World War Z is not going to go down in history as a literary classic, but it is no less worth a read for it. Sometimes, as with movies, a book is just entertaining without having any deeper meaning message. As books go, it is the literary equivalent to a 'popcorn movie,' the likes of which often get panned by the critics, but end up grossing half a billion at the box office. That is to say, its a fun read that requires little investment on the part of our brains.
Adding to the fun (and 'popcorn movie' feeling), are the performances of the all-star cast of well known Hollywood personalities. Part of the fun of this book is just figuring out which actor is portraying each character as the story progresses (some are instantly recognizable). Still some of the performances are just plain good, and believable regardless of who played them. Dare I say that I actually really enjoyed Mark Hamill's performance which appears toward the end. He has made a decent career for himself doing voice-over work (the Joker anyone?) so it comes as no surprise.
Before selecting this book, I had read some rather harsh reviews by others regarding the abridged nature of the book, and how it is missing sections. Some even indicated that the book did not make any sense as a result of the missing parts. Perhaps those people have their reasons if they have read the original (non-movie tie-in) edition. However, I can tell you that for me - a person that has not seen the movie nor read the original book - it was just fine for me. The story is written as a series of interviews between the main character (a journalist who is portrayed in the audio version by the real life author) and various 'survivors' of the Zombie War. So I am not entirely certain what difference those missing parts would have made. Long story short, what you don't know won't hurt you.
Of course, with any book, some segments that are better than others, and while some are very engaging and occasionally even tension-filled, others are more mundane and forgettable. Still, the beauty of this book is you need only wait a short while before you are whisked off to the next interview and a brand new story line. So in that regard, the story movies along at a nice pace.
In short, if you are a fan of zombies or post-apocalyptic survival stories, you'll enjoy this book and the entertaining performances of its cast. If you are not a fan of those themes, then you probably not even reading this review.
Thank you, Menocu®
WWZ is a great story delivered as a series of interviews; a format which lends itself unusually well to the audiobook format. The producers having taken great advantage here by assembling an all-star cast to really bring the characters to life. The author, Brooks, plays the interviewer himself, and does a great job of it. Lots of clever, light-touch social commentary wrapped in a great adventure. I couldn't recommend this more for audiobook listeners (especially over the film adaptation, which has nearly nothing to do with the book.)
Part time artist - Like to listen to audiobooks when I am working and creating.
WAY ABOVE EXPECTATIONS
The human side of the stories
I am not a fan of Zombie books. I picked this book after all the movie trailers ( have not seen the movie yet) but really after listening to the sound clip. I thought it was so cool to have it performed not just read. I was not disappointed this book went way above my expectations. I have always thought zombies were lame. But this book was so great how it went about telling the story about the war, to the point were you could believe that it could happen. Super glad I took the chance on something that I normally would not listen too.
Two enthusiastic thumbs up!
Listen to all kinds, but mostly enjoy witty light-hearted entertaining reads. Stay away from romance novels & books with heavy violence.
It was very creative and I can understand why most people really enjoyed it, but it just wasn't my kind of listen. It was a collection of short interviews with survivors on the zombie invasion. The interviews were very entertaining and some kept you on the edge of your seat, but after the first few hours I wanted an actual story with a beginning and an ending. Must admit that I lost interest after 5-6 hours into it and started listening to something else.
boring and predicable once you see the authors midset
The narration was fine
This book is just a bunch Bill, Al, and Barack's talking point strung together with zombies dropped in as an after thought.
Over and over I have to explain to zombie haters why I like this book.I love post-apocalytiic tales, but WWZ has a slightly different angle. It's a thought-provoking exploration of what MIGHT happen to the world, should we have to fight this kind of war and what this kind of unconventional enemy/threat would be like; from many, many POV. It's especially entertaining with the top-notch cast and the addition of the other material makes it far more interesting. Mark Hamill is a favorite, much to my own surprise!
If anyone was wondering how this unusual book could be turned into a movie, now as you may know. It wasn't. The book is excellent when it's good and a bit dull when it's not. I couldn't think how the movie would be made from a series of interviews, as it turns out, it just used the title.
This is just a disjointed jumble of short story-like interviews with people who survived. No plot, poor volume control (screaming & whispering), to many actors and too many accents.
Yes, I will probably listen to it again one day. The story's after-the-fact perspective and the use of multiple readers/cast members makes it a fairly engaging audiobook.
The use of multiple narrators as device for telling the story of the "zombie war" was brilliant. Some of the stories-within-a-story were creative and thought provoking. The canvas of an apocalyptic zombie war is a great tool for exploring how humanity could contribute to its own near-demise, as well as whether "successful" personalities in the modern world would fare well if society regressed to a more primitive state.
In hindsight, I'm not sure how you could have done this book justice without the use of multiple narrators. Each reader did a great job of drawing you in to the different regions of the globe involved in WWZ.
Say something about yourself!
Its hard to find any fault with the performances in World War Z, each segment voiced by separate voice actor, lending credence to the oratory nature of the story telling. Audible doesn't list the full voice actor roster, which includes notables like Nathon Fillion, Denise Crosby and Common.
Where the story falls short is some of the silliness (Zombies can survive indefinitely on the bottom of the sea without being crushed and survive being frozen yet can be subdued with blunt force!?). Outside of a few logical stop-gaps that interrupt the suspension of disbelief, its a fun "What if..." scenario.
I enjoyed the book, when it waxes table philosophy on the concept of total war or why Cuba bested the rest of the world when it came to the Zombie apocalypse but not enough that I'd be inclined to jump further in the zombie genre.