Rated Reads

World War Z

by Max Brooks

Rated: High

Yes, this is a zombie book. And I listened to it. No judging.

I downloaded this particular audiobook because I had just watched the movie with my husband (didn’t love it but was entertained enough) when my brother-in-law told me the recorded book had won an Audie Award.  He told me it was full cast and when I looked at the cast list, I decided to try it.  Here is why, if I am completely honest:

Nathan Fillion.

He reads one of the chapters.

Yes, just one, but OH, that was a thrill. NATHAN! READ TO ME MORE!

OK, so I started it for Nathan but I finished it because I enjoyed it.

World War Z is an oral history of the Zombie War. The author “interviews” people from all sections of society, all cultures, to preserve for the future personal stories of the war that brought live human beings to the brink of extinction. He speaks with politicians, soldiers, priests, doctors and just regular people who played a unique role in the conflict. What I particularly loved about this audiobook is the fantastic job of casting. I’m sure reading it would have been fine, but to have all the different accents and varied cadences of speech really made it such an interesting listen.

Their stories are so varied, it was always a bit exciting to see where our next location would be and what kind of person we would meet: a blind Japanese warrior, a Chinese submariner, a South African citizen, an American dog handler, a Russian cleric, a Pakistani refugee. Each person’s viewpoint is unique and adds another piece to the supposed history. Only a few characters share more than once; one in particular is very foul-mouthed, but his story was one of the most interesting, since as a soldier he was on the very front lines. Much of the book is a military history but not so much that it stopped being interesting to me.

The history of the war is rich and complex — I think the author does a fine job of making it just realistic enough that you almost believe there is actually a possibility of this happening. And after you finally cross over that edge, you have to keep reminding yourself THERE ARE NO ZOMBIES. I let myself go along for the ride. I believed in the Zombie War. And if you can get me to do that, Max Brooks, you did a pretty good job.

Rated: High for language; there is no way I could count all the f-bombs in this book. Other language too. Also, it’s pretty graphically violent and horror-movie-like.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • World War Z
  • by Max Brooks
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: