The Zombie Survival Guide – Max Brooks

I seem to have a little obsession with zombies at the moment, The Walking Dead, World War Z, Parasite (well sort of), Newsflesh Trilogy and now the survival guide. And if you want to survive then this book is your best chance (as long as the zombies follow the same rules). With this book you can choose to take this seriously, and use it to plan for a zombie uprising. Or just take it as it’s labelled, as ‘humour’. Or you’ll just find it stupid and pointless. I just read it as a bit of fun, and found it interesting. Not because I genuinely think I should be preparing for an uprising, but because it was about survival, and the inclusion of ‘recorded events’ at the end of the book added some more stories to the book.

This is your enemy - Courtesy of Scabeater on Flickr
This is your enemy – Courtesy of Scabeater on Flickr

So there are a number of sections in this book to deal with the variety of situations you may be in: defending, running or attacking. And all have different requirements. When you are in a house, you have a lot more space for supplies, and want to fortify it as much as you can. On the run, you can’t be weighed down too much, or you’ll never make it away. And when attacking, you’re not just trying to survive, you are trying to claim back the world. Each of the sections contains different strategies for survival, with different lists of equipments and useful information about cars, weapons and structures.

One section details a plan of attack against the worst possible scenario, where the world is overrun by zombies. The idea: hole yourself up in some far corner of the planet, and don’t be too obvious about it. If other people will think of that location, chances are then they will try to flock there when the worst comes. And it’s a horrifying thought that you would could be the last surviving humans, and you have to try to slowly repopulate the earth.

The last section recounts the supposed zombie attacks which have been recorded over the course of human history. This was quite interesting as some actual historical events were used as supposed zombie attacks. And it makes the paranoid in you think maybe things have been covered up after all.

This book was published three years before World War Z. And having a look online it seems that this too may be getting the Brad Pitt treatment, with a film to be released this year (potentially, though I doubt it). I really don’t see why this book should be turned into a movie, it’s a survival guide. So the only stories come from the final section, and they are only small fragments, so this confuses me.

There is a graphic novel version of the ‘recorded attacks’ called exactly that Recorded Attacks. I didn’t think too highly of it, the drawing style wasn’t that great in my opinion, and I believe it was essentially just a couple of the ‘attacks’ turned into comic form. Probably not worth buying, just take a look at a library, or in store for a while.

I found it to be an informative book, even if such skills may (hopefully) be never needed. But survival stories always seem to capture my attention, because of some desire within me to try and live without modern comforts, and to return to a simple life. If you are going to approach zombies as something foolish, then this book isn’t going to be for you.

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