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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 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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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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review 2015-10-22 00:00
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks In the wake of what came to be known as World War Z, following the apocolyptic zombie infestation, Max Brooks was driven to record the first hand experiences of those on the front-lines. He traveled across the decimated world to record their stories, from New Dachang, China where it all began to Yonkers, New York, Israel, South Africa, Siberia, and everywhere in between. These recordings are the stories of thos lucky few who survived the war.
I listened to an audio recording of this novel, and I have to say it was the perfect medium for this book, which is after all "an oral history." Dozens of people came together to make this possible, so that each person with whom the author spoke was given their own voice. I am sure it was quite good in print, but this is a story that I think needs to be brought to life by audio and I am quite glad I read it this way.

Overall I found the story quite good and I think the author handled the various ways in which the world would react well, both militarily and personally. It made what may seem to be an unbelievable scenario more than believable, and the accounts of those who "lived" through it chilling. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of post-apocolyptic fiction, horror, and zombies in general
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review 2015-08-17 00:00
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks 4.75 stars

I really enjoyed the style of World War Z. I like how it showed the global aspects instead of sticking to certain people. It was so interesting and seemed much more believable than any other zombie book I've read. It doesn't actually focus so much on the zombies; yet, it's still one of the scariest zompoc novels because of the fact that it seems so realistic. WWZ is the first to make me actually fearful of the possibilities.

My biggest issue is that it feels like so much was left out, or maybe it's just that I wanted more so badly. It wasn't a short story, but I felt like it went too quickly. Also, I didn't know about or read the book that preceded it (The Zombie Survival Guide) which is probably a major reason it felt that way to me. I will definitely be checking it out soon.

UPDATE: I watched the movie yesterday. It's very different from the book. I like both.
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