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.
It felt like you were listening to actual interviews due to the excellent performances.
Nice change of pace from your typical zombie story.
I would have if I could have...but that would have been a sizable time commitment
Graphic Designer. Culinary Enthusiast. Mostly User Friendly.
Even though I don't particularly care for zombies, or apocalyptic scenarios, or war-related fiction, the all-star cast on this audiobook and some good reviews from friends made me pick it up. While it wasn't my favorite book ever because this just isn't my genre, I really enjoyed it. It was well-written and the premise of telling the story through interviews was interesting. The zombie references were often pleasantly creepy instead of just gross, which worked well for me, and the story was more about the people and the politics than it was about the zombies. Plus, the audio production was amazing. If you're a fan of this kind of fiction already, you'll love it, and maybe you'll love it even if you aren't.
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.