13 May, 2010

(Audiobook) Review - The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead by Max Brooks

You ever find yourself thinking what you would do if a zombie suddenly came up the hill in front of you. Would you run and try to tell the world? Would you think its already too late and fend for yourself? Would you just go take care of the ghoul yourself?

These are the questions I kept asking myself, especially while listening to The Zombie Survival Guide late at night while driving up the hill to my apartment. Not a good idea if you don't want to really creep yourself out.

I figured zombies would be a good follow up to the vampires from Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. It was actually kind of funny since each book described historical events from the perspective of their particular ghoul. Both actually describe the disappearance of the colony at Roanoke Island to be from zombies/vampires respectively.

The Zombie Survival Guide [US] [UK] is a manual for people to use to prepare for a zombie uprising. The premise of the book is that zombies are already common or at least known, but have yet to overrun humanity. Plus, they've been around for ages, it's just been a cover-up.

The Zombie Survival Guide is an insanely well thought out book. Brooks really mapped out all the possibilities of a zombie uprising and prepares the reader for every contingency. Here's just a taste (from the blurb):

Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack

1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

The book is divided into different sections that detail everything from what to do on the run to how to organize and attack. There's even a section on recorded attacks throughout history (as described a bit above).

One of my favorite sections was about weapons use. He describes a large array of weapons detailing which work well against zombies. The problem is that they can only be "killed" by head shots so he'll often go into popular movies and say why those instruments will or will not work.

For instance, he says that a chainsaw that you always see in the movies is one of the worst weapons because it's not only extremely heavy, but it's gas-powered. This means it probably won't last you very long especially if you're trying to survive for more than a couple days. On the other hand, a Shaolin Spade is one of the best weapons you can use because it is light and long enough to keep you safe.

When Should You Read The Zombie Survival Guide?

While The Zombie Survival Guide was entertaining and fun, it's still a guidebook. There's no story arc and there are plenty of lists, but of course this is exactly what's promised. If anything, The Zombie Survival Guide was a really good set up for Brooks' World War Z [US] [UK] and I'm really excited to see how that plays out, especially in light of what I've learned about Zombie survival.

3 out of 5 Stars (Liked it)

Zombie Dance!

3 comments:

James Pickering said...

I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but will try to get to it. I work at a bookstore which sells it. In fact, one of my associates told me that Max is the son of the great comedian Mel Brooks. Makes me want to read it even more.

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

I just confirmed that on Wikipedia. Thanks for the info, had no idea. Love Mel Brooks too, especially Space Balls, but who doesn't. :D

Deidra said...

Thanks so much for the article, pretty useful data.