The Zombie Survival Guide is the first zombie book by author and screenwriter Max Brooks. A lot of zombie fiction is either done poorly or in a silly way. That is the key difference between the way Max Brooks does zombies; you never feel like you are dealing with silly fictional monsters, with Max Brooks zombies are a serious issue and a matter not to be taken lightly. I recently finished reading the The Zombie Survival Guide and have to say that it is another fantastic Max Brooks novel. His second book titled World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War was also fantastic. I really hope he writes more in the future.
The Zombie Survival Guide is a very detailed book on how to deal with zombies and the different classes of zombie outbreaks. He goes through each class in detail, class 1 being the smallest outbreak and class 4 being a doomsday scenario. Everything is covered from weapons to shelter. Even the zombie virus itself is covered in much detail. The tone is completely serious and similar to World War Z. It is also illustrated with small drawings throughout and some of them are quite humorous. It reads like a real survival guide and although sometimes it’s amusing or funny, the book does takes itself very seriously and parts of it even make fun of zombie movies and myths, after all this is a book that could save your life.
Most of the book is a survival guide, but the last quarter of it goes through documented outbreaks throughout history starting in 60 000 BC. This was by far my favourite part of the book and it felt similar to World War Z.
Without giving any more away the back of the book has 10 lessons for surviving a zombie attack.
- Organize before they rise!
- They feel no fear, why should you?
- Use your head: cut off theirs.
- Blades don’t need reloading.
- Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
- Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
- Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
- Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
- No place is safe, only safer.
- The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.
This is a must read book for any zombie fan, my only advice would be to read this before World War Z. Both books are fantastic but World War Z does eclipses The Zombie Survival Guide on many levels, and so it should as it is the second book. That said if you have read World War Z already and want to read the book that started it all, then pick it up for sure.