Skip to main content

Book Review: The Zombie Survival Guide (2003)

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead offers practical advice for a satirical premise. It might have been source material for the World War Z movie, because it explicitly describes zombie-ism as being caused by a virus, and lists amputation as one way of preventing the spread of the infection (although severing the affected limb rarely works, apparently). It’s definitely the parent of the World War Z novel, which is basically an extension of The Zombie Survival Guide’s final chapter.

The survival guide contains six sections of distilled anti-zombie wisdom. First, it talks about Solanum, the zombie-spawning virus. Next, readers learn about the abilities and behavior of the various types of undead. The rest of the book helpfully provides recommended weapons (primary: carbine; secondary: hand gun; hand-to-hand: crowbar) and combat techniques. The author then outlines places of safety and the most effective ways of surviving in a zombie-infested world. The guide concludes with accounts of zombie encounters throughout history.

This book is your comprehensive guide not just to the threat of the zombie outbreak, but also the very real possibility that your government does not prioritize your safety (gasp!) and that your fellow humans may be even worse than the undead. Author Max Brooks seems to have the most fun methodically detailing the pros and cons of defensive terrain, especially when he states that inner-city high schools would be ideal because they’re built like fortresses. It’s funny because it’s true. Brooks also keeps reminding readers to be mindful of legalities when, say, buying property/land in preparation for living in isolation with a group of your most trusted family and friends.

The final part of the book is the best read, because it throws in all the humor, conspiracy theories, insights into human nature, and faux historical documentation into a series of entertaining vignettes of zombies in our midst, from the ancient world to the present!

While the chapters about preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse tend to get tedious because of all the detail, all in all, The Zombie Survival Guide is a fun read, and readers may find themselves nodding in agreement at many places in the book. Kudos to Brooks for taking his Romero-inspired zombie love and creating this valuable work. I am prepared.

Popular posts from this blog

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:


The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!


Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.

Hah!

There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…