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“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
― Voltaire

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks, Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, Henry Rollins My zombie fetish has not entirely waned, so I followed my reading of [b:World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War|8908|World War Z An Oral History of the Zombie War|Max Brooks|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320398267s/8908.jpg|817] with the abridged audio version. All rumors you may have heard about the quality are absolutely true--it's a completely enjoyable and possibly preferable to the book. A full length audio is expected in 2013, and I'll likely be listening.One way this audio stands out is its impressive casting. Since I borrowed from an online library, I didn't have a cover to refer to when I first listened, so names were separated from professional reputations and I focused on reading quality only. For reference: Overall, I loved the voice acting--this book was made for a visual or audio documentary. One of the few complaints I had with the book--along with many other readers--is that the individual stories were not distinct enough. While the writing style attempted to capture the different speech patterns, a reading highlights the differences, and brings the personality of the speaker to the forefront.Eammon Walker reads three different people, and his South African reading talking about Paul Redecker's plan to sacrifice civilians was extremely engaging and believable. I also loved Ajay Naidu's deep voice reading Ajay Shah, the Indian white collar worker staring at the rusting ships that had been his hope for escape. Dean Edwards read Joe Muhammad, the disabled community watch volunteer, so well that I believed his anger at political correctness. It felt real. Of course, Carl Reiner was talented as the Israeli spy, and Alan Alda as the chief of DSTRS. I once worked for an Israeli psychologist, and Carl captured the accent perfectly, especially the variable way the 'r' comes through that sets the pronunciation of a second (or third or fourth) language speaker apart--some times as "twue" and sometimes that full, rolling 'rr.' (I always loved listening to her talk). Henry Rollins was note-perfect as the free-lance mercenary for the stars.My chief complaint of the audio version is formatting--divided into four sections, it has a number of chapters in each section. The "chapters" do not correspond with the sections of the book, which confuses if listening in stops and starts.A few actors didn't quite capture the tone I imagined from my read, particularly the military ones. General Travis D'Ambrosia (Dennis Boutsikaris) was a decent voice actor, but I felt like he was a storyteller, not a career military person telling a story. Likewise, the downed pilot, Christina Eliopolis, read by Becky Ann Miller. She reads it like a story--she definitely isn't military and doesn't capture the intensity the character is supposed to have. And though John Turturro is a great name to have attached to the project, I felt like his Cuban accent wandered and was inconsistent. The quality of that reading was most surprising to me. As it's not an unfamiliar accent to the American ear, inadequacies are easy to spot.Strangeness--my jpg lists Mark Hamill as Todd, the soldier that was in Yonkers. Except I would swear on my library that Mark was the narrator. Hmmm. I call shenanigans! At any rate, if you read the book and sort of liked it, I highly recommend the abridged reading. Fast, engaging, it highlights the wonderful things an audio book can do.