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Publisher's Summary

"The end was near." Voices from the Zombie War.

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched firsthand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

He recorded 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. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

©2012 Max Brooks (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The wrong one...

I heard great things. There is a better version, don't waste your time with this one.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katie
  • Edmonton, Australia
  • 16-02-2015

Nothing Like The Movie

This is one of my all time favourite novels.
It is nothing like the movie - thank goodness.
This is read by many narrators, and they do a superb job!!! Every character seems real, and the story drags you right in, and you feel everything they feel. Heartwrenching at times. This is awesome

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t put it down!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I loved the variety of the narrators but, more than anything, I couldn’t get enough of the story -each chapter was so novel and explored the zombie apocalypse from a new and exciting perspective. It was so realistic and really made me think -not so much about the likelihood of the zombie takeover but even if what large scale war on domestic soil would be like for people like myself and my family.
Super entertaining, great pace, I’ve already been recommending this one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books i have ever read or listened

Awesome story. If you like zombies you will love this book. Forget what you have seen in the movie and enjoy the experience of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Story structure great, performances questionable

I love the structure. Voice acting of the non-american characters was derivative and borderline offensive. Took a bit of focus on the story to get past that element.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

interesting delivery that is just a touch too long

deserves applause for the unique delivery and completing the novel in the first person, but this does become a chore towards the end, almost a yearning to return to familiar narrative structure set in as characters accounts seem to be rehashed over and over again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Zombie apocalypse, how it should be done

A very different take on the ol’ zombie apocalypse. The use of lots of different voice actors is fantastic. If you enjoy the zombie fad at all, this is a must, and even if you’re getting over it, I reckon it’s still worth a go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

#NailedIt

If anyone ever tells you the movie is better than the book, you have my permission to slap them. Seriously, it's okay to go right ahead and give them a high-five to their face.

No... I kid. Sadly, it's not cool to slap someone in the face. Let alone for having an opinion, no matter how much you agree or disagree with them.

So, why is this audiobook so good? Because both aspects of the audiobook are brilliant; both the audio and the story.

Firstly, the award for best performance in an audiobook of all time goes to Christopher Ragland, Rupert Farley, Nigel Pilkington, Jennifer Woodward, David Thorpe, Adam Sims and Robert Slade.
Luckily, that is not a physical trophy, otherwise they would have to develop some crazy algorithms to dictate how they shared it between themselves!

In all seriousness, excellent voice acting. This alone added a huge sense of depth and engagement to the story.

The story is fantastic... It isn't one flowing story but simultaneously, it is.

Just so that statement doesn't bend your brain, a better way to explain it would be World War Z is a collection of interviews with survivors of the Zombie outbreak. The survivors are from all different parts of the globe, each discussing their own different experience.

While each experience does not directly interrelate, they indirectly do - usually through referencing the major events that occur and how that event impacted on the current interviewee's specific experience.

So, while separate interviews with unrelated interviewees from different geographic and political backgrounds, the interviews still build upon each other giving a flow to the overall story and a build towards the conclusion.

If you've ever sat on the fence about whether or not to give this book a crack, it's time to stop risking splinters and spend a credit on it.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Forget the movie travesty - read the book

What did you like most about World War Z?

A brilliant book - written as a oral history. I really liked the many different performers who lent their voices put this book ahead of the rest.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have loved to have had the time to just sit and listen in one go!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • 09-09-2018

More like a Doco

I desperately wanted to listen to this and unfortunately it feels like I wasted my money. The concept is interesting but unless you are after novel that is is kind of a “mockumentry” then you are probably not going to find this satisfying.

I love documentaries but the thing about docos is that there is a possibility they are real. I say possibility because documentaries are always from the point of the filmmaker. However this is fiction and unless you actually think zombies are real you are not going to get that “ oh my god or “aha”moment “you may get from a doco.

While the narrative is like a good documentary it lacks the tension and build up you might find in a traditional novel. I kept waiting for the protagonist to be in real jeopardy.

On the other hand it is well written and the characters are interesting so I gave it three stars ... left me feeling meh.

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  • RaisinGirl
  • 20-05-2013

A pity the unabridged version is inferior

Fans waited for an unabridged version of the audiobook with bated breath... and it's been a bit of a letdown. For a book that seems tailor-made for the aural medium - it is a spoken word history of the titular war after all - the performances were uneven, some of them particularly weak, and some of the accents were absolutely terrible. Given the care and thought that went into the original abridged celebrity-laden audio book - not even legally available in some countries - it's a pity that the same attention wasn't given to this unabridged version. There are countless audiobook performers who, although not stars like Alan Alda, Henry Rollins etc, could have done very good jobs with these stories and characters. I would recommend this version for hardcore fans only.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Madeleine
  • 11-09-2013

An Oral History (Not like the film)

It wasn't until I'd seen the film and read the reviews of how much it deviated from the original novel that I decided to take the plunge. If you're looking for a 'kicking zombie ass' post-apocalyptic action thriller, don't buy this.

If, on the other hand, you're interested in just how craftily speculative fiction can be employed to critique modern society, this is a masterpiece.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • 26-11-2012

Amazing.

What did you love best about World War Z?

World War Z felt realistic as much as a fictional world with zombie in it can be. After reading the Zombie Survival Guide, these short stories really captured the urgency and seriousness of a wide spread plague epidemic rather than a gung-ho kid's wet dream. Don't get me wrong those are fun but the seriousness and tragedy of these stories made me care about these people.

What did you like best about this story?

Its format was really enjoyable and I can listen to any part just by itself. Since it is mostly made up of short stories, I can just play back the story I was listening to or just let it finish and start a new chunk.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The accents. It made the apocalypse feel like it just wasn't isolated in America. I have no idea how accurate they were but it was great listening to these fictional people recount their stories from different countries.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Haven't finished it yet but I really liked the smuggler, spy, little girl and soldier short stories.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Garry
  • 25-06-2013

A great way to tell a story

Would you consider the audio edition of World War Z to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version but this book is tailor made for an audible book

What did you like best about this story?

The cast of voices, the stories that they told were very believable

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Zombies are doomed, by land, sea, air or space, we will get them

Any additional comments?

I was surprised by how better this was than I had expected. I loved the way we traveled the world listening to the stories of the survivors and the fighters. How the author turned a phrase or a nickname for a Zombie or a weapon was clever and well thought out.

Enjoy this, I have not seen the movie yet but would be surprised if both are the same somehow to me that is not a discouragement for either.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ronnie Komstedt
  • 12-03-2018

Best Zombie story i have heard

The last 2 chapter are somewhat slow and tired, but when the other 52 chapters are pure gold i can live with a weak ending
😊

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AT
  • 21-05-2017

Not bad.

Pretty good, I like the story but not so much the delivery. Constant interview after interview. Felt very samey after a while. I think I'd have liked more flashback sequences and action.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jarrod Brodel
  • 16-03-2016

Perfect for Audiobook

This novel is perfect for an audiobook. The interview nature makes it very engaging. Not just that, the story is very smart and compelling

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • lauraNZ
  • 24-06-2015

Love it, love it, love it

If you could sum up World War Z in three words, what would they be?

Variance, interesting, involved

What other book might you compare World War Z to and why?

I would like I know what I could compare this to so that I could find more like it. It is essentially the typical zombie story, but told to an amazing depth because it is told from so many more perspectives. It is a wonderfully unique entrance point.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

The Japanese researcher, I can't remember who played him. That was a really interesting one. Even though the accent wasn't really that Japanese sounding, it was performed very well emotion wise

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There was a point where one smuggler is asked a a question about his own unethical behaviour during the first stages of the zombie war and his response is quite amusing.

Any additional comments?

This book I awesome and made so much better as an audiobook. I got my subscription here JUST to get this book, so do indeed try it out.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 17-06-2015

awsome

one of if not the best audio books i have listened to BUY THIS BOOK

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Utkarsh
  • 31-05-2015

Brilliant

The movie was like a Zombie version of this beautiful book. Lifeless.
The Audible version is especially well done. One of the best Audio Books around. Please go ahead and listen to this book.
With respect for Max Brooks,
Utkarsh.
PS: Not a paid review. Just a genuinely happy reader/listener :)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • monkey-puzzle
  • 21-11-2012

Good old fashioned gory fun

Max Brooks has attempted something really ambitious with World War Z - a zombie story told on a global scale.



He's really given a lot of thought to how a zombie plague would affect every aspect of life on Earth, political, social, military, environmental etc.



The story is told via a series of anecdotes from survivors of the War, the narration is for the most part pretty good, some is excellent, the American voices are more convincing than those that use accents.



There are some pretty clunky national stereotypes and some far-fetched scenarios, (as if a zombie plague wasn't far-fetched enough) and possibly a little too much gore in places. Having said that this is a very entertaining listen and a brilliant achievement on the part of the writer.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Preety
  • 20-11-2012

Great book however....

Ok so I have heard the abridged version that was done a while ago and this new version but I have to admit that the voice acting is 10x better in the old version than this one. I mean the japanese, german, or even american accents sound shocking!!!



I have no idea what has happened in the making of this audiobook but please redo the foreign bits (outside UK) with actors that don't make jap voices sound almost german????

My opinion is stick with the original 2007 version it has more of what this book deserves rather than this one.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren
  • 28-01-2013

Intresting, Original and Exciting!



World War Z By Max Brooks. (May contain mild spoilers)



This book was a thoroughly enjoyable listen. The story has an intresting take on the Zombie apocaplyse and is told through a series of interviews, each chapter followng different character and a different set of experiences. The interview style of World War Z is part of the charm of this audiobook, i did not find myself listening to the same narrator for very long, this helped keep the excitement and momentum going as well as the my focus.



This story also bring some instresting ideas (how humanity deals with Zombie invasion) that i have not seen before... although i am releatively new to the genre!! however here lies my only criticism some of the ideas Max Brooks brings into this story i feel are rather far fetched and possibly unrealistic... but then this is a zombie, fantasy book.



Anyway thoroughly enjoyable book, i highly recommed!



9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamie
  • 04-12-2013

Why didn't I listen to this sooner?

I've had the book of World War Z on my shelf for ages! I was determined to read it before I sat down to watch the film but just never have the time! Sound familiar?

I tried the version of the audiobook which I already had and I was hooked instantly! When I tried to locate my position in the physical book, I realised I had an abridged audiobook. I thought to myself, I need to hear every last word of this - so I signed up with Audible and grabbed the unabridged version.

I was completely surprised as I had preconceptions that the book (regardless of the film) was somehow a comedy?! I can't believe how detailed and thought out the story is. It takes the form of a series of retrospective interviews with survivors of a war that almost wiped out humanity and I have to say I was completely sold. It's almost as if Brooks knows something that I don't!

I've read mixed reviews of it on the site, but I would definitely recommend it to people who want an intriguing listen! It's a gripping, tense and sometimes humorous (not very often though) story. All the different voice actors also give a brilliant depth and add to the feeling of realism. My only very minor criticism would be the voicing of the Englishman midway through the story - we don't all talk like that!

Really enjoyed the listen and think it might inspire me to listen to more zombie fiction - and I never thought I would say that!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katie Price
  • 28-04-2013

Even for a Z fan ..

.. this is a wonderful experience. The audio book must be the best way to access this fascinating story - stories, in fact, as the account of the "real" war Zombies vs the Earth is told through post-war interview, with those who survived. The harrowing accounts are well-told and all-involving, from old and young, all over the world. Be prepared (a Zombie fan's mantra) to learn about survivalism, military tactics, despair, desperation, determination and human resilience. It's all in there.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sean
  • 23-12-2012

Simply Brilliant

This book is simply the most clever and thought out zombie book ever written. The research into the social economics and politics of each country mentioned within is simply sublime. It throws a whole new spin on the zombie apocalypse and is written with brilliance and consideration.



You feel and empathise with each of the characters interviewed and you are genuinely sad when the book comes to an end. Best zombie read ever

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • martin
  • 25-11-2012

Different

Once you get used to the documentry style of this book its not a bad listen. Some accounts are more interesting than others but overall I found it enjoyable.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MR
  • 20-06-2013

Buyer beware

Any additional comments?

This is not the new movie tie-in edition which supplements the previously abridged full cast recording with new material from previously unrecorded chapters by the talents of Simon Pegg, Frank Darabont, Martin Scorcese etc. I felt really tricked when I paid for this. Hang on for the full edition with people who give actual performances, rather than the droning automatons who ENUN-CI-ATE every damn syllable in this version. A soulless cash-in.

Buyer beware

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • M. Bland
  • 23-12-2012

Excellent audiobook

Downloaded this as I loved the Paperbook.



The concept of an oral history works really well in the audio format - the voice acting is pretty good on the whole.



The whole thing seems very real and believable...



Well recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jockette61
  • 15-12-2013

Totally absorbing story...

... which bears no resemblance to the (pretty mediocre) film.

I've never read zombie fiction before, so wasn't sure what to expect. This book kept me totally engaged in the story all the way through. It almost felt real in the way the individuals' stories were presented, and I found myself reacting out loud at key points - thank goodness I was in the car and not in public!

I took a star off for the narration. Although it was still very good indeed, some of the characterisations were less absorbing than others, and as others have said elsewhere, the non-English speaker accents didn't always hit the mark. I'd love to now find the alternative recording, which although abridged, seems to get better ratings on the performance side unsurprisingly with some of the stellar cast.

But the story is the real star here, and I really enjoyed being made to think about what would happen from so many different perspectives, and how much the world changed. It was so absorbing that when I finally finished it, I actually hit replay to start listening all over again.

Suspend belief, and strap yourself in for a really entertaining listen. Highly recommended.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful