Publisher: Broadway Books
Author: Max Brooks
Release Date: 9/16/2003
MSRP: $14.99 (Paperback), $29.99 (Hardback), $9.99 (Digital), $24.99 (Audio CD)
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
Max Brooks has become the number one expert on zombies as of late. The Zombie Survival Guide seems like some gag gift or joke for the paranoid or extremely nerdy. Most people will imagine a fat sweaty bearded buy with coke bottle glasses reading this in his mom’s basement with a headlamp in sheer panic. It’s not really like that at all. This guide is so well written and Max cancels out nearly every contradiction as to how this can’t happen. This book is so believable that you stop sometimes and wonder how that can’t be possible and then realize there isn’t one!
The book is broken up into sections — you get started out on what a zombie is and the basic workings of how a zombie functions. Zombies aren’t reanimated from graves, they aren’t voodoo zombies, they are humans who contracted a virus called Solanum and Max explains this as a scientific medical condition. After you get to know what a zombie is Max will take you through survival by running and defending yourself. He talks about terrain types, vehicles, supplies, weapons, defense and offense tactics, and various other survival skills. The book does a good job convincing you that this is what you should do thanks to Max’s writing style where he gets straight to the point and cuts out all the nonsense.
He talks about how to fight, when not to fight, and also how to detect signs of a zombie outbreak. They are in 4 different classes. 1 is just a few zombies and class 4 is Armageddon. He will also give you tactics on how to defend and fight in different environments like large skyscrapers to small one-story homes. He completely cancels out all Hollywood clichés and various other zombie garbage that has become “fake” over the years. This is a very detailed guide and if zombies do start popping I actually feel I could survive against them thanks to this novel.
Later on, you can read “real-life stories” that happened and are both scary and somewhat convincing. One was even set in my hometown! Max’s writing is full of suspense and will keep you hooked until the end. I just felt the book was a bit short and could have used more content. One thing I did like was the crappy “survival guide drawings” that were peppered throughout the book. It gave the book a layer of humor that you wouldn’t expect. By the time I flipped to the last cover I felt educated and prepared for a large and small-scale zombie attack. While I was reading I was thinking about my own living situation and how I would defend it or run. That’s a good writer if he can make you think that. Zombie Survival Guide is a must-have for any zombie fan or survival guide fanatic.