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text 2017-02-01 13:37
Currently Reading and February TBR(?)
Swag - Elmore Leonard
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov,Diana Burgin,Katherine Tiernan O'Connor
The Wolf's Hour - Robert R. McCammon
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead - Max Brooks
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks
The Song of Roland - Anonymous,Dorothy L. Sayers

I am currently reading three books, and hope to read at least seven this month. I'venot been reading much, though, and generally suck at sticking to TBR's (I tend to see a  shiny, get distracted, and run off chasing flutterbies and pretty new books), so don't expect to see all of these books come my monthly wrap-up.


1. Swag - Elmore Leonard  Swag - Elmore Leonard  - Currently Reading


    A couple of low-level scumbags start committing armed robberies in pursuit of the good life in 1970's Detroit. Fun thus far, but not one of Leonard's best. I've been told the ending's a pip, though. I'm about a hundred pages in, and it is picking up.


2. The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov,Diana Burgin,Katherine Tiernan O'Connor  The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov,Diana Burgin,Katherine Tiernan O'Connor   - Currently Reading


    One of my occasional stabs at reading a classic, in this case Early Russian Magical Realism. So, the Devil comes to Stalinist Moscow to see what Hell is really like. There's also a giant talking cat named Behemoth. Not a quick read, only fifty pages in, but delightfully bonkers.


3. The Wolf's Hour - Robert R. McCammon  The Wolf's Hour - Robert R. McCammon  - Currently Reading


    Or, The Bourne Lycanthropy. A WW2 set spy thriller with a werewolf in the lead. Not as campy as it sounds, but doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, either. This is the second McCammon for me, after Boy's Life, which I didn't like as much as I wanted to. Still, the first hundred pages of this have been nifty, so...


4. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead - Max Brooks  The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead - Max Brooks  - To-Read


    Have read bits and pieces (heh), and it seems fast, fun, and funny. Cool.


5. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks  World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks  - To-Read


    Seems like a natural next step, yeah?


6. The Song of Roland - Anonymous,Dorothy L. Sayers  The Song of Roland - Anonymous,Dorothy L. Sayers  - To-Read


    Because, deep down, I want to be the guy who reads classics for pleasure, even if that means reading epic poetry. Besides, wouldn't it be funny if I, a life-long mystery fan, read Sayers's translation of this before any of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels? I thought so, anyway.


7. TBD


    Look, I have hundreds of books, as well as access to book stores. I'll think of something.

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review 2016-07-07 06:59
World War Z: The Complete Edition
World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-In Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks

This is the extended version audiobook - the original abridged audiobook with the "lost files" added in. I am not 100% sure that it includes every last word from the original book without a hard copy to reference, but it includes the chapters that I thought were important to fleshing out the in-story universe. My favorite things are the creepy music byte they play between chapters and the persons chosen to voice the added-in chapters. Love, love, love how they went for (okay, a little bit Americanized) accent authenticity.


I would recommend this version over the abridged audiobook.


As a note, my "copy" used the movie poster cover.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-02-08 08:35
World War Z: eBook vs. Audiobook
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks

This is what happened: I wanted to read the book, having seen the movie version with Brad Pitt and hearing (rather, reading via TVTropes and Wikipedia - solid sources of information, those sites) that the original was vastly different. Then, while clicking around here and there, I discovered that the audiobook had some awesome casting. Fortunately both an ebook and audiobook version were available through the library website. I was a little annoyed that I couldn't find the matching cover on Booklikes for the ebook copy I had downloaded (the movie poster version cover) but fine, I made do.


I didn't commit to the book right away as I was entranced by the world of Terry Pratchett <3 But then I got hooked and mainlined the whole thing in less than 2 days. I was so psyched! I was ready to go out and buy supplies for the zombie apocalypse!


I wasn't a fan of the interview style - yes, it introduces a unique way of different perspectives, you can add and drop characters as needed, but people don't talk that way. We write that way, but we don't talk that way (anymore). Insert that quote Nic Cage says from National Treasure. Although it was terribly effective. Some parts sent literal chills up my spine! I am a bit of a zombie genre fan and all the gore and horrible actions discussed in the novel didn't bother me on an emotional level except the bit about the dogs which actually made me tear up and almost full on cry.


Now, compare to the audiobook - my version was abridged! Horrible! From what I gather via Amazon's selection for sale, there is an unabridged version and the abridged version, the latter of which is 6 hours long. It cuts out a lot of the characters from the novel, obviously, and I question the choice of characters included in the abridged version. It's the not the group that I would have chosen although I guess it does give a complete arc of the 'story' without all the really good, gory details. Even the included narratives are edited for... length? Explicit content? They still use swear words, a lot of F-bombs, but the explicit violence seems cut down.


Is it bad that I am so offended by the abridged audiobook that I am considering buying the full length one just to compare? I am also tempted to buy a copy of World War Z because I had so, so many notes highlighted. Both versions are political as heck, a lot of criticism and satire without really naming names. The pop culture references are a bit out of date given the book came out 5-10 years ago I think but anyone of my generation and older would understand them easily. (80s children, whoop whoop! :D ) Between the two, however, I think the book, whether in print or electronic form, is better because there are a lot of footnotes in the text that are not explained in the audiobook at all.


Usual zombie genre triggers apply. Review rating applies for the book version.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-01-25 03:00
The Zombie Survival Guide
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead - Max Brooks

The first 70-75% of the book is the survival guide part. I would be generous saying it's worth 1 star. Not to say that it wasn't well-done (note: not well-written) but it is lacking the straightforwardness of a real survival guide while simultaneously too conversational to be believable. I would give someone fair odds of survival following the instructions - in a fictional world. (If only I could send a copy to the characters of The Walking Dead in season 1, episode 1!) It could, theoretically, provide a sound basis for real life survival but I wouldn't believe it entirely since it is listed in the fictional section of the library.


Another thing that annoyed me is the narrator's tone comes off as soap-boxy. As a rant against all the improbabilities and stupid choices made in all zombie movies, ever, it's great. Satire and irony, 10/10. But as a prologue (?) or a stand-alone novel, it's just annoying.


Also, as I read this as an e-book, there are a ridiculous number of stupid little pictures included in the text, which just look bizarre. I would hope it looks better on a printed page. The tables/lists register as images on the Kindle, so I was constantly accidentally tapping them when I was trying to 'turn the page'. Probably not a problem for all e-readers, but another tick against this book for me.


My favorite part was the last 25% of the book which is the alternate history section which actually provides background for the world described in the book where zombies have always been a problem. So that aspect is different from other 'verses in the zombie genre. Rather than being the result of a disease or curse or whatnot, zombies (specifically differentiated from voodoo zombies) are a naturally occurring phenomena that no one knows the origin of but hints throughout the book indicate that it may have been something that happened once - long ago- and perpetuates due to never being fully eradicated. (Think ice zombies.)


In conclusion, the last 25% of the book salvaged my opinion of it and I am moving onto the World War Z book and audiobook (simultaneously).

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text 2015-12-02 16:29
Abgebrochen: World War Z - Max Brooks
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks

Das war mal wieder nichts. Vor nicht gar so langer Zeit kam ja der gleichnamige Film mit Brad Pitt in der Hauptrolle in die Kinos und da war ich dann neugierig, was das Buch von Max Brooks zu bieten hat. Den Film habe ich übrigens noch immer nicht gesehen, das Buch dafür inzwischen abgebrochen, weil ich mich doch arg gelangweilt habe. Ich weiß nicht ob die Zombie Action irgendwann später vielleicht noch eingesetzt hätte. Mein Leseerlebnis beschränkte sich auf fiktive Berichterstatter, die alle über die Zeit nach der Zombiewelle reden und nicht gerade mit Details um sich werfen, was denn nun tatsächlich los war. Es gab hin und wieder mal ein paar kurze Augenblicke wo man einen Blick auf die Zombies erhaschen durfte, das war dann nach 3 – 4 Sätzen aber auch schon wieder vorbei. Keine Chance, mich von der Handlung mitreißen zu lassen.

Aus verschiedenen Perspektiven erzählte Geschichten finde ich normalerweise sehr spannend und vielseitig, in diesem Fall hatte es vom Gefühl her aber einfach zuviel Kriegsberichterstattung ohne echte Geschichte. Ich bin einfach nicht rein gekommen und habe mich aus der Handlung ausgeschlossen gefühlt. Im Grunde erschien mir alles vollkommen egal und banal. Ich glaube, wenn Autoren versuchen ihre phantastischen Ideen als realistische Reportage zu verkaufen, dann legt sich mein Großhirn zu einem Nickerchen schlafen. Die einzig interessante Frage die sich mir stellt ist, ob World War Z von seiner Erzählweise her an Dracula von Bram Stoker erinnern sollte. Gewissermaßen als eine Homage oder etwas in der Art. So von Vampir zu Zombie, vom Tagebuch/Brief zur Reportage. Aber ach, mit Dracula bin ich ja auch nicht warm geworden …

Source: moyasbuchgewimmel.de/abgebrochen-world-war-z
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