Review of “The Zombie Survival Guide” by Max Brooks

On May 16, 2011, the CDC made a shocking announcement: prepare yourselves for a zombie apocalypse.

But to me, this wasn’t so shocking. I was, for lack of  a better word, psyched! As a long time zombie fan, I was happy that the CDC finally stopped kidding themselves and admitted to the possibility of there being an actual zombie apocalypse. Sure, their list of rations resemble those people would keep stock of in case of a hurricane or pandemic. But what is a zombie apocalypse if nothing more than a pandemic?

Depending on the class of zombie outbreak, the world could be in mass panic in a matter of hours. The CDC says if there was a zombie outbreak they’d have the situation under control, which is always good news. But what if they don’t? When a hoard of zombies are at your front step, you won’t have time to wait for the CDC to come to the rescue. That’s where: The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead by Max Brooks will come in handy.

This 247 page guide was designed for the ordinary civilian. Inside it explains what a zombie is and is not, the types of outbreaks that can occur, weapons you may need to utilize, the best (and worst) types of hideouts to stay in, how to defend yourself and your team members, recorded attacks, and more. Pretty much everything you would need to know in case a zombie apocalypse did happen.

Brooks made sure to compile lists of everything you may need to survive. From rations to protection to terrain, he discusses the pros and cons of each so you can decide for yourself what would be the best choice for you. He also lists items that are a must for survival. The many descriptions of zombies and section on recorded attacks is also helpful to be able to tell what a zombie may look like.

The most helpful advice, though, comes in four different chapters: On the Defense, On the Run, On the Attack, and Living in an Undead World. In these four chapters, Brooks details what you’ll need to do in the event that you are 1) hiding in your house/school/office/etc.; 2) running and hiding from the undead in the event that you are no longer safe in your hideout; 3) hunting, fighting, and killing zombies (with a team!); and 4) if zombies have taken over the world and you may be the last living survivors.

Overall, The Zombie Survival Guide was very entertaining and helpful if a zombie apocalypse ever were to occur. Part of Brooks’s advice, though, is to not wait until the last minute to get all your gear together. But how will you know what to get unless you read the book?

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