I want to feel good when I complete a story & am a little harsh on depressing ones. There are a few sad ones that I love but not many.
Let me start with the fact that I really am not interested in most zombie stories, I think that they are usually nothing more than mindless gore. This, on the other hand, was done well. The story is put together in a way to make it very interesting and (somewhat) believable. The cast of narrators did a great job and I have to say that I truly enjoyed the book.
I'll keep this brief. Look at my previous review of the initial issue of this audiobook. This addition is what we should have heard from day one. Why this didn't happen is beyond me, but it's similar to looking at a director's cut of a movie you already love. You get further insight and pleasure out of the experience.
If you have been on the fence, and don't own the original version, get this NOW. Again, read my first review, and you'll see why.
Sorry, any more that I'll write on this is wasted. It's that good.
This has been, hands down, my worst audible experience and my first time having reviews removed from any site
The story was good, but not the one advertised during preorder.
I can now enjoy the book in the car ride to work
It is a new way of telling a zombie story
Yes it was
There seems to be a few tracks missing. Most notable the first story with the Chinese doctor between the doctors arrival at the village and him first seeming the young boy.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
On one hand, this book deserves five stars across the board for sheer ingenuity and chutzpah, not to mention the colossal achievement of a single cohesive work of fiction in which so many countries, races, ethnicities and cultures are represented. And all performed by the most incredibly talented and diverse multicast in Audible history! This stunning diversity gives it the ring of truth, so much so that if you change "zombies" to "zika (or other) virus" in your head, this reads/sounds like an almost realistic post-pandemic, planetary interview series.
And therein lies the first of Z's two flaws worthy of mention: It's too true-sounding and too humorless (even with Carl Reiner, Alan Alda, Rob Reiner, and Martin Scorcese all doing their damnedest to inject a little funny during their sections) to work as a page-turner. After awhile I just got burned out on hour after hour of the horror of the traumatized survivors and their unrelenting PTSD and sadness, even with the frequent changes in country, scene and amazing speaker, and had to pause the book frequently and intersperse my Z-chapters with chapters of another book containing at least a modicum of humor. The book is just that realistic.
Except when it isn't. And unfortunately, those times consist 100% of Max Brooks, the author (who clumsily and completely unconvincingly plays the Interviewer), every time he interrupts one of these amazing monologues with an unrealistic-sounding and unnecessary question. He should have just let this work stand as an artful series of monologues (which is what they 99% are, even in this occasionally-interrupted format), with no interviewer, and maybe just a realistic-sounding journalist or documentary-style commentator (think Edward Hermann, Morgan Freeman, or David McCullough*) to introduce transitions between speakers/locations. That would have made it nearly a five-star listen.
*No female narrators need apply; this book, amazing as it is, is nevertheless a dude fest that fails the Bechdel test pretty miserably.
I'm That Guy
I know I'll take some heat for this, but I am looking forward to the movie. From what I see from the movie trailers, it is absolutely nothing like the book, but more what I like about zombie stories.
By no means is it a bad story, hence the 3 rating. It just isn't what I look for in a zombie story, hence the 3 rating.
I much prefer heart pounding, intense, heat of the moment, no-way-out, oh s#!* all is lost stories. Always better if I do not know if the characters are going to survive. Obviously in this "zombie documentary" they do because their the ones telling the stories post apocalypse.
If you enjoy docudrama's, or are a die hard Zombie Fanatic it's a really nicely done book. But if you just want heart pounding action, chose something like the Day by Day Armageddon books. I enjoyed those immensely.
Here are the facts:
1. Audible made a mistake and put "unabridged" next to the book's title. They admitted their mistake and offered me a refund (via email), which I declined. I'm sure they'll honor a refund to you as well.
2. This edition is A) the first release (which did have some "in-chapter" edits) and B) a bunch of new stuff. That's why chapter 3, for example, is missing some passages: because they were missing in the first edition.
3. Your complaints or requests for an unabridged version should go to Random House, for they are the producers of the audio book.
4. Despite the (yes, very annoying) omissions, this new edition is simply excellent.
5. #4 is an opinion. Not a fact.
I had already "physically" read this book, but the audiobook might be better. Great character acting (except a few), but Most of them kill it (Mark Hamill especially!).
If you like zombies, must read.
If you couldn't care less about zombies but like any of the following genres: historical fiction, drama, military strategy...must read!
Apprentice Book Fondler, Aspiring Librarian
I listen about four hours daily, and nothing has compared to the production of this book in this format. it's an all star cast. plus vs reading the book which I did first, it's easier to realize when a chapter interview is with the same person as a previous chapter, since it's the same cast member, when reading, I didn't catch that