Brooks, Max 1972-

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Brooks, Max 1972-


Born May 22, 1972, in New York, NY; son of Mel Brooks (a director and writer) and Anne Bancroft (an actress).


Home—New York, NY.


Saturday Night Live, NBC-TV, writer on various episodes, 2001-03. Character or voice actor on television series, including, To Be or Not to Be, 1983; The Public Eye, 1992; Roseanne, 1992; Pacific Blue, 1997; 7th Heaven, 1999; Melrose Place, 1999; The Wild Thornberrys, 1999; Batman Beyond, 2000; Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, 2000; and Justice League, 2001.


Emmy Award.



The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, illustrated by Max Werner, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2003.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, Crown Books (New York, NY), 2006.


World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War was adapted as an audiobook by Random House Audio, 2006, and optioned for a feature film by Brad Pitt.


Max Brooks left a career doing voice-overs for cartoons in order to focus on writing. His childhood fascination with zombies has led to two works on the subject. His 2003 title, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, is, according to one Publishers Weekly critic, a "determinedly straight-faced parody," while Entertainment Weekly reviewer Gilbert Cruz considered it an "entertaining but slight faux manual."

There was, however, little humor or parody in Brooks's second zombie work, the 2006 novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Brooks assembles a host of interviews with people around the world to chronicle an international zombie plague ten years earlier. The infection of walking dead began in China, where it was, like avian flu, at first kept secret from the public. But the zombies soon burst beyond national boundaries, spreading through Asia and Europe and finally reach North America. There they at first were successful in their mind-thieving assault, but humans finally regrouped to win the day. This tale is told through a multitude of voices, from a Russian priest to intelligence officers and smugglers and army personnel who fought the zombies. Cruz felt this debut novel was "an addictively readable oral history," and one that reflects current catastrophes, such as the terrorist attacks in 2001 or Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Similar praise came from a Publishers Weekly contributor, who called World War Z "surprisingly hard to put down," and from Library Journal contributor Karl G. Siewert, who felt that the work is "infectious and compelling." For Carlos Orellano, writing in Booklist, World War Z is "another milestone in the zombie mythos."



Booklist, August 1, 2006, Carlos Orellano, review of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, p. 56.

Entertainment Weekly, September 22, 2006, Gilbert Cruz, review of World War Z, p. 98.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2006, review of World War Z, p. 644.

Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Karl G. Siewert, review of World War Z, p. 56.

Publishers Weekly, August 7, 2006, review of World War Z, p. 37; October 2, 2006, Lance Eaton, "Zombies Spreading Like a Virus: PW Talks to Max Brooks," p. 57.


Internet Movie Database, (December 11, 2006), list of film and television credits for Max Brooks.

Washington Post Online, (October 6, 2006), "Zombie Wars: Max Brooks Online."

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