The person responsible for butchering this excellent book should be dragged out into the street and shot.
The abridgement removes every one of the best parts of the book. The Chinese submarine story, the Australian astronaut and the downed cargo pilot are just the tip of the iceberg. Those stories and others are the heart and soul of WWZ.
Rated 1-star overall due to the horrible abridgement.
I am a huge fan of zombie lit, but this was lacking in several areas.
Since this was written from a historical perspective, you knew all the characters being interviewed had survived the situations they were describing. Made the story a bit boring.
One of the things I think that most people like about apocalyptic lit is the "how would I react/survive if all infrastructure was removed?" Most zombie lit has a very libertarian, you are on your own flare to it. This story was quite the opposite - it was governments deciding what groups lived and which ones were diversions for the hordes of undead. People were also painted as unable to learn and do for themselves unless they were trained and organized by a large, external power. Quite a few liberal slants throughout the book as well.
I would have never finished this book if I were reading it, but I was able to listen while doing other worthwhile tasks.
Recommendation: pass on this one and pick up "Walking Dead". That one has much more interesting plot lines and twists.
As a novel this book takes zombies to a place they haven't been as a storytelling medium since the days of Romero's "Night of the Living Dead". The walking dead serve Brooks as a backdrop for glib social commentary on the state of humanity and keen observation on just what our civilization, or its loss, means to us as a species.
As an audiobook, "World War Z" separates itself from the crowd by being more than a simple oral rendition of the source material. The audio book brings an ensemble cast of voices to the table and truly brings to life each and every character with personality no one actor could achieve for the entire book alone. Despite being abridged, the audiobook captures the heart and horror of the original novel.
In short, if you read it and haven't heard it, then get the audio, if you heard it but want more, read the book, and if you haven't done either buy them both and make a long weekend of it; I promise you won't be disappointed.
If you have never listen to a Zombie book this is the one get. But if you are die a hard zombie fan like me you will be disappointed that this audio book is ABRIDGED! I find it SO HARD to believe that Max Brooks went to all the trouble to get such an AwESOME FREAKING CAST OF READERS TO ONLY HACK SOME OF THE VERY BEST STORIES FROM THE BOOK. Like Maisy's story, or the Russkie Chic, and India's story. BOO Brooks for this crime. Brooks you know you hit gold with this book only to KILL it in audio. Someone else wrote that abridged should be outlaw...I totally agree.
I liked the concept of this book, and it's the only one I have read where the living fully triumph over the dead, but I think it was too short. There wasn't enough details on many aspects. I did enjoy the style of narration, where there were several readers for each different person "being interviewed".
I have to say I'm disappointed as most other people seem to be here. Why abridged? It makes no sense to me at all. Great performances but why cut it short?
There are moments in this book where what isn't said is more important than what is. It's a really good, solid, story. I recommend it to anyone who is into the apocolyptic fiction genre.
I loved this book when I read it a few years back and thought I'd enjoy hearing it again, but was disappointed to realize at the end that many of my favorite parts had been left out! Where was the interview with the feral girl? And I loved the story the young Japanese teen told about escaping his high-rise apartment, and the story of the Indian soldier who blew up a bridge or pass to stop the zombies from following the refugees, and the tour of the ocean floor, and what about the trained dogs? I felt cheated when I got to the last chapter and realized these stories were all omitted. This book's abridgment should be more clearly highlighted!