When a film-adaptation of a novel is released, it is common practice for the publisher to release a new printing of the novel as a tie-in for those who have seen the movie and want to check out the source material. Sometimes, it may only include a new cover or a series of photos from the film included inside the book. Random House Audio, however decided to do one better.
When Max Brooks’s World War Z was released on audiobook back in 2007, it was released as an abridged version. While the book was presented as a series of interviews creating an oral history of “The Zombie War” the audiobook version opted to cut several chapters in order to save on time. Now that interest in the book has resurfaced, thanks to the release of the Brad Pitt-starring film based on it, Random House has partnered with audible.com to bring the missing chapters in the audiobook back, and reinsert them for a complete, unabridged version.
Brooks, himself, taking on the metaphysical role of portraying the author/interviewer in the book heads a cast ranging from genre heroes like Nathan Fillion, Mark Hamill and Simon Pegg to Hollywood icons like Martin Scorcese, Alan Alda and Carl Reiner. 36 voices in all round out the story of undead uprising, coloring a much more realistic hue to Brooks’s story. While many of the voice actors bring a life to their character’s tale of fighting the undead, not everyone is as well versed in the voice-acting realm. Some chapters sound more like a standard audiobook reading, while others come off a lot more like a legitimate interview being carried out. The chapters with Mark Hamill portraying Todd Wainio, a U.S. Soldier as well as Scorcese’s short appearance as a sleazy pharmaceutical capitalist, are definitely a highlight of the book and the voice talent.
The addition of having every character portrayed by someone other than a singular reader really breathes life into the story and this adaptation truly feels like an interview series rather than an audiobook. Anyone who has seen the film over the summer and is interested in checking out the book that inspired it, this is a great way to keep a cinematic feel between the two formats. World War Z: The Complete Edition is available now from Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
– By Matthew Delhauer
Matt Delhauer is a graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey, with a degree in communications and digital filmmaking. As an avid fan of horror films since childhood, Matt has had years of exposure to the best, worst, and many in between. Outside of film Matt also holds knowledge in several fields of media and entertainment, from literature to television, which are all met with an eye for analysis and a love of entertainment. For more of Matt’s work take a look at his blog at www.gingergeekblogs.blogspot.com or follow him on twitter: @MattDelhauer