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on November 5, 2012
Closure, Limited and other zombie tales is written by Max Brooks, the man behind World War Z, one of my favourite books EVER.

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.
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on April 5, 2014
I really, really wanted to like this book. World War Z is probably my favorite book, and when I learned that this continuation existed, I bought it instantly.

It's roughly 130 pages, but I knew that, and remember it is only a continuation, and it contains four stories. Two directly in the WWZ universe, one that could fit in it, and one that absolutely should not.

Vampires, Mr. Brooks? I couldn't even finish that story. Vampires! In one of the most well-written books about zombies? I'm guessing it was a shot in the dark for him, but it was just awful.

As for the writing, lots and lots of exclamation marks. So many that it cheapened the writing and was distracting. There's two typos that will stop you once you come across them, and the first person narrative of the vampire story is just blegh.

I can't believe it didn't like this. I tried so hard and had such I hopes.

Do I recommend this? I guess. Just make sure you skip The Extinction Parade. The other three stories are alright.

Vampires. Come on.
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on January 24, 2016
Yes, this book is short. It isn't the immersive experience that World War Z is. World War Z is one of my favorite books ever so I had to pick this one up. I love the idea behind the closure limited story, I really feel like it could generate a full novel. A couple of the other stories could have easily been in the original novel but I still liked them, particularly the Great Wall story. As far as the vampire storyline is concerned, which a lot of people seem to take issue with, I don't understand why people think it's so out of place. These books take place in a fantasy world already, there are zombies, so why not vampires? That being said it was my least favorite of the stories and I am usually a vampire lore fan. It just felt flatter than the other stories. I haven't read the vampire centric Extinction Parade series yet that focuses on this aspect, maybe it would make that story have more impact. For the low price it was and the closure limited and Great Wall stories alone I think it's worth the purchase.
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on June 9, 2013
I can't get enough of Max Brooks zombie world but even though I enjoyed these few short stories it just wasn't enough for me. Come on Max get writing WWZ book 2, 3, 4 etc there is so much material from just the first book which was alluded to. This taster was exactly that a taster of things to come I hope, i need more much much more.
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on July 14, 2013
After reading Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, I figured that a follow-up from Max Brooks could only be good. WRONG! This had a few good moments, but was largely absolute crap! The copy-editing was high school-level, at best! I am a college professor, and if this were submitted (no, not an English prof, even!), I would dock it a letter grade or two for rampant punctuation, spelling, grammar, and fact-checking issues! WOW. This, for me, took away even more from what were marginal stories, at best.
Closure, Limited had an interesting premise, but was very short. Extinction Parade was longer, but not as interesting, as it really did not go anywhere unexpected after a page or two. I've quite forgotten anything else that was in there, despite reading it only last night.
If this had come out before WWZ (especially that piece of trash that was the movie of the same name) or ZSG, I would have likely never picked up either. The book is small, does nothing but generate a few follow-on sales for Max Brooks (who is a genuinely talented and interesting author, and a seemingly good guy). I am, to put it lightly, disappointed in this book. I can't say I would recommend buying it- if you must, find it cheap, and plan on wanting to re-sell it, unless you're a hoarder like me :( Mark W.
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on July 10, 2013
It was an interesting (20min) read. 4 stories, not very fleshed out. Probably could have lived without this, considering how much I paid for so little actual book.
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on April 1, 2015
This is the perfect companion for World War Z. You can see it as an addendum, with more stories placed in the same universe. It's a small work, I could read it in 2 days (my work time included), but it's worth it, if you liked World War Z buy it, you will not be dissapointed.
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on December 11, 2012
Like the other reviewer, these short stories feel like lost chapters out of World War Z. The book is worth picking up if you can. However, unlike the other reviewers, I really disliked the Vampire element in the third story. It took away the "realism" that made World War Z so impactful. It was written with the same care and talent that Max Brooks threw into his original book and other works, yet the addition of another supernatural/magical/scientific/genetic aberration was just a little too much. It seemed like Max was just playing with a new toy, one that has been used and abused by other writers. I suspect that it was an exercise to test the readers for their interest in a Vampire Apocalypse follow-up.

Ultimately - this is a good tack-on for the World War Z universe. It makes up for my disappointment in the lead-in trailers for the upcoming World War Z movie that seems to share only the title with Max Brooks' world. A shame, it could have been a great opportunity. Perhaps Brad and co. will surprise us all!

In a word - pick this book up, if you can find it. It deserves your attention. Who knows, you might agree with the other readers and like the vampires' contributions.
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on May 23, 2013
I have read a lot of positive reviews on this book and having read the "world war z" I was really looking forward to this. Not only it was disappointingly short (taking a couple of hours to read) I kept thinking I'm missing parts of the book only to realize I wasn't. It feels like an unfinished project. Shame.
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on August 23, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide, and the Max Brooks short stories published in other anthologies. So, in spite of the less than glowing reviews, I decided to give this particular book a try. I figured at best I would have a new collection of Max Brook's stories to rave about and at worst I would have wasted a couple of hours of my life reading a few short stories. In the end I didn't want my time back, but I wasn't overly happy with what I'd read.

For starters, I'd already read one of the stories featured in this book in another anthology. Great Wall (a story that takes place in the World War Z universe) was in the anthology Zombies: The Recent Dead. While its not even remotely uncommon to run into the same short stories multiple times when reading anthologies that focus on a certain genre it is still annoying. Great Wall wasn't bad, but as soon as I realized it was one of the four stories included in this particular book I couldn't help but groan inwardly because suddenly I went from having four new Max Brooks stories to read down to three.

Closure Limited was another story that takes place in the World War Z universe and I'd never read it before. The story offered a unique insight on the post Zombie War economy and brought new meaning to the term "closure". Steve and Fred was the second story in the book and showed the contrast between a natural born survivor, and someone living a more realistic (and horrifying) survival scenario.

Extinction Parade was the longest story in this book, but again I just felt like it was "okay". Told from the perspective of a vampire who is in the midst of a zombie plague, the premise itself is intriguing but the characters left a lot to be desired. I just couldn't even make myself care about the narrator and the other vampires since they all came across as short sighted, selfish, and (lets go for another S word) stupid. Painfully stupid.

In the end I am on the fence and I think a 2.5 rating would be closer to my true feelings about this book. While I was not blown away, I was not overly impressed and would not give this collection a second read. However, I think hardcore Max Brooks fans AND people who have only read his novels and never his anthology contributions would enjoy this book.
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