8. World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War, by Max Brooks (2006)

The ambition in Max Brooks’ seminal World War Z is something to behold. Presented as a series of Q&A’s and as-told-to passages, the author’s defining work tells the gory and gut-wrenching ins and outs of a zombie takeover through the words of survivors, everyone from military men to politicians to average Joes.

Not all of the fictional accounts are slam-dunks, though; some of the many soldier-based anecdotes, for instance, become repetitive. But Brooks, who wisely writes the entire book in an unwaveringly serious tone, is too intelligent to let World War Z ever lose its allegorical force.