"The end was near." Voices from the Zombie War.
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched firsthand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.
He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living - or at least the undead - hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
©2012 Max Brooks (P)2012 Audible Ltd
Fans waited for an unabridged version of the audiobook with bated breath... and it's been a bit of a letdown. For a book that seems tailor-made for the aural medium - it is a spoken word history of the titular war after all - the performances were uneven, some of them particularly weak, and some of the accents were absolutely terrible. Given the care and thought that went into the original abridged celebrity-laden audio book - not even legally available in some countries - it's a pity that the same attention wasn't given to this unabridged version. There are countless audiobook performers who, although not stars like Alan Alda, Henry Rollins etc, could have done very good jobs with these stories and characters. I would recommend this version for hardcore fans only.
It wasn't until I'd seen the film and read the reviews of how much it deviated from the original novel that I decided to take the plunge. If you're looking for a 'kicking zombie ass' post-apocalyptic action thriller, don't buy this.
If, on the other hand, you're interested in just how craftily speculative fiction can be employed to critique modern society, this is a masterpiece.
World War Z felt realistic as much as a fictional world with zombie in it can be. After reading the Zombie Survival Guide, these short stories really captured the urgency and seriousness of a wide spread plague epidemic rather than a gung-ho kid's wet dream. Don't get me wrong those are fun but the seriousness and tragedy of these stories made me care about these people.
Its format was really enjoyable and I can listen to any part just by itself. Since it is mostly made up of short stories, I can just play back the story I was listening to or just let it finish and start a new chunk.
The accents. It made the apocalypse feel like it just wasn't isolated in America. I have no idea how accurate they were but it was great listening to these fictional people recount their stories from different countries.
Haven't finished it yet but I really liked the smuggler, spy, little girl and soldier short stories.
I work in IT, I love reading, I love Writing and for those daily travels too and fro I love to listen to Audible books too
I have not read the print version but this book is tailor made for an audible book
The cast of voices, the stories that they told were very believable
Zombies are doomed, by land, sea, air or space, we will get them
I was surprised by how better this was than I had expected. I loved the way we traveled the world listening to the stories of the survivors and the fighters. How the author turned a phrase or a nickname for a Zombie or a weapon was clever and well thought out.
Enjoy this, I have not seen the movie yet but would be surprised if both are the same somehow to me that is not a discouragement for either.
Even if you don't care for a zombie novel, this is just a great book - full of interesting ideas, social commentary and wonderful stories. Some of the individual accounts have stuck with me in a way that I wasn't expecting. The narration was very absorbing and added a level of realism, even if the accents weren't always spot on. Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook!
For entertainment, it was. But it is not a great book, it is a ok book. Some of the characters are very stereotypical or mono dimensional. There is very little surprise in the book and there is very little foundation of why the zombie plague succeeded to spread. Most of it relies on the fact that people are under prepared.
The diversity of situations is very interesting. Some of the stories are actually very good and plausible. Also, the criticism to some aspects of international and local politics are valid in my opinion.
Good not amazing
It would be interesting if it was made in a documentary format. Stars? no idea. This movie would be better done with local actors of different countries than with famous ones.
If you are looking for a thriller, this book is not for you. This book explores cultural differences and their flaws into deal with big crisis. In my point of view, it is a good snapshot of the world as it is right now, disguised inside a zombie outbreak.
The srory consists of a series of interviews with key characters who survived the World War Z. The characters are from all countries and different phases of the war. The 'interviews' are frighteningly believable and take us on a journey of mass destruction and breakdown of society. An excellent story.
The very begging of the book and the early description of the war were interesting. It covered individuals, countries, and explained how the virus spread and how people helped the curse to become global. Well, this was it! The rest of the book just described other individuals, their encounters, little survivor's stories and nothing that I would prefer to hear about the war.
This is likely caused by the Walking Dead series and other similar zombie related films/books.
If you are anything like me, then I do not recommend to read this book. The movie will do just fine.
I would be willing to try another book from Max Brooks. However, will spend more time going through the reviews and see if other readers with similar preferences recommend a book.
If it was not for the narrators, most likely the book will never be read until the end. The narrators did a wonderful work.
I read this book because of the latest movie "World War Z" starring Bred Pitt. I liked the movie.
It was a pretty good book to listen to. Interesting story/stories, and a few different narrators - which is a first for me. I will listen to it again.
There was a "ooh" moment half way through - don't want to say too much in case it gives something away, but it was a good little surprise.
For the most part the narrators's performances were pretty good - except when they were supposed to be chinese/Japanese/Russian - and they all sounded half German....
This book has already been made into a film - and let me tell you IT IS NOTHING LIKE THE MOVIE!!!!!!! I think two lines from the book were used in the movie and that was it....
The portrayal of the different characters was so good, they all had correct accents and emotions. This definitely added a lot to the book.
All of it.
This book is amazing, the whole story is so well researched and in depth. I would recommend this to anyone who likes intelligent and captivating books. The audio for this book just added that extra something to the story, each voice was perfectly suited to its character. I will definitely listen to this again some time.
"Enjoyed the different approach"
The use of different people to represent the characters in the book! For me this really brought the book to life.
It's different approach to story telling.
I listened to this book whenever i could, but I do find once I discover a story I am enthralled by I will become almost addicted to it.
This book is an interesting take on a common movie theme. There is a fascination with the living dead rising and the havoc slow walking, flesh eating zombies create. I loved the approach this book took to exploring the spread. My partner is currently reading it and I think enjoying it less. It is a book that works very well as an audio book! I wonder if the film will be as good. I am off to see it this weekend.
"Enjoyable from start to end"
This book is subtitled "An oral history of the zombie war" and this is exactly what it is. The book is set after the war and the format is lots of interviews and reports with people during the war. The interview returns to various strands of people's stories and this adds to the continuity of the book.
The story is very believable (if you are the of person who can let themselves be immersed by a good story). The actions the characters take are consistent with how one imagines people would react and deal with the situation.
As the book covers such a large area (i.e. the world) and a large number of characters (i.e. global population) it doesn't go as in-depth into anyone character as I would like - but then that is not the nature of this book. It would be interesting to read spin-offs that focus on some of the characters.
There is a good range of characters - including some characters of questionable morals which serve to make the book more interesting.
There has been negative comments on some of the reading accents but I did not find this at all distracting. The use of different voice actors help set the scene and break the material into smaller interesting chunks.
This audio book made me look forward to the dreaded work commute so I could return to Max Brooks' world.
"It's good but it's not great"
Many of the interviews are riveting & a couple of the interviews are boring.
What makes some of the riveting interviews not great are the appalling accents put on by several of the performers. Honestly it's like some sort of awful 1950s American film version of how a China-man should sound.
"Fantastic, well worth a try!"
I first saw the trailer for World War Z some time back and remember thinking how great it looked, so I was pretty excited about its release. I didn't realise that it was based on a book but luckily I stumbled upon this audiobook as a free download, and I can honestly say that I recommend it to anyone interested in this genre.
I love the notion of sitting down to relax whilst reading a book in my own company, but due to my lifestyle I don't often get the time. In fact I probably put it off just as much, as I just can't connect with the characters. I find it hard to imagine what they look like and how they sound, and it is for this reason that I highly rate this audiobook. It allows me to get more of a sense of understanding and which in turn helps to gain a perspective of empathy, of sympathy and even anger for some of the characters you hear along the way.
Each character be it American, Indian or Chinese have what appear to sound like individual people voicing them. I don't believe this is the case due to only 7 narrators being listed in the information section, but my point is that they all sound unique. You get the sense of total immersion and can picture each person and even their mannerisms by the way they are speaking with such raw emotion. Other reviews for this audiobook show negative comments, stating that the accents are 'shocking'. Well I'd like to see these people do better, I can only manage maybe three accents and they aren't even slightly convincing. Would you expect a high budget audiobook where they travel the world to specifically seek out the most authentic sounding accents from each region?
Perhaps I haven't been in social circles with people from every country in the world to be able to comment properly, but they sound good enough and realistic enough to me - especially when the main thing I'm interested in is the story. Surprising, when at least two other audiobooks (and possibly countless others?) that I've listened to have only one narrator making ridiculous sounding voices for each character, that you'd give negative feedback on one which has gone out of its way to ensure that it is delivered as concisely as possible.
The story is presented by a narrator reporting his findings in the form of a documentary. He records different people, from every social class, from countries all over the world giving their version of events in such detail. It is truly brilliant in the way that it is constructed. Each person describes the events leading up to their personal intimacy with an undead enemy. There are no heros or anyone trying to be something that they're not, they are real people who feel real emotions across the range from being upset, scared or angry. You can feel their pain, and share their anger purely because of the brilliant voice acting. I won't give any spoilers, you deserve to have a fresh outlook. All I will say is that there are several characters' version of events that will stick with you.
Thank you to everyone who created and produced this title, it is now a firm favourite that I will be returning to.
If you can't engage in a story, don't buy this book.
For everyone else that actually enjoys audiobooks, get it as you will not be disappointed.
"Audio version enhances an already excellent book"
From the subtitle "an oral history of the zombie war" listening in audio format feels like the way this book was intended to be experienced. With a new voice for each individual character's account of their experiences, each reader is right on the money; don't worry about hitting a duff narrator at any point, it doesn't happen.
The story itself is chilling, engaging and uplifting as it examines a popular theme in new levels of detail. Accounts from individuals from all over the world slowly build up a picture of the recent world war against the zombie hoards. The level of detail both emotionally and technically is astonding, giving the listener a look at everything from the propaganda films used to raise moral, to the efforts of the stranded astronauts onboard the international space station.
This book is very in depth. A very good listen. For those who enjoy zombie stories, it's a must have.
"not audiobook material"
I think this would have worked had it been half the length. As it stands, the idea of short journalistic pieces, reportage, interviews are over long, samey and at times boring. The author just doesn't have the skills to write, convincingly, scores of different characters. If I were actually reading the book it may not have been too bad, but listening to it rendered it tedious. It was hard work finishing despite the sometimes very skillful reading.
"How Audiobooks Should be Done"
This is what I expect from an audiobook. The story itself is fantastic. I ready this years ago and am a huge fan. The added benefit here is that the characters are done by different voice actors. A woman to do a woman, an asian man to do an asian man, etc... it's very well put together and a new experience after having already read the book.. You can see why Brooks put all his effort into this while Hollywood was busy screwing it up in movie form. Fantastic.
"A good all-encompassing account."
I really liked this.
There are reviews which pick holes in the accents or one abridged version or another, but, as a first time reader, I found this book highly enjoyable and worth the download.
It draws on first-hand accounts of the zombie war, but after the event which ended some 10 years ago. I was dubious at first, but in the end was presented with a really well-rounded account of a global event that affected every country, every individual and every taboo, it seems. From the structured response and focused goal of the South Africans, to the mystifying reply of the Irish solution: 'we don't want to talk about it'. There are personal accounts from all walks of life and if you squint your ears [sic] even Paris Hilton gets a mention.
In short, this wasn't what I thought it would be, but I was extremely pleased at what I got. To me, the deciding factor on whether I've bought a good book or wasted my money is whether I'd listen to it again - and this one, I will definitely listen to again.
Ps. If the accents bother you that much, you're not listening to the story. I'm English, and I've haven't heard an Englishman speak in that way since 1950s royalty, and it didn't bother me.
"BEST ZOMBIE BOOK EVER"
Max Brooks has created another world, another future. This is an oral history of the Zombie War, with the Zed Heads, or Wold War Z. This book stands out from the rest, as a writer travels and interviews people from all over the world, different cultures, ages, occupation and opinions and asks them about the war before, during and after. He creates great imagery to make it seem real and you can only imagine, and be horrified at what you see. You see the human race as scared, brave, determined and broken and its these things that make you proud to be human.
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