World War Z

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by ubikuberalles ubikuberalles 5 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #1068
    ZLoth
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    (This is based upon the abridged, full cast recording)

    @Publisher Summary wrote:

    The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand 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 30 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.

    Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the 12-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

    Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

    ©2006 Max Brooks; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

    I was at Costco shopping prior to my vacation, and, following some advice for road trips, was purusing the audiobooks selection. Two books caught my eye: A Thousand Splendid Suns and World War Z. I purchased both, and listened to them over two days as I traveled from my home in Sacramento, CA to Port Angeles, WA. One of the influences was the recent release of the movie.

    I will admit, I still haven’t seen the movie, and the only knowledge I had was that it involved Zombies. I haven’t even seen an episode of The Walking Dead or whatever zombie-based series is popular nowadays. Maybe I’ll pick up the BluRay when it goes on sale for less than $10.

    The audiobook has a full cast of people including the author Max Brooks (yes, he’s related to Mel), Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Jurgen Prochnow, Waleed Zuaiter, Dean Edwards, Michelle Kholos, Maz Jobrani, Mark Hamill, Henry Rollins, Eamonn Walker, Ajay Naidu, John Turturro, Jay O. Sanders, Dennis Boutsikaris, Becky Ann Baker, Steve Park, Frank Kamai, John McElroy, and Rob Reiner as “The Wacko”. The audio presentation is presented as a series of interviews between the author and the various characters as told in interviews. As I listened, one of the things that kept popping in my head is that plenty of this stuff could have been applied to World War 2 with minor modifications. I found myself engrossed in the story and wanting more. Certainly, this is speculative fiction, and someone did post the impossibility of zombies, but this presentation made it sound plausable.

    Since the release of this audiobook, there have been additional material recorded. This has been released separately as World War Z: The Lost Files and combined with the existing material for World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition). However, because of cast unavailability, an unabridged version will not be available.

    It would be interesting to see how this matches up with the movie.


    “You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz

    #5739
    ZLoth
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    Currently listening to the “Complete version”, which has added material mixed in with the abridged version. Normally, for an audiobook, we have maybe one or two narriators. For this one, we have a whole cast, and no slouches either. Gotta love Bruce Boxleitner.

    How much does the book correspond to the movie? Bits and pieces, bits and pieces.


    “You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz

    #5740
    Steve W
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    The World War Z movie doesn’t have much to do with the book. You have to accept that going into it. The rights to the book were licensed before it was even finished if I remember correctly, since there was so much buzz around it, and I believe the studio came to the realization that they couldn’t make a traditional movie from it. So they basically started the movie at the very beginning of the zombie plague spreading, and follow the UN investigator as he crosses the globe by whatever means he can to figure out what happened, find patient zero, and come up with an antidote or something. I haven’t read the book, since I’m completely indifferent to the whole zombie craze, but I found the movie cheap (and more importantly to me, the HD download code so I don’t have to go buy a Blu-Ray player) and watched it. It was a surprisingly good little film. Well paced, good story, and since it was PG-13 they couldn’t use gore for shock value so instead they used suspense and tension. Plus, Peter Capaldi as the W.H.O. Doctor!

    #5741
    ZLoth
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    The book is essentially a set of interviews with the “survivors” of the World War Z, which makes it more adaptable to a television mini-series or a faux-documentary than the action movie. I’m not a fan of the Zombie genre either, and I haven’t seen an episode of Walking Dead either. But, what I liked about the book is the logistics aspects of a “Zombie” attack, and each persons viewpoint of what happened. In some places, I got the sense that this is a story of World War II instead of World War Z, and even Max Brooks states that he was inspired by “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War Two .


    “You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz

    #5742
    ZLoth
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    @Steve W wrote:

    I haven’t read the book, since I’m completely indifferent to the whole zombie craze, but I found the movie cheap (and more importantly to me, the HD download code so I don’t have to go buy a Blu-Ray player) and watched it.

    Keep a eye of Woot.com. A BluRay player pops up from time to time for $40. 🙂

    Look, zombies do exist. Ask Rob Zombie and Sheri Moon Zombie. 😆 In all seriousness, I think that a EMP pulse is more likely and more plausible than zombies/undead rising from the earth, and even then, I admit that EMP pulse is remote. I will, however, suggest that chemicals and drugs may cause zombie-like symptoms. That doesn’t prevent some writers from using that as a setting. Heck, the CDC has used a “zombie attack” to educate people about the need to be prepared. Likewise, I think Max Brooks is using his books partially to comment on bureaucracies and government ineptitude.

    FWIW:
    World War Z: The Complete Edition – 12 hrs and 8 mins
    World War Z (Original Release) – 6 hrs and 3 mins
    World War Z (Lost Files) – 6 hrs and 13 mins


    “You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz

    #5743
    Steve W
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    If I recall correctly, the first real mention of zombies was in Caribbean lore, of people who were not dead, but they had been drugged heavily and/or lobotomized to make them easily controlled for use in manual labor, which put them in a state that was referred to as an almost death-like trance. And that’s what people picked up on and brought to the forefront of zombie storytelling, not drugged up people forced into slavery but the near-death state that became the public’s fascination. So therefore I don’t believe like most people that zombies could ever happen, since that’s not what the original concept was. Just like flying saucers… the famous 1947 story of a pilot flying over the mountains who spotted a squadron of odd crescent-shaped craft that moved through the air like “a flying saucer skipping across a lake” became huge, and everybody focused on the phrase “flying saucer” even though the pilot was using it as a descriptive metaphor and not even close to what he had actually seen. So the big UFO craze happened in the late ’40s and ’50s, with a majority of all the craft being reported as disc-shaped, even though the story that sparked that craze involved what were essentially flying wings. I don’t believe in flying saucers either because, like zombies, the idea has been taken away from its original meaning and sensationalized and distorted for so long that it’s now unrecognizable from the original concept it was based on. Meanwhile, I have a co-worker who swears that zombies will eventually be real, blah blah blah… 🙄

    #5744
    ZLoth
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    I will have to take your word for the history of zombies, Steve W. FWIW, I do believe in UFOs… as in Unidentified Flying Objects, with emphasis on unidentified. Any alien species which mastered intersteller and faster than light travel would take one look at our primitive planet and stay far far away.

    But, back to zombies…. as portrayed as “creatures who were dead and are coming back to live as reanimated corpses”, doesn’t that violate a law of physics?


    “You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz

    #5745
    ubikuberalles
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    The zombies violate the first law of thermodynamics, that’s for sure: “The total energy of a system and its surroundings is constant”. It takes energy to reanimate the zombie, where is it coming from? It probably violates the other laws of thermodynamics but I’m too tired to look it up. So, yes, it violates physics.

    I was a big believer of UFOs when I was 14. I found this UFO book at a used book store and I just ate it up. It discussed the history of UFOs going back to ancient times (most were described as cigar shaped, some as saucer shaped). I had all sorts of UFO dreams in those days, mostly of malevolent aliens trying to conquer or destroy the world. I even believed I saw a UFO when, in fact, it was probably a Boeing 727 in the distance.

    I didn’t know anyone else who was interested in UFOs like I was and slowly my interest in the subject faded. I think the more I learned about science and engineering, the less I cared about UFOs. My interest peaked again when “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” came out but, by then, I was a UFO skeptic. I just saw the movie as nothing more than entertainment. No dramatic event or incident turned me into a skeptic: it was just a gradual thing.

    Getting back on topic: I never once considered Zombies real (except for the Haiti/Caribbean thing Steve mentioned). I was never really a fan of the Zombie genre until relatively recently when 28 Days Later came out. I found George Romero’s zombies rather dull and paid no attention to those movies.

    I liked World War Z the movie. It had problems but it was still entertaining. I started reading the book, which was interesting but it’s not a super fast read and so I eventually stopped. I did read the “prequel” to WWZ (“Recorded Zombie Attacks” or something like that) and that was interesting.

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