Becky's Reviews > World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z by Max Brooks
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's review
Aug 01, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: zombies, 2009, apocalyptic-types, politicalish, reviewed
Read 2 times. Last read March 19, 2009.

I really enjoyed this. I listened to the abridged audiobook (dramatization?), although I do own the book as well. First, I must say that if you read Max Brooks' "Zombie Survival Guide" and are looking for that kind of feel again, you've come to the wrong place. The "Zombie Survival Guide" was a so-serious-it-was-funny look at the methods of surviving a zombie attack. What works, what doesn't, how to use and prepare your weaponry and shelter, etc.

This book explored the socio-political ramifications of having real live undead zombie hordes breaking down the door of every house, in every nation on the planet, told in interviews with survivors. What caused the outbreak, what was done to try to escape and survive, who took action against the zombies and which methods succeeded and which did not, and finally what was done to take back our lives from the undead.

This was great. Listening to the audiobook gave the story a realism that was actually kinda creepy. The audiobook was abridged, yes, but the performances were great, and I was surprised to find some of the cast included huge names like:
Alan Alda
Henry Rollins
Mark Hamill
Carl Reiner
Rob Reiner
John Turturro
Eamonn Walker
Ajay Naidu
and of course Max Brooks himself.

If I had to choose a favorite story, it would be Todd Wainio's (read by Mark Hamill). His story of being on the front lines in battle after battle with the zombies is harrowing and straight-forward and it pulls no punches. I feel like his story gave the best idea of what it was really like going up against millions upon millions of brain-seeking walking corpses, as well as an insight into just how unprepared most of the world was for dealing with this sort of war. He gave an interesting militaristic and strategic view of some of the battles, which I enjoyed purely for the fact that he was more than willing to call out the head honchos for their mistakes. Good stuff.

I will definitely be reading this again.
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Reading Progress

August 1, 2008 – Shelved
September 10, 2008 – Shelved as: zombies
March 14, 2009 –
page 1
March 14, 2009 –
page 35
March 16, 2009 –
page 89
March 17, 2009 –
page 182
March 17, 2009 –
page 230
Started Reading
March 19, 2009 –
page 323
March 19, 2009 –
page 342
March 19, 2009 – Shelved as: 2009
March 19, 2009 – Shelved as: apocalyptic-types
March 19, 2009 – Shelved as: politicalish
March 19, 2009 – Shelved as: reviewed
March 19, 2009 – Finished Reading
March 6, 2010 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
March 14, 2010 – Shelved as: zombies (Paperback Edition)
March 14, 2010 – Shelved as: owned (Paperback Edition)
October 16, 2011 – Started Reading (Paperback Edition)
October 16, 2011 –
page 12
3.51% (Paperback Edition)
October 16, 2011 –
page 45
13.16% "Part 2: Blame I love how thorough and well thought out it is." (Paperback Edition)
October 26, 2011 –
page 83
24.27% (Paperback Edition)
October 28, 2011 –
page 115
33.63% (Paperback Edition)
October 29, 2011 –
page 159
46.49% (Paperback Edition)
November 1, 2011 –
page 235
68.71% (Paperback Edition)
November 3, 2011 – Finished Reading (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 –
page 342
100.0% "Finally finished last night." (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011 (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: apocalyptic-types (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: dystopias (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: bad-shit-and-atr... (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: horror (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: politicalish (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: reviewed (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: highly-recommended (Paperback Edition)
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: science-fiction (Paperback Edition)

Comments (showing 1-3)

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Tressa I listened to the audio about a year after reading the book and the audio is fantastic. Every story was brought to life in great detail by the actors' voices. I'd recommend this to anyone whether or not they're a zombie fan.

My favorite story was the Battle of Yonkers. My least favorite part of the book/audio is the part about the Japanese boy/man. Just couldn't get into their story.

Cameron Oh neat, I didn't realize there was an audio book - I'll have to check that out.

Becky Yeah, I really liked the Yonkers part too, Tressa. That "interviewee" was my favorite... he made me feel like I was there. Mark Hamill did a great job reading it, too.

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