Heartwarming: World War Z
- The second half of the Chinese admiral's story. After thinking that he had been forced to kill his son to save his men, the captain of the ship finds out not that only is he alive, but he wants his father to join forces with him to free China from the destructive rule of the old leaders. As the narrator puts it, "We thought the cheer would carry us straight to the surface. The Captain died happy."
- Queen Elizabeth II follows her father and mothers's example from WW2 and stays in Windsor "for the duration."
- The full quote deserves reproduction: The highest of distinctions is service to others.' Her father had said that; it was the reason he had refused to run to Canada during the Second World War, the reason her mother had spent the blitz visiting civilians huddled in the tube stations beneath London, the same reason, to this day, we remain a United Kingdom. Their task, their mandate, is to personify all that is great in our national spirit. They must forever be an example to the rest of us, the strongest, and bravest, and absolute best of us. In a sense, it is they who are ruled by us, instead of the other way around, and they must sacrifice everything, everything, to shoulder the weight of this godlike burden. Otherwise, what's the flipping point? Just scrap the whole damn tradition, roll out the bloody guillotine and be done with it altogether. They were viewed very much like castles, I suppose: as crumbling, obsolete relics, with no real modern function other than as tourist attractions. But when the skies darkened and the nation called, both reawoke to the meaning of their existence. One shielded our bodies, the other, our souls."
- In the hardback edition Max Brooks includes a lovely little dedication to his mother who died around the time the book came out. It says simply, "I love you, Mom".
- Ajay Shah's story of him and other survivors along India's coast attempting to flee the zombies. The story starts with him describing the calamity on the shore, as desperate survivors try to swim out to ships or barter their way onto smaller boats. At first, the story practically drips with Humans Are Bastards as Ajay describes how some took advantage of the desperation, demanding money and sexual favors or denying people entry to their boats on the basis of race or caste. But then:
Ajay: I'm just highlighting the most extreme negative examples, you understand. For every one profiteer, or repulsive psychopath, there were ten good and decent people whose karma was still untainted. A lot of fishermen and small boat owners who could have simply escaped with their families chose to put themselves in danger by continuing to return to shore. When you think about what they were risking: being murdered for their boats, or just marooned on the beach, or else attacked from beneath by so many underwater ghouls...
Ajay: Just as I slipped below the surface, I felt a powerful arm wrap around my chest. This is it, I thought; any second, I thought I would feel teeth dig into my flesh. Instead of pulling me down, the arm hauled me back up to the surface. I ended up aboard the Sir Wilfred Grenfell, an ex-Canadian Coast Guard cutter. I tried to talk, to apologize for not having any money, to explain that I could work for my passage, do anything they needed to. The crewman just smiled. "Hold on, he said to me, "we're about to get under way."
- And then how Ajay himself was rescued by one of these boat owners:
The Film Version has these heartwarming moments:
- When Gerry goes to a grocery store that's being ransacked in order to get medicine for his asthmatic daughter, a man shows up with a gun. However, the man simply helps them find the medicines they need and also gives them one they haven't tried before, saying that it's great for his kid.
- Related: the cop that Gerry and family initially worry about passes by them and heads to the baby aisle, where he appears to stock up on baby food and diapers.
- Gerry and his family are allowed to hole up with a Hispanic family in their apartment while they wait for Gerry's evac coming in the morning. While they initially choose not to go and the parents are killed, the son manages to get to safety with them and winds up becoming a member of the family.
- The way he hugs Tommy in the helicopter, shielding his eyes from everything below.
- In Jerusalem, Gerry is astonished to see that although the city has walled itself up to keep the zombies out, they're letting people in. The Israeli official explains "every life we save is one less zombie to fight." And the survivors are so grateful to be alive that they help each other, and pray together, all religious differences set aside in the face of the disaster. It's a sad thing that one group gets a microphone, the amplified singing agitating the horde even further and makes them breach the walls and ultimately destroy the city altogether.
- When Gerry is being evacuated from Jerusalem, a soldier who was fighting to protect him gets bitten. He quickly slices her bitten hand off before she can become fully infected. They escape the city together, he helps treat the amputation, and she becomes key to finding the way to trick the zombies into thinking that they're infected.
- Everything about Gerry being reunited with his family, especially the look of utter relief on his face the whole time, and when Karin pulls Tomas into the group hug.