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
There are few things better than a good story well told!
First off, I have to say I was “duped” into thinking this was finally the unabridged version of the book. I have a strong aversion to abridged books and probably would not have purchased this had I known it was not the complete work. Having said that, it was still a good listen despite the missing parts. If you never read the print version you probably won’t notice because the story is told in the style of firsthand accounts that are choppy by nature. Think Ken Burns doing a documentary on a worldwide zombie war. All-in-all it is a moving story that is less about zombies than the human spirit, good and bad.
I love this book. I mostly love the audio book. I know I will listen again and again, simply because it is so moving and powerful. However, when I pre-ordered this book it was advertised as "unabridged", which is not quite the truth.
1 week later I now get an email stating "... This is an Abridged book, but when you made your purchase, it may have been listed as "Unabridged" on our site, which was in error. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused." Also, chapter 3 has a fairly huge gap in it that readers have picked up on but no one who put the book out seems to be addressing.
Had I known this was still an abridged version of the book, would I still have bought it? Maybe, depending on what had been written about it. I mean, I love this book, so yes, I probably still would have bought it knowing that more of it had been recorded. I just hate being lied to.
After restoring the missing section in Chapter 3, now it's a coherent whole. Thanks for working with the publisher to fix a 4 minute gap, which while obviously an easy thing to do, had me worried for a while that it wouldn't be done in the short term. This relatively rapid response is much appreciated.
I think Studs Terkel would be proud. The various performers' interpretation of the text made the messages from the witnesses much more varied, both in voice and in the message. This makes it feel more like independent witnesses than in the original texts, and the emotion in some of the performances was much more moving. Some of the standouts for me included the K9 trainer, the feral young lady being treated and acting out the incident that orphaned her around age 4, Sinclair as acted by Alan Aldo, the performance of Redecker, and the Chinese submariner.
Of course! This is one of the best multiple-cast audiobooks I've heard. There were too many fine performances to count, and it was less an audiobook than a picture-less movie. Along with others, however, I too eagerly pre-ordered as soon as the option became available and am angered by the same issues already raised.
How could Audible.com, an Amazon company, release an audiobook with an obvious omission of over four minutes? Even more shocking, the missing portion of the recording had already been completed for the (first) abridged version.
What bothers me much more than that, though, is the misrepresentation that this is an unabridged version. Is "Complete" a new pseudonym for "Abridged, but not as abridged as before"? Perhaps this was rushed to market to take advantage of the "Movie Tie-in," prominently featured on the book image. From all reports, this sounds like a great summer action movie featuring Brad Pitt, but far removed from the moving, chilling, thought-provoking novel on which it is based.
Max Brooks gave an excellent performance, perfectly portraying the reporter--always in the background, but providing a consistency throughout the many stories of "survivors."
Audible Editor. Book lover. Would-be writer and musician. Fun uncle.
While last year's film adaption of World War Z had a few thrilling moments, it was still a pale, hollywoodized interpretation compared to Max Brooks' original vision of a world brought to the brink of total collapse. Inspired as much by the work of Studs Terkel as the zombie flicks of George A. Romero, the fact that the book is, as the subtitle notes, "An Oral History" cannot be emphasized enough. And it is this format, personal accounts as told to an interviewer, which makes World War Z a perfect story to tell in audiobook form. With military destruction and social upheaval occurring at a global level, a full cast (including Alan Alda, John Turturro, Simon Pegg and Martin Scorsese) allows listeners to hear the voices affected by the zombie apocalypse; to sit with their stories and reflect on the fragility of our own political and societal institutions.
Great Book. However there is missing audio in Chapter 3 and it is very important. I e-mailed customer support and this is what they replied to me.
Thank you for contacting Audible. My name is Nickiesha and I’m happy to help.
I am so sorry to hear that some of the audio file is missing from your book "World War Z". I understand how disappointing this must be and I will be happy to help you with this.
Having checked with my content team, they are aware of the issue and are working diligently to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible. Never the less, I have escalated this to the Audio Bug Department to be corrected. We will continue to monitor its status. Depending on the extent of the audio problem, we may be able to resolve this issue internally within about 2 weeks. If we have to request a new copy of the title, this may extend the time until it is resolved.
In the mean time, if you prefer not to wait until the file is repaired, please let us know and we can remove the book from your library and issue you a full refund.
We appreciate your patience and will contact you via email as soon as we have additional information regarding the problem with this title.
If there is anything else that I may assist with please let me know. Once again thanks for contacting Audible and have a great day!
Hopefully they ARE working on it, and we won't have to wait long. Until then everyone should wait to buy it.
This ranks on my top 5 best audiobooks, the different actors/actresses really make this a great listen.
Haven't heard any others, unfortunately.
Very much so.
The description states this is an 'unabridged' reading, which I took to mean all the people who did the original reading, had come back to fill in the dialogue that got cut from the original. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. All that was done was new actors were brought in to read the chapters not included. Hopefully the site will change the wording.
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.
Now that the missing 4-5 minutes of Chapter 3 have been restored and my previous (very whiny, I admit) comments have been scrubbed, I can do a proper job of reviewing this long-awaited edition of World War Z.
WWZ has a scope that is unlike any other zombie novel that I know of. It's true that we don't get to know any of the characters really well; the segments range from just a few minutes to an hour or so. But the overall effect of the dozens of different stories layered on top of one another--some political, some personal, many both--is to emphasize the world-wide nature of the crisis. I don't think any other zombie novel has accomplished this. I love that stories from around the world are lightly linked by repeated mentions of certain people, places, battles, policies, etc. I also love that the author has not spelled everything out for us or given us a full timeline. We get enough glimpses that we can put things together ourselves.
If you are looking for a typical zombie novel, with a group of survivors on the run, this may not be for you. But haven't you read enough of those already? Give this one a try.
As for performances, most are good. I admit that I don't have much of an ear for accents, but a few of them sound off, either wrong or just overdone. But the majority of the performances are solid and a few are stunning. The best of the lot, for me, are Mark Hamill as Todd Wainio, Frank Darabont as Roy Elliot, Alfred Molina as Terry Knox, Rob Reiner as "the Whacko", Becky Ann Baker as Christina Eliopolis, and Eamonn Walker as Xolelwa Azania.
(Another reviewer suggests that the accent chosen for the character of Xolelwa Azania is not appropriate. Without giving anything away...isn't that the twist that makes the story so good?)
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
I can't believe I am saying this, but I LOVED World War Z. I have studiously avoided this book for a while because I really hate zombie literature or movies. Zombies have always seemed the most boring of monsters to me since they have no individuality or personality unlike dragons or ogres or demons. However, I finally succumbed to the buzz and checked out the newest version of World War Z on audio. I decided the cast alone might be worth a credit. Well, that proved to be true - the cast is superb and this is a fabulous audio book. But I also really, REALLY enjoyed the plot, settings, characters in this documentary style presentation of what is called the Zombie War, but could easily be read as the results of a global raging pandemic. Although a virus that could cause reanimation of the dead seems quite unlikely to me, we have certainly seen some virulent forms of viruses that are contagious/infectious and if not properly contained have potential for world wide impact no less than our historical World Wars. And, in listening to this book, it was easy to forget that the subject of World War Z was a fantastical virus because effects of the virus were laid out one story at a time in such a thoughtful manner by Max Brooks. Brooks presents the outcome of this global challenge with personal memories from people all over the planet from all walks of life having been impacted in many different ways - an astronaut watching his world collapse from a safe view in space, a Russian soldier, a Chinese doctor, an American suburbanite, etc. We see one story at a time how the planet's various cultures, political systems, and military respond or are changed or destroyed. The author not only shows how people and our institutions would be impacted, but also how the environment (flora, fauna, and weather) might be affected. He has thought through this scenario in such detail that he includes a story from a man who worked in the K-9 Corps (this was my favorite chapter) which explains in detail how dogs were used very effectively to "smell out" the undead. OK, I will admit I'm crazy about dogs and that's probably why that chapter got to me so much, but I also thought this was a great detail to include. Dogs have been our work mates since before recorded history and have been there with us in every previous challenge to our survival so of course they would be ready, willing, and able to stand with us in a Zombie War! (Doesn't seem far-fetched that dogs with their keen sense of smell and proven ability to detect certain diseases within a person could be useful in fighting a real pandemic.) The personal accounts that make up this book have a sort of StoryCorps or PBS POV feel to them - raw, personal documentary style. And, because there is no "tongue in cheek" reserve built into the dialog and the reactions of people and governments are so true to life it is easy to suspend disbelief and many of the stories are then quite chilling.
The first person perspective for each story makes this book absolutely ideal for a multi-cast audiobook and this is the MOST effective use of that style of presentation that I have listened to. Some of the wonderful actors recording these personal accounts might not actually be good narrators for a standard book with a lot of narrative passages, but there is none of that in World War Z so these actors who can adopt and project a personality so vividly come across as genuine - it sounds like listening to interviews with many real people. These are stellar performances and are delightful to listen to in spite of some of gruesome details. All-in-all, World War Z is a well-written piece of literature that is wonderfully presented in this audio book. I found it immensely entertaining and surprisingly thought provoking.
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