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Synopsis from GoodReads:
“From the author of the bestselling, The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z is for fans of zombie literature and film; for lovers of apocalyptic what-if novels; for those obsessed with the state of paranoia in which we all live—it’s a new standard in apocalyptic fiction. This brilliant novel imagines a Studs Terkel-like character traveling the world to access the impact of a war between humans and zombies. Though humans have survived World War Z, many are still haunted by those terrible years. Max Brooks sets out to reveal the people’s stories, to tell the true history of what happened. The result is a stunning and all-too believable oral history of a future conflict.”
I didn’t realize that I had checked out an abridged audiobook until I finished listening, the credits rolled, and I heard “Abridgement by…” someone. Dangit. I dislike abridgements and don’t understand why publishers do that! When I saw that the audiobook was only about five parts long, I should have realized. I’ve never paid much attention to how long the print book is; I just assumed it must be short. Oh well. Live and learn.
I can’t watch many horror movies but for whatever reason, my husband and I did watch the movie version of World War Z not long after it was released in 2013. It was pretty good and it didn’t scare me too badly. But there was one zombie who freaked me out. He went around clicking his teeth in a really intense part of the movie. Oh, that clacking noise! To this day, if my husband wants to freak me out, he’ll bare his teeth and click them at me! (I know that’s probably weird, but every relationship is weird if we’re honest, right? It’s not just us?)
Last year, I listened to Devolution, also by Max Brooks and read by a full cast. It was one of my top books of the year. I was riveted.
So you can imagine my surprise when I listened to World War Z and discovered that I was… a little bored. There. I said it. The format is very similar to that used in Devolution, with a fictional interviewer speaking with survivors of a catastrophic event. I think the difference for me was that Devolution also included a fictional journal from the main character. That made the action more intense and immediate. In World War Z, every interview takes place after the war is mostly over, so obviously the interviewee survived whatever awful event they were relating. There were a lot of politics and survival strategy and even war maneuvers. A couple of stories really caught my attention (the downed pilot immediately comes to mind, as does Mark Hamill’s military story) but most of them just didn’t catch my attention.
The full cast did an amazing job with the narration. Multiple narrators don’t always work for me but this one was absolutely fabulous!
I don’t know if this would have worked better for me if I had listened to an unabridged version. I’d definitely recommend that if you’re interested. It’s a quick listen and worth a try if you like horror. But honestly, I prefer Devolution more.
If you liked World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, you might also like my reviews of
- Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks, read by a full cast
- The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
- Graveminder by Melissa Marr, read by Emma Galvin
Buy World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (Abridged) from Malaprop’s Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC or