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 The pop culture references are a bit out of date given the book came out 5-10 years ago I think but anyone of my generation and older would understand them easily.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.