Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Tales MP3 CD – Import, 24 January 2017
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- Publisher : Audible Studios on Brilliance audio; Unabridged edition (24 January 2017)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1536639486
- ISBN-13 : 978-1536639483
- Item Weight : 99 g
- Dimensions : 17.15 x 13.97 x 1.27 cm
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
So, with this much anticipation built up, you can imagine my disappointment when this book arrived and I found it to be very slim indeed. In fact, there's less than 130 pages and only four short stories, of which, Closure, Limited only takes up TWELVE pages.
Trying to set this negative feeling aside, I started reading and easily chewed my way through the contents of this book. As stated, the book is comprised of four stories, those being: Closure, Limited: A Story of World War Z, Steve and Fred, The Extinction Parade and Great Wall: A Story from the Zombie War.
Closure, Limited and Great Wall can be considered together since these effectively read like missing chapters from World War Z, the former brings a business venture to the aftermath of the outbreak and the latter is the tale of a Chinese survivor who fought against the undead hordes. However, where both tales fit easily into the WWZ universe created by Brooks, Closure, Limited is a little more original and focuses on genuine human emotion and the very different ways that survivors deal with their own grief.
Steve and Fred definitely needed some fleshing out but fairly effectively juxtaposed the tale of two survivors: one, a gung-ho Marine, the other, an Average Joe trapped in a small cupboard in a bathroom with the undead beating at the door. In my opinion, this story is definitely the weakest of the bunch and is very generic in nature.
For me, the pick of the bunch was definitely The Extinction Parade. This short story occupies the lion's share of the book and follows a small group of vampires in South East Asia as they observe mankind's reaction to the dead rising; at first apathetically and then with shock as they realise the extent of the zombie menace and the threat it poses to their own food supply.
There is no doubt that Brooks is a skilled writer and his insight into what would occur in a zombie apocalypse is well-documented and noted by those in loftier positions than me, such as Simon Pegg who observed that, "Brooks infuses his writing with such detail and authenticity, one wonders if he knows something we don't". Brooks himself comments in his introduction to Closure, Limited that "Zombies are a global phenomenon, the perfect lens for examining societal collapse. They are SARS, they are AIDS. They are the hurrican that drowned an entire city, or the `master race' that burned an entire continent. They are an existential threat, a slate wiper, and have an ability to expose our suicidal weaknesses; I'll never lose my fear of them."
With Closure, Limited, Brooks again demonstrates his wide knowledge of geography, history and sociological and political matters; and manages to convey strong messages in an incredibly slimline book. Looking at this objectively, Closure, Limited is a welcome addition to the WWZ universe created by Brooks. I think perhaps I had simply built myself up to be settling down for a lengthier period with Brooks' latest work rather than for it all to be over so quickly.
The book consists of four short stories. Both the first and last tale are classic World War Z fare; well-written and carefully thought-out. Neither would have seemed out of place in the original novel itself.
Unfortunately the middle two stories are a bit weaker and make up the bulk of the book. They ARE related to zombies, and they ARE set in the world of the novel. However, neither is in the usual 'narrated by interview' style, and the third story - the extinction parade - is just.....a bit weird.
I don't mean to sound vague, but i really don't want to spoil it for anyone. If you're a huge fan, as I am, it's all well worth a read and is an enjoyable but too-brief return to the world of World War Z. However, it serves as a series of fun 'what-if' tales rather than actually adding any flesh to the bones of the existing novel.
If taken in context with his other works - ZSG and WWZ - and their starkly realistic tone, I just don't see where the Vampire story fits or how it can be taken seriously. The obvious rebuttal here is to decry my opinion on Vampires when I am reading a few books on Zombies, and I understand that, but if you're trying to go for out-and-out fantasy, then why start now? Why didn't his other books illustrate the struggle between the Vampire/Zombie threat? I didn't even bother to finish this short story.
I digress, the book seems (per the title of this review) to be purely a cash-in on the hugely popular Vampire obsession right now coupled with the flurry of information on the impending World War Z movie. The timing is perfect for that!
It is a sad point to make though. If you're new to Max Brooks (and I doubt anyone reading this review will be) then please - read ZSG and WWZ. Forget that this book exists.