, given that several questions dealt with the same topic, I decided to combine them into one. Again, thank you for writing to me and I hope you enjoy the complete audiobook of “World War Z”.

Thank you,

Max Brooks

Read the full interview

  • QUESTION (1 of 3) FROM SCOTT MCPHERSON, CIO, FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: How is your Dad doing?  Please tell him that we love him!

    Max: I’ll make sure and tell him. He’s fine by the way; 86 and going strong, and over for dinner every night.

  • QUESTION (3 of 3): Does he have a Hitchcockian-style voice cameo in the book?

    Max: Unfortunately no. The problem is that he has such a recognizable voice that it’d pull listeners right out of the story. I was sorry not to use him but at least he forgives me for using Carl Reiner.

  • QUESTION (3 of 3): How difficult was it to “sell” the idea of an unabridged audiobook to your publisher, or did they approach you?

    I initially approached Random House for the abridged audiobook, but the second time around, they called me. It was a hard sell the first time around simply because of budget constraints. The abridged version’s success gave us a second chance at completing the entire audiobook.

  • QUESTION FROM SUSAN HILLWIG: Could you please tell me who all of the voice actors are and what parts they portray in the unabridged version of WWZ?

    Max: Here’s the cast list (in no particular order) for the complete audiobook, along with characters they read:

    Simon Pegg as Grover Carlson
    Paul Sorvino as Fernando Oliveira
    Henry Rollins returns as T. Sean Collins
    Ade M’Cormack as Jacob Nyathi
    Ric Young as Xu Zhicai
    Common as Darnell Hackworth
    Brian Tee as Hyungchol Choi & Michael Choi
    Jeri Ryan as Maria Zhuganova
    Masi Oka as Kondo Tatsumi
    Frank Darabont as Roy Elliot
    Bruce Boxleitner Gavin Blaire
    Nathan Fillion as Stanley MacDonald
    Rene Auberjonois as Emil Renard
    F. Murray Abraham as Sergei Ryzhkov
    Alfred Molina as Terry Knox
    Nicki Clyne as Sharon
    Denise Crosby as Mary Jo Miller
    Parminder Nagra as Barati Palshigar
    Martin Scorcese as “Breck”
    Scott David Ogden Stiers as Bohdan Taras Kondratiuk
    Kal Penn as Sardar Khan

  • QUESTION FROM NASH SU: I wanted to know if the Audio Book contains the rest of the stories on the book that was left out on the first audio or if there will be some new stories?

    Max: The audiobook doesn’t have any new stories in it, but all the ones from the original text are now included. The only thing it’s missing is an exchange between the Japanese characters of Kondo and Tomonaga. In the book they speak about their meeting, but, unfortunately, we recorded Tomonaga so many years later that it was impossible to get them both in the same studio at the same time.

  • QUESTION FROM ESMO2004: Are any of the voice actors the same from the original audio book?  Some of them did an amazing job.

    Max: All the original actors are still there in their original role. All we did was add the roles that were left out of the first, abridged edition. You’re actually not the first person to ask that question. I’ve had to explain to several actors from the abridged version (including my wife!) that no one was replacing them.

  • QUESTION FROM GARY WELLER : Max, Love the book! I’ve listened to the abridged version numerous times, which leads me to ask: why is there no unabridged version available? The beauty of the book is as you said in the foreword: the purpose is to record and preserve the individual tales of heroism and survival. There are so many good pieces missing from the abridged version. I hope the new version will offer many, if not all, of those back!

    Keep up the good work!

    Max: Thanks, Gary. Requests like that are exactly why we’re doing this unabridged audio version now. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me over the years and say exactly what you said. Don’t worry. This time they’re all there. We even got Henry Rollins to come back and record his farewell speech. That was the only time I actually got to meet him.

  • QUESTION FROM TERESA ARAUCO : What kind of preparation did the actors in audiobook 1 go through, if any? I can see that if you hired actors from an agency, that perhaps they come in ready to roll and are open to a little prompting. Will the actors in audiobook 2 get more/different guidance from you? Perhaps reading about grief, despair, darkness, and stories of prevailing against all odds? That kinda energy rings clearly. I am listening to the tv show on the Bio station called “I Survived”. Survivors talk to a camera. The stories are grisly, but I think the poor survivors would do better if they had a trusted interviewer to confide in–like the set up you have in WWZ. Documentaries where war survivors are speaking to one trusted interviewer…so powerful!

    I still can’t decide which I like better, my well-worn hard copy of WWZ with all the cool footnotes, parenthetical comments and references…or the audio where each voice is distinct…the accents were an AMAZING touch.

    Be well, Max and Family

    Your computer geek friend in Madison, WI,
    Teresa

    Max: Dear Teresa,

    I tried to be present for as many of the actor recordings as possible. Each time I gave them as much or as little direction as they wanted or felt they needed. Each actor has a different way of working. Some are at their best the more time they do it, some need time to warm up. Some just need one simple word to set them on their path, others have a very strong idea of how to inhabit the role. Nathan Fillion, for example, just needed one word; guilt. Nathan plays Stanley MacDonald, the Canadian soldier in Kyrgyzstan who witnesses one of the first non-Chinese outbreaks but allows himself to be convinced that he was just suffering PTSD. Nathan took that guilt to a place so dark, you might not even recognize his voice. He could not have done a better job. Likewise, Masi Oka is a great example of an actor thought he had a better take on the character of Kondo Tatsumi than I did. His first reading had a very thick Japanese accent (which I wanted). The second time, he convinced me that pulling that accent back would allow the humanity, more genuine emotion, to shine through. And he was right!

  • QUESTION FROM MARK JANSSEN: What is the difference between the extended audio book and an unabridged audio book. Will there parts of the text not covered in the extended audio book.

    Max: Mark,

    Excellent question, Mark and I wish I had an equally excellent answer. The truth is that there are very strict guidelines governing what you can call ‘unabridged’. As I understand it, even the slightest edits, no matter how small, negate the use of that title. For that reason, we’re going with the label of “Complete” because the audiobook isn’t word for word (although you probably won’t notice any changes).

  • QUESTION FROM CODY HOLLIMAN: I listened to the audiobook twice before I read the book. In the audiobook, I don’t recall any mention of Amarillo, Texas, but it is part of the book. Did I miss it in the audiobook or were there a few parts excluded from it? I’m born and raised in Amarillo, so I thought it was awesome when I found that part in the book. I loaned my audiobook to a friend and it’s gone now, I will definitely purchase this new one. Thanks Max!

    Max: This time around, Amarillo is definitely in the audiobook and the part of Grover Carlson is read by none other than Simon Pegg. You probably won’t recognize his voice though. His American accent is so good it even fooled me for a second. I wasn’t able to go to England for his recording so when I downloaded the file of his reading, my first reaction “This guy’s great but who… oh wow… that’s Simon.”

  • QUESTION FROM MARTIN ELLIS: Forget extended Audiobook. Any plans for a sequel to World War Z? I read a sort of missing chapter in a different zombie novel which was about a woman who helped reinforce the Great Wall of China. Truly touching stuff. But if anything it made me want more.

    Max: Glad you like the chapter “The Great Wall”. It’s a chapter I had to cut out of the book because it simply didn’t fit into the entire story. Maybe someday I’ll get to adapt it into an audio recording. As far as a sequel goes, rest assured if I ever got an idea I feel confident in, I’d write it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, without that passion, that inspiration, it’d just be “Spaceballs 2: the Search for More Money”.

  • QUESTION FROM RYAN NEELY: I had the Survival guide on audiobook. I had WWZ in paper form. I was just wondering if you were planning on having different voices for each story. The survival guide voice was not awful but it wasn’t great either (no emotion).  It seems many background sound effects may be a big part of this work….Hope for the best!

    Max: Ryan,

    I actually didn’t have a say in the casting of the Zombie Survival Guide audiobook. Because of time constraints, Random House decided to go ahead with the actor and production of their choice. I was, however, involved in both the abridged and unabridged version of the WWZ audiobook, and yes, each actor reads a different role (although a couple actors double up). I wanted it almost to be like a radio play, or the kind of full production audiobooks I used to listen to as a kid. The fact that it’s an ensemble story, with many different voices, made me want to recreate the kind of experience I had watching Irwin Allen disaster films where every couple of minutes I’d shout out “Hey, look who else is in this!”

Max Brooks

Max Brooks

The New York Times bestselling author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, Max Brooks has been called “the Studs Terkel of zombie journalism”.

A CONVERSATION WITH MAX BROOKS

  • World War Z is one of the biggest selling original zombie novels of all time. Talk about its genesis, including your discussions with the publisher over the title.

    I wanted to call it Zombie War. It was a simple title that I thought described the story quite well. I’d written a book on how to survive zombies that I called The Zombie Survival Guide, so when writing a book about a worldwide war against zombies, why not call it Zombie War. The publisher was against the title because, at the time, zombies were seen as too niche and they thought some people might be turned off by that word. My agent, Ed Victor, had once jokingly called it “World War Z” so I thought that might be a good compromise.

  • Why have zombies become so mainstream? They used to have a slightly strange cult following. Now they’re everywhere in all aspects of pop culture.

    I think they reflect our very real anxieties of these crazy scary times. A zombie story gives people a fictional lens to see the real problems of the world. You can deal with societal breakdown, famine, disease, chaos in the streets, but as long as the catalyst for all of them is zombies, you can still sleep.

  • The new World War Z extended audiobook (World War Z: The Complete Edition) is available May 14, 2013. Does this new audiobook contain the stories that were left out of the previous edition, or will there be new stories?

    The audiobook doesn’t have any new stories in it, but all the ones from the original text are now included. The only thing it’s missing is an exchange between the Japanese characters of Kondo and Tomonaga. In the book they speak about their meeting, but, unfortunately, we recorded Tomonaga so many years later that it was impossible to get them both in the same studio at the same time.

  • Are any of the voice actors the same from the original audiobook? Some of them did an amazing job.

    All the original actors are still there in their original role. All we did was add the roles that were left out of the first, abridged edition. You’re actually not the first person to ask that question. I’ve had to explain to several actors from the abridged version (including my wife!) that no one was replacing them.

  • How involved were you in the recording process for the extended audiobook? Did you find that different actors had different recording styles/methods?

    I tried to be present for as many of the actor recordings as possible. Each time I gave them as much or as little direction as they wanted or felt they needed. Each actor has a different way of working. Some are at their best the more time they do it, some need time to warm up. Some just need one simple word to set them on their path, others have a very strong idea of how to inhabit the role. Nathan Fillion, for example, just needed one word; guilt. Nathan plays Stanley MacDonald, the Canadian soldier in Kyrgyzstan who witnesses one of the first non-Chinese outbreaks but allows himself to be convinced that he was just suffering PTSD. Nathan took that guilt to a place so dark, you might not even recognize his voice. He could not have done a better job. Likewise, Masi Oka is a great example of an actor thought he had a better take on the character of Kondo Tatsumi than I did. His first reading had a very thick Japanese accent (which I wanted). The second time, he convinced me that pulling that accent back would allow the humanity, more genuine emotion, to shine through. And he was right!