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World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition)

An Oral History of the Zombie War
Written by: Max Brooks
Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2014

World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War is a new version of Max Brooks' episodic zombie novel. The abridged versions of the original stories are now joined with new, unabridged recordings of the episodes that were not included in the original (abridged) version of the audiobook. These additional episodes feature a star-studded cast of narrators to coincide with the upcoming release of the film.

New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead's Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more! Max Brooks will be reprising his role as The Interviewer.

The original abridged edition, released in 2006, won an Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance. Original cast members include Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, Carl & Rob Reiner, and John Turturro.

In this new classic of apocalyptic fiction that feels all too real, the Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. The documentary-style oral history records 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.

Featuring five more hours of previously unrecorded content, this full-cast recording is read by F. Murray Abraham, Alan Alda, René Auberjonois, Becky Ann Baker, Dennis Boutsikaris, Bruce Boxleitner, Max Brooks, Nicki Clyne, Common, Denise Crosby, Frank Darabont, Dean Edwards, Mark Hamill, Nathan Fillion, Maz Jobrani, Frank Kamai, Michelle Kholos, John McElroy, Ade M’Cormack, Alfred Molina, Parminder Nagra, Ajay Naidu, Masi Oka, Steve Park, Kal Penn, Simon Pegg, Jürgen Prochnow, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Henry Rollins, Jeri Ryan, Jay O. Sanders, Martin Scorsese, Paul Sorvino, David Ogden Stiers, Brian Tee, John Turturro, Eamonn Walker, Ric Young, and Waleed Zuaiter.

©2006 Max Brooks (P)2012 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

My favourite book done right

Loved this. Loved. It. My fave voice actor doing my fave part? Just brilliant.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant but could expand to its own benifit.

Performance is one of the greatest in audiobooks. If this approach was taken with all audio books the industry would be vastly different. The novel itself is a perfect mental exercise in not only perceiving something fictional, but creating a world that exists after a fictional event. Everything is so real it makes me wish this was three times as long with further detail. If you are iffy about the zombie theme but are interested in apocalyptic events or pandemics, the zombie factor of this book is a canvas upon which it paints a human experience and response. There are areas where I'd like to hear more about, especially Africa, but as a whole this book is a great read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love at First Listen

With the many zombie apocalypse books out there, this is by far the best. Every aspect is thought of.

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Man..

How is this rated so good? I’m at chapter 15 and can’t listen to this anymore.. you want a zombie story to listen to? Listen to “we’re alive”

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great full cast

I don't normally leave reviews but I LOVED this book and performance. Sometimes I find full-cast works can get confusing, but all of the narrators were fantastic. Definitely a recommend! #Audible1

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Zombie Tale...ever!

#Audible1

This book is a great romp - furiously paced. Wonderfully read! The ending is realistic.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

forget the movie, listen to the book

Thoroughly enjoyed this listen. I had seen the movie originally, but heard the book would be different. It was, and for an audible book using multiple voice characters should be a must for all future books.

#Audible1

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Extremely captivating

The book was awesome, the method at which the author progresses the story kept me captivated through the entire thing. The voice cast was incredible. I would definitely recommend. #Audible1

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Best audio book on audible

Amazing. The script, the casting, the story, it all works so perfectly together. Always the first book I recommend to people who haven't listened to an audio book before. #Audible1

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Really, really well done audio book!

I read the book years ago, and parts of it really creeped me out!

This is an outstanding production - the narrators are fantastic and really add to the story. It gives it an authentic feel that adds to the overall experience.

This is an audio book done right #Audible1 !!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kim Venatries
  • 2013-05-22

A Good Story with an All Star Cast but ABRIDGED

First off, I have to say I was “duped” into thinking this was finally the unabridged version of the book. I have a strong aversion to abridged books and probably would not have purchased this had I known it was not the complete work. Having said that, it was still a good listen despite the missing parts. If you never read the print version you probably won’t notice because the story is told in the style of firsthand accounts that are choppy by nature. Think Ken Burns doing a documentary on a worldwide zombie war. All-in-all it is a moving story that is less about zombies than the human spirit, good and bad.

144 of 157 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ignatz
  • 2013-05-18

Will never pre-order again

Would you listen to World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition) again? Why?

I love this book. I mostly love the audio book. I know I will listen again and again, simply because it is so moving and powerful. However, when I pre-ordered this book it was advertised as "unabridged", which is not quite the truth.

1 week later I now get an email stating "... This is an Abridged book, but when you made your purchase, it may have been listed as "Unabridged" on our site, which was in error. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused." Also, chapter 3 has a fairly huge gap in it that readers have picked up on but no one who put the book out seems to be addressing.

Had I known this was still an abridged version of the book, would I still have bought it? Maybe, depending on what had been written about it. I mean, I love this book, so yes, I probably still would have bought it knowing that more of it had been recorded. I just hate being lied to.

185 of 204 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ron P
  • Monroe, WA USA
  • 2018-03-05

Not really a Zombie fan, but ... simply brilliant!

I'm not really a fan of the horror genre, although there was a time when "Night of the Living Dead" made Zombie flicks the exception for me. But it's so played out. Add to that the movie version of this (which basically shares the title only) was so awful, I didn't listen to my friends who recommended the audiobook.

My mistake. This audiobook version, with it’s all-star cast, is spectacular.

The premise of the book is unique -- you know from the get-go that it’s a look back from the perspective of those who survived the zombie war, which is now more or less over. Rather than diminishing the story, knowing that every character is telling his/her story in flashback somehow manages to *increase* the intensity. There are sections that are poignant, cynical, gripping and terrifying. The underwater sequences, for example, are nutso intense.

But the thing that truly makes this audiobook one of the best I’ve heard is the cast. The voice actors are spectacular. *Spectacular*.

This review is in some ways pointless, insofar as most people inclined to listen to it already have. However, if you’ve stumbled on this review as someone who stays away from horror in general and zombies in particular, do yourself a favor – it’s the audiobook equivalent of a summer blockbuster that manages to *exceed* the hype. It’s everything audio dramatizations try to achieve.

It's simply that good.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Douglas G Mercer
  • Halifax, NS Canada
  • 2017-10-13

Listed as unabridged when I ordered it: Not really

What you get from this book is wonderful. However, you still aren't getting everything. When I ordered the first version (orange cover) it was missing a significant part of the first eyewitness report, and missing other reports entirely. Then they introduced 2 new audiobooks, one with all the witness reports, and the other, the "Lost Tales", with just the new eyewitness reports.

However, there are still some gaps. For example, with Sinclair's testimony in the book he discusses dirigibles and a failed "Silicon Valley" method to kill the zombles. This is missing from the audiobook.

The following link explains this and other omissions. Bottom line: in the original version they left out some witnesses, and for consistency removed references to the missing witnesses' testimony from the witnesses testimonies they retained. When they made the above edition, they kept the previous recordings and added recordings for the new witnesses, but didn't put back the references they had initially removed in the "old" witness reports.
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https://www.reddit.com/r/audiobooks/comments/4nb5uo/what_exactly_is_missing_from_the_complete_edition/

Someday it would be nice if they went back and fixed the witness recordings from the first version of the audiobook, and finally have something that matches.

All this being said, this is one of my favourite audiobooks.

5 of 5 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
  • Doug
  • 2013-05-17

With missing section restored, Now it's great

After restoring the missing section in Chapter 3, now it's a coherent whole. Thanks for working with the publisher to fix a 4 minute gap, which while obviously an easy thing to do, had me worried for a while that it wouldn't be done in the short term. This relatively rapid response is much appreciated.

I think Studs Terkel would be proud. The various performers' interpretation of the text made the messages from the witnesses much more varied, both in voice and in the message. This makes it feel more like independent witnesses than in the original texts, and the emotion in some of the performances was much more moving. Some of the standouts for me included the K9 trainer, the feral young lady being treated and acting out the incident that orphaned her around age 4, Sinclair as acted by Alan Aldo, the performance of Redecker, and the Chinese submariner.

43 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Grammar Geek
  • 2013-05-22

Excellent, but I pre-ordered Unabridged...

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Of course! This is one of the best multiple-cast audiobooks I've heard. There were too many fine performances to count, and it was less an audiobook than a picture-less movie. Along with others, however, I too eagerly pre-ordered as soon as the option became available and am angered by the same issues already raised.

How could Audible.com, an Amazon company, release an audiobook with an obvious omission of over four minutes? Even more shocking, the missing portion of the recording had already been completed for the (first) abridged version.

What bothers me much more than that, though, is the misrepresentation that this is an unabridged version. Is "Complete" a new pseudonym for "Abridged, but not as abridged as before"? Perhaps this was rushed to market to take advantage of the "Movie Tie-in," prominently featured on the book image. From all reports, this sounds like a great summer action movie featuring Brad Pitt, but far removed from the moving, chilling, thought-provoking novel on which it is based.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Max Brooks gave an excellent performance, perfectly portraying the reporter--always in the background, but providing a consistency throughout the many stories of "survivors."

47 of 56 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
  • Mike
  • 2018-05-16

Missing little parts? But still amazing

I've read the book twice and this definitely improves on the source material. I loved Todd the soldier (I swore that was TJ Miller, was shocked to hear it was Mark Hamill) and the two Japanese characters, the blind shovel warrior and the otaku, really great stories to listen to.

Unfortunately I could swear it's missing some material: I remember a very satisfying part where the blind guy drops from a tree and pins the otaku, then they update each other and join forces. That never showed up in the audio book. And a line from the wartime government speaker about trying to figure out which cash is legitimate vs stolen off corpses is gone. Maybe more is missing, I can't say. But these omissions (and the sub-par performance of the 'surfer guy' submersible pilot) are the only reason I can't give this book a perfect score.

It's still great though, definitely buy it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kaarlo
  • BRANFORD, CT, United States
  • 2013-05-25

Great add-ons, but not 'unabridged'

Where does World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This ranks on my top 5 best audiobooks, the different actors/actresses really make this a great listen.

What did you like best about this story?

The realism.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Haven't heard any others, unfortunately.

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

Very much so.

Any additional comments?

The description states this is an 'unabridged' reading, which I took to mean all the people who did the original reading, had come back to fill in the dialogue that got cut from the original. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. All that was done was new actors were brought in to read the chapters not included. Hopefully the site will change the wording.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rayisa
  • 2017-12-26

This does not seem to be the full book

Where does World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

On the Lower end

What was most disappointing about Max Brooks’s story?

The story itself is briliant. It is the missing sections that bothered me.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

I liked that there were many characters played by many skilled voices.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

I was looking for the "real" version. I don't need the book version of a movie from a book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Royal Palm Beach, FL, United States
  • 2013-05-18

Great Book. Missing part of 3rd Chapter.

What would have made World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition) better?

Great Book. However there is missing audio in Chapter 3 and it is very important. I e-mailed customer support and this is what they replied to me.

Dear John,

Thank you for contacting Audible. My name is Nickiesha and I’m happy to help.

I am so sorry to hear that some of the audio file is missing from your book "World War Z". I understand how disappointing this must be and I will be happy to help you with this.

Having checked with my content team, they are aware of the issue and are working diligently to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible. Never the less, I have escalated this to the Audio Bug Department to be corrected. We will continue to monitor its status. Depending on the extent of the audio problem, we may be able to resolve this issue internally within about 2 weeks. If we have to request a new copy of the title, this may extend the time until it is resolved.

In the mean time, if you prefer not to wait until the file is repaired, please let us know and we can remove the book from your library and issue you a full refund.

We appreciate your patience and will contact you via email as soon as we have additional information regarding the problem with this title.

If there is anything else that I may assist with please let me know. Once again thanks for contacting Audible and have a great day!

Sincerely,
Nickiesha W


Hopefully they ARE working on it, and we won't have to wait long. Until then everyone should wait to buy it.



38 of 50 people found this review helpful