Friday, September 27, 2013

World War Z/Max Brooks

World War Z:  An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (unabridged audio, c.2013).  Horror.  432 pages (12 hours on audio CD). 

Ten years after the zombie war (called World War Z by most historians), a journalist with the UN travels the world to record survival stories from those who witnessed the war first hand. 

The abridged version of this audio book has been around for a long time, but the release of the movie earlier this year prompted the publisher to (finally) put out a complete audio edition.  Each part is read by a different actor (including the likes of Nathan Fillion, Mark Hammill, and Jeri Ryan), and Brooks himself plays the role of the interviewer.  This is one of those rare books that actually works better as an audio book--the book is supposedly compiled from recorded interviews, so listening to the myriad actors makes it feel like you're experiencing the interviews first-hand.  This is especially creepy once the descriptions of the war get started (suggestion:  don't listen to this while driving alone at night, especially down a dark country road--I found that out the hard way!).  My one complaint is that, while the CD packaging listed the actors who appeared in the piece, it failed to tell me who was playing who.  As many of the roles require accents (both foreign and regional), it made it almost impossible to identify who was playing whom.  And as I was listening to this in my car, I couldn't exactly stop to ask Google.  The final credits of the recording do list who played which cast members, but by that point I'd lost track of which name went with which story.  That's a pretty minor complaint though, so otherwise I have to recommend this as one of the best audio books I've read. 

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