World War Z

World War Z

by

Max Brooks

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on World War Z can help.
Knox was commander of the International Space Station during the zombie war. He and his crew decided to stay in space to man the satellites that might help the war effort, despite knowing that they’d be stuck there with no way of getting back to earth. Knox was also deeply appreciative of the time, money, and effort that nations around the world had spent to build the Space Station, and knew it was unlikely or impossible that this could ever happen again. So, he thought it was worth saving even though that might mean sacrificing his own life to do so. Knox describes how the war looked from space—the fires, the nuclear bombs, huge hordes of zombies moving together across Central Asia, the cloud of ashes that covered the earth and made it look like an alien planet. Knox and his crew were finally rescued after the war ended, but by then, they had all been exposed to fatal amount of radiation and were too sick to survive. Knox, too, dies a few days after his interview. The narrator admires his brave and generous sacrifice.

Terry Knox Quotes in World War Z

The World War Z quotes below are all either spoken by Terry Knox or refer to Terry Knox. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Three Rivers edition of World War Z published in 2006.
Chapter 6: Around the World, and Above Quotes

Every day, every night, it seemed like the whole planet was burning. We couldn’t even begin to calculate the ash count but we guesstimated it was equivalent to a low-grade nuclear exchange between the United States and former Soviet Union, and that’s not including the actual nuclear exchange between Iran and Pakistan. We watched and recorded those as well, the flashes and fires that gave me eye spots for days. Nuclear autumn was already beginning to set in, the gray-brown shroud thickening each day.

It was like looking down on an alien planet, or on Earth during the last great mass extinction. Eventually conventional optics became useless in the shroud, leaving us with only thermal or radar sensors.

Related Characters: Terry Knox (speaker)
Related Symbols: Zombies
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire World War Z LitChart as a printable PDF.
World War Z PDF

Terry Knox Character Timeline in World War Z

The timeline below shows where the character Terry Knox appears in World War Z. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: Around the World, and Above
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Sydney, Australia. Terry Knox was the only Australian commander of the International Space Station. Now, he is frail and... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The other important job Knox’s crew did was to ensure that Earth’s satellite network was preserved. There were more than... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Knox and his crew had advanced technologies and robots to help them with their work, and... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Knox says that despite all the gadgets they had, they were most disturbed when they saw... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
...outside their doors. The president of China had called it an “unavoidable accident” which angered Knox, since it had been built on a fault line and the government had been warned... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Knox says that after the Chinese revolution started, the Chinese Space Station, the Yang Liwei, made... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Knox went over to investigate and found that their escape pod was destroyed and an astronaut... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Knox and his crew were all exposed to deadly levels of cosmic radiation during their years... (full context)