TBR: World War Z

For Hanukkah, T gave me an audiobook of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.  I must have looked at him skeptically (I was pretty skeptical), and he said, "It's like This American Life, but with zombies!"

That's actually a pretty good description of the book.  It's a series of "interviews" with different people — politicians, doctors, soldiers, civil servants — about their experiences in combating a massive global epidemic of the living dead.  It's published as a regular book as well, but it's perfect for an audiobook, with different actors playing each of the characters.  (Alan Alda was immediately recognizable, but I missed Mark Hamill, and all of the actors playing non-American characters were unfamiliar to me.)

We drove to Florida and back for the holidays, and this was about the perfect thing to listen to driving down I-95 at 3 am with the boys sleeping.  (I also listened to parts of it with the boys watching videos with headphones on — the content of this is definitely not appropriate for small children — it's about zombies for pity's sake.)

Apparently there's a movie being made of it.  It will be interesting to see whether they manage to keep the sly political commentary, or if it just becomes a shoot 'em up (or rather, slug them in the head with something heavy and pointy) movie.  The audiobook doesn't have a hero or a plot in the conventional sense, and I'm pretty sure that they will feel compelled to have one in a movie.  And two of the narrators are wildly unreliable, and I'm not sure how that works in a movie.  (Although it seems that Waltz with Bashir makes a go at it.)

The other audiobook that I brought down with me is Eat, Pray, Love, and I'm clearly going to get my chick license revoked, because I hated it so much that I didn't get through the first disk.  I found Gilbert whiny and self-obsessed.  And I'm fundamentally not impressed by traveling around the world to find yourself — I'm far more interested in people who stay home and build buildings or wipe snotty noses and still manage to find themselves.

6 Responses to “TBR: World War Z”

  1. Gori Girl Says:

    World War Z is a great book. I’ve heard good things about the voice acting in the audio version – but do know that that version is abridged. Some of my favorite interviews about the coming zombie apocalypse are missing from the audio version. There’s one about the fight back against the Zed in the catacombs under Paris that is simply amazing…
    You get a thumbs up on the diss on Eat, Pray, Love from me too. I picked it up to skim through in the bookstore, and put it down in about ten minutes.

  2. Sandra Says:

    Re Eat, Pray, Love – didn’t you get the memo that only people who are privileged enough to drop everything and travel overseas for a year can find themselves? The rest of us just have to be content with being unenlightened…

  3. nigelmoose Says:

    I had the same reaction to the Gilbert book when I read it last year.

  4. trishka Says:

    elizabeth, thank you so much for saying that about “eat pray love”. i know a lot of good friends who loved it, so i didn’t want to trash it in front of them, but i was really turned off by this woman’s complete lack of a social conscience. as in “gosh, i sure have been blessed with amazing riches and talent, now how do i take some of what i’ve been given and use it to try to make the world a little bit better?” as opposed to “me me me i i i”. i did enjoy reading the process part of her time in india, because i’m all in to yoga and all that; however, again, not a thought (apparently) given to how all that hard work could be used in service to anyone but herself.

  5. Jody Says:

    Hamill’s been topping off his residuals/making a living doing voice work for decades now, so I guess it’s not surprising that he’s developed an alterna-voice for these jobs. I have tried and tried to detect some Skywalker in the Fire Lord, for example, and I get nothing.
    (Speaking of which, when I saw that none of the leads for Avatar were going to be white kids, it was officially over for me. I’m going to buy the DVDs and hope like hell the first movie bombs, so they don’t desecrate the entire thing.)
    I agree with you on Gilbert. Whole-heartedly.

  6. Jody Says:

    Damn it. I meant, none of the leads were going to be Asian kids.
    As far as I’m concerned, the ENTIRE CAST should be Asian/Pacific Islander. It’s such a complete no-brainer. Argh.

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