Review: The Zombie Survival Guide
You knew it was coming. Of course we’re going to review the manual of all manuals. A book such as this is pretty difficult to review, as it is a manual for a fictional setting in the current world we live in. Confusing right?
I had the e-book but E was kind enough to bring his copy along for me to snap pics of.
Synopsis: The book itself is basically broken down into three parts. The fictional background on the zombie outbreak, weapons/survival tactics, and a fictional section on recorded attacks. Brooks introduces the subject of zombie defense by getting into the supposed origins of the Solanum virus, which infects humans and turns them into soulless ghouls. He then moves onto a primer on weapons, and promptly into the various tools of destruction at your disposal. It’s a pretty in-depth discussion(albeit a tad misleading) on the technical details on bludgeoning devices, primitive technology, modern firearms, explosives, random weaponry, and armor.
The section after weapons focuses on surviving while hunkering down, while on the run, and while on the attack to exterminate the undead threat. The last sections involve rebuilding society after the pandemic has subsided, and records of attacks in world history.
Review: It’s clear Brooks had put a massive amount of time into the making of this manual. Examples of this include advocating short hair and athletic cut clothing to decrease the threat of a zombie catching a hold of and making a meal of you. He also makes good points in terms of edged weapons never running out of ammo. And bicycles as the best possible form of transportation (fatties take note: you die first during the initial wave). The humor injected throughout the manual makes for a fun read. But that’s all it should be considered. The author constructed this fictional work on his inherent fear of the undead, not as an uber serious handbook for the paranoid zombie geeks like us out there.
Max Brooks has come under fire from critics among the survival community, and I think some of the criticism is unjust. He’s accused of misinformation about weapons and a few other things. For the hypercritical zombie “pundits,” consider the following: you’re essentially disparaging a man for his fictional work. On a fictional event that has not and likely will not occur. In a book he has written that has now become an awesome fictional conversation piece. If this manual were to serve as something realistic, it would be name”The Hurricane Survival Manual,” or something similar.
This is a highly entertaining piece, but not to be taken as a super serious guide for survival. The blur of lines between facts and fiction would make it too confusing for any newbie enthusiast to be able to take relevant information from.