Audie Award Winner, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2014
World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War is a new version of Max Brooks' episodic zombie novel. The abridged versions of the original stories are now joined with new, unabridged recordings of the episodes that were not included in the original (abridged) version of the audiobook. These additional episodes feature a star-studded cast of narrators to coincide with the upcoming release of the film.
New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead's Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more! Max Brooks will be reprising his role as The Interviewer.
The original abridged edition, released in 2006, won an Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance. Original cast members include Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, Carl & Rob Reiner, and John Turturro.
In this new classic of apocalyptic fiction that feels all too real, the Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. The documentary-style oral history records 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.
Featuring five more hours of previously unrecorded content, this full-cast recording is read by F. Murray Abraham, Alan Alda, René Auberjonois, Becky Ann Baker, Dennis Boutsikaris, Bruce Boxleitner, Max Brooks, Nicki Clyne, Common, Denise Crosby, Frank Darabont, Dean Edwards, Mark Hamill, Nathan Fillion, Maz Jobrani, Frank Kamai, Michelle Kholos, John McElroy, Ade M’Cormack, Alfred Molina, Parminder Nagra, Ajay Naidu, Masi Oka, Steve Park, Kal Penn, Simon Pegg, Jürgen Prochnow, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Henry Rollins, Jeri Ryan, Jay O. Sanders, Martin Scorsese, Paul Sorvino, David Ogden Stiers, Brian Tee, John Turturro, Eamonn Walker, Ric Young, and Waleed Zuaiter.
©2006 Max Brooks (P)2012 Random House
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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.
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.)
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.
The format of this book is entertaining - for the first 6 hours, after that it really becomes repetitious. The various narrators are great, as a whole the book is fun, and actually well written. The caveat comes in the format of the book, a series of interviews of survivors of the zombie plague. At first the stories are fun and very unique in perspective as they are taken from survivors from all over the world, and each country has its own perspective of what happened, and the book is fun and moves along quickly with each vignette being fairly short. At some point the stories become repetitious and you understand why this is an abridged book - and I never advocate abridged versions of anything - but I understand why this one is only offered in this format.
That said it is a pretty good offering and if you are on a zombie binge you will need to add this to your wish list.
Recommended for the target audience.
Audible is the best thing since sliced bread..
I found this interesting, its not like a regular story, Its a series of interviews. It gives you what may be fresh looks on this kind of event,, I enjoyed it
I felt as though I were attending a lecture. I purchased the book based on a recommendation from a friend who was reading a print version. So, perhaps the hard copy would have worked better for me. I just found the book and naration stiff and dreary without being exciting or particularly interesting.
It's easily in the top three.
There are lots of different characters in this book, and I loved that each character was read by a distinct narrator. It made the whole experience much more engaging.
Scary Realistic Entertaining
T. Sean (Henry Rollins)
The narrators are AMAZING!!! So much talent in one download!
The real story not that Brad Pitt bullsh*t.
Great listen. If you like zombie apocalypse stories you are going to think this is one of the finest. Nothing like those awful movie previews.
Unique way to piece together the interviews and then hearing about tie-ins to each of the other peoples experiences.
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