World War Z: The Complete Edition Review

Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 13.57.47Being visually impaired, I love audiobooks and one of the first ones I listened to via Audible was the abridged version of World War Z, Max Brooks’ oral history of the zombie war. I loved the book and I loved the full-cast recording even more but one thing bugged me: the recording was abridged and missed out several hours of audio which really made the zombie conflict feel real.
With the movie (yes I plan to review it) soon to be hitting cinemas worldwide, it’s an appropriate moment to right a terrible wrong and release the Complete Edition which melds the original recording with new material. Even more interestingly, Random House is also releasing The Lost Files for those, like me, who purchased the original book, and includes just the new material.
Random House Audio was kind enough – after I went all fangirl on them – to send me a review copy of The Complete Edition and I’ve been smiling for two weeks straight. I’ve listened to it on buses and the commute to college, I’ve sat in Starbucks lost in that world in a way I’ve not experienced since reading the battered paperback edition on a plane home from SDCC.
What you need to know about this recording is it’s not been redone from scratch, rather some of the original voice actors have returned or new ones have been drafted in. Oh and it’s a really amazing cast including Masi Oka, Nathan Fillion, Kal Penn, Alfred Molina, Frank Darabont, Mark Hamlin, Jeri Ryan and Simon Pegg. Seriously, the lineup is like a geek hall of fame and this proves that audiobooks are slowly becoming as important as video games and movies. 
Because of the way the book is formatted, even folks like me who have listened to the abridged edition hundreds of time, won’t have any problems with this new version. It’s both intensely familiar and oddly new at the same time: finally we get to hear about Terry Knox and the ISS, or about General Raj-Singh and the hellish catacombs beneath the streets of Paris. We get to hear from a feral woman with the mind of a child and the man who kickstarted the Great Panic.
For every zombie fan, this audiobook will soon become the holy grail of horror audiobooks. It’s fitting now, eight years after the book’s initial release, with the Brad Pitt movie on the horizon, that one of the modern classics of the zombie genre is finally rereleased on audio as it was initially intended.
World War Z: The Complete Edition is released on May 14 2013
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