Study Guide

World War Z Chapter 9

By Max Brooks

Chapter 9


Part 1

Burlington, Vermont

  • "The Whacko" asks if the Interviewer has ever heard of Clement Attlee? He's the guy who took over for Winston Churchill as Prime Minister of England. Not an easy act to follow as "the Whacko" understands all too well.
  • He explains to the Interviewer that he declared victory over the zombies when the United States' war had ended because he didn't want his administration to fall like Churchill's. They knew the fighting wasn't over, but they also wanted to give their people the chance to go home.
  • Later, "the Whacko" received hell for not making the eradication of the zombie hordes an all-American affair. Instead, he went to the U.N. for support.
  • No biggie. He could care less.
  • The overseas campaigns are moving along, and the war isn't technically over, but the people seemed to have learned their lesson. That lesson: "pitch in and do your job" (9.1.4).
  • "The Whacko" whackos it up and thanks and oak tree for doing a good job.

Part 2

Khuzhir, Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal, the Holy Russian Empire

  • The Interviewer reveals Maria is four-months pregnant. Gasp—wait, why was that keep secret from us again?
  • Maria only regrets not being able to continue on and "liberate" Russia's former republics. But she's a woman, and the motherland needed her for, um, other projects.
  • Seems there are clinics like these all over Russia, allowing women to serve their nation with their uterus. The word you're looking for is ominous.
  • Maria catches the Interviewer's eye and explains to him that, no, this type of "existence" can't be reconciled with Russia's religious state (9.2.8). The religious part of Russia's new theocracy is for the people to swallow, especially now that Father Ryzhkov has, let's say, retired.
  • So, why has the Interviewer been allowed to talk to Maria if her current job is a state secret? Maria says they want him to tell the world. Her story will be a message not to mess with the motherland.
  • Russia is strong and safe again thanks to their new czar.

Part 3

Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies Federation

  • The bar is almost empty as the Interviewer and Sean finish their drinks. Most of the other patrons bar-brawled their way out of the bar or into a jail cell.
  • Sean says it outright; he's addicted to murder. Like some Vietnam and World War II vets, he returned from his war with an addiction monkey on his back.
  • The killing has become a high. He's tried to fit into society, but all he can think about when he sees other people is how to kill them.
  • Once at a rally, Sean saw "the Whacko" speak, and he thought of about fifty ways to kill the guy. That's when he opted out of society and jumped into a mercenary outfit.
  • He only takes the tough assignments now, more of a rush.
  • Sean pays for the drinks. He says he still has hope though, especially after seeing his fellow murder nut "Mackee" Macdonald managed to kick the habit. (Remember him?)
  • Then again, maybe one day there'll be no more zombies, but the habit will remain. If that happens, he'll probably crack his own skull.

Part 4

Sand Lakes Provincial Wilderness Park, Manitoba, Canada

  • Jesika loads the day's kills.
  • She relates the tale of when she met an Iranian pilot who told her that Americans were the only people who couldn't accept that "bad things can happen to good people" (9.4.2). If you guessed this guy to be Ahmed, then you're probably right.
  • Later she heard some guy on the radio, making fart jokes. She wonders how that man could have survived while her parents didn't.
  • She tries not to be resentful.

Part 5

Troy, Montana, USA

  • Mary Jo says, "[y]ou can blame the politicians, the businessmen, the generals, the 'machine,' but really, if you're looking to blame someone, blame me. I'm the American system, I'm the machine" (9.5.2). In other words, a democracy means everyone needs to shoulder their share of the blame.
  • She mentions how her generation may have stopped the zombies, but, in a way, they allowed the invasion to happen in the first place. It was their mess to clean.

Part 6

Chongqing, China

  • Kwang Jingshu finishes his last house call of the day. Kid with a chest cold, no zombies this time.
  • He finds it comforting to see children playing without fear of zombies. Oh, sure, they have a few more rules like no after dark play or no playing near water, but compared to the children of the zombie war, they are carefree tykes.
  • Sometimes he thinks back to that old woman in New Dachang village. He's like her now, having been through an awful time in China's history.
  • He doesn't believe in an afterlife, but he still wants to believe his friend Gu is telling him things are going to be all right.

Part 7

Wenatchee, Washington, USA

  • Joe Muhammad finishes his latest statuette.
  • He doesn't want to say the zombie war was a good thing because it was a war with zombies, clearly not happy days.
  • But it did bring the world together with a powerful shared experience. Sure, the kids or grandkids might go back to being selfish jerks.
  • But for now, the world has come together.
  • On the other hand, Joe misses some things from the pre-war world. For example, he was at a stag party the other night when he saw a BMW Z4 convertible in an adult film.
  • Despite the adult activities happening on the car's hood, all Joe could think was how they don't make cars like that anymore.

Part 8

Taos, New Mexico, USA

  • Arthur Sinclair flips the steaks.
  • He tells the Interviewer that his favorite job is being a money cop. He probably only has the job now because nobody else wanted it, but hey, he loves it, so their lose
  • He's currently trying to solve the financial woes of all those surplus Benjamins out there. The biggest problem is trying to tell the difference between the people who actually saved their money and those who invested in the five-finger market.
  • The money police are also working with the Russians to see if they can't get "Breck" Scott's Antarctic lease dropped. Maybe then the IRS can get a good look at his bank records.
  • It's important to Sinclair that he returns confidence to the American people.
  • With that, he asks the Interviewer if he wants a root beer.

Part 9

Kyoto, Japan

  • The Shield Society has joined the Japanese Self-Defense Force as a full-fledged military branch. The Interviewer and Kondo Tatsumi watch as Tomonaga Ijiro receives his guests.
  • Kondo says he doesn't really believe that "spiritual 'BS'" and Tomonaga is a pretty crazy old koot (9.9.3).
  • But that old man started something good for Japan's future all the same.
  • Tomonaga's generation wanted to rule the world; Kondo's generation to let the world rule them.
  • Now, they're on the path to what Kondo hopes is the middle ground. But, hey, only the gods really know, right?

Part 10

Armagh, Ireland

  • Philip Alder rises to leave.
  • He says they lost "a lot more than just people when we abandoned them to the dead" (9.10.2).
  • Conversation over.

Part 11

Tel Aviv, Israel

  • Jurgen pays for the meal since he chose the restaurant. If only all restaurant choosers were as sensible as that.
  • He mentions he was in what was called the "Kindertransport," or the last chance to get Jewish children out of Germany during the
  • Holocaust (9.11.3). He last saw his parents in Poland.
  • According to Jurgen, it is said there are no Holocaust survivors since even those who lived are damaged beyond repair from their experiences.
  • If it's true, then no one survived World War Z.

Part 12

Aboard USS Tracy Bowden

  • Michael Choi lets the Interviewer in on a little secret. You know who really got rocked during the zombie wars: whales.
  • With all those hungry people sailing the ocean blue, the big lugs never had a chance.
  • He finds it a heck of loss and not because he's some kind of hippy either.
  • California grey whales were the reason he joined the navy in the first place. These creatures were large enough to kill you in an instant, but they'd let you paddle up to them, even touch them.
  • So close from coming back from extinction, and now they've all gone the dodo way—the exceptions being some orcas and maybe a few belugas and narwhals.
  • Unrelated note: Is it just us or the word narwhal amazingly fun to say aloud? No? Just us?
  • The next time someone tells the Interviewer that the real loss of the war was humanity's innocence; Michael Choi wants him to bring up the whales.

Part 13

Denver, Colorado, USA

  • Todd Wainio walks the Interviewer to the train station, enjoying the genuine cigarettes the Interviewer gave him.
  • Wainio admits to losing it every now and then, but Doctor Chandra still has his back and consoles him at the VA hospital. Apparently it's a completely normal part of surviving the entirety of the zombie war.
  • It's the small things that get Wainio, the way someone speaks, the tune of a certain song. Yeah, Gangnam Style makes us lose it too.
  • Wainio motions to the mural signifying VA-Day. That was Wainio and his boys. He didn't know it at the time, but that day had brought peace.
  • There were no celebrations, no cheering, no bits of confetti. They'd all been fighting so long that it felt like a dream.
  • Sometimes it still does.