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RooJay
11-30-2004, 12:52 AM
Here's a great, fun little book that I can't recommend enough to fans of zombie flicks and just about anybody else! The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead by Max Brooks (apparently Mel's son and a staff writer on SNL) is, as the title indicates, a survival guide to surviving a siege of the undead! While I came across the book in the humor section it's actually written in quite a serious tone. Brooks never once in the book drops the assumption that the living dead are a real and serious threat to our society and that an outbreak could actually occur at any moment. Even the introduction, which before reading, I had expected would explain how the author is a huge fan of zombie movies and just thought it'd be fun says nothing of the sort! His introduction ends, "On the last page of this book, ask yourself one question: What will you do-end your existence in passive acceptance, or stand up and shout, "I will not be their victim! I will survive!" The choice is yours. The only sentence on the "About the Author" page: "Max Brooks lives in New York City but is ready to move to a more remote and defensible location at a moment's notice." Classic stuff! This book deserves to be on the top of the best sellers list and I will do everything I can to help it get there!

The first section of the book, The Undead: Myths and Realities", explains in great detail exactly what a zombie is, what causes one to become a zombie - the Solanum virus, how one catches it, what zombies are and aren't capable of, and exactly what to do to destroy them. Every detail used to explain the phenomenon is treated as though it is real and the explainations go a long way to actually making it seem so. As the book explains, zombies are humans that have been infected by the Solanum virus - as their bodies begin to shut down, the frontal lobe of the brain begins to mutate into a new type of organ completely independent of oxygen. Brooks explains that, in spite of what we may have been told by the Hollywood, zombies possess no supernatural powers and possess only the physical characteristics the host would've had in life coupled with the effects of natural decomposition (which apparently is slowed a bit by the virus - seems most micro-organisms involved in decomposition have a distaste for Solanum infected flesh!) The section on zombie digestion is particularly enlightening (although no effort is made to explain why it is that zombies might be driven to feed - apparently science has yet to figure that one out!) It seems that the zombie's digestive system is completely nonfunctional and flesh that is devoured "lies in it's original, undigested state at all sections of the tract" "partially chewed, slowly rotting" continuing to accumulate "as the zombie devours more victims, until it is forced through the anus, or literally bursts through the stomach or intestinal lining." EWWW! :eek: Also of note, the section on zombie reproduction (the book explains that it's not at all possible, thank God!). As mentioned earlier under the section regarding transference of the virus, "No information has surfaced regarding the results of sexual relations with an undead specimen" and that "Warning against such an act would be useless, as the only people deranged enough to try would be unconcerned for their own safety." Keep in mind that this is all written deadly serious in tone!

Other sections of the book cover each of the different types of outbreak (all the way up to a Class 4 - "Living in an Undead World"!) different types of weapons to use against the undead and their varying degrees of effectiveness (stay away from the latest "supercommando" weapons!), the proper clothing to wear and equipment you will need during a siege of ghouls, how to prepare and defend your home or other dwelling and the advantages and disadvantages of each in either class of attack, what to do when you need to abandon your fortress, tactics to use and what kinds of things to avoid, using different vehicles and their strengths and weaknesses, there are even sections covering the different types of terrain you will encounter when fleeing from the undead and how exactly you should react to and travel through each without being eaten! There is also an entire chapter on recorded zombie attacks throughout history! Apparently it's happened before and could well happen again. ;) AT the very end of the book there is a section for you to keep a journal of any outbreak you may find yourself in!

This book is exhaustive, amazing, hilarious, engrossing, and an absolute must have for fans of the genre! Plus, when there's no more room in Hell...I will be completely prepared for the zombie apocalypse! :D Don't get caught with your pants down when the zombies come - get your copy now!

James Boba Fettfield
11-30-2004, 05:16 AM
The best part of the book was the documented outbreaks included at the end.

The most valuable thing I learned was how impractical a flamethrower would be during a zombie attack. Not that I would ever have a flamethrower or anything, but in a zombie attack you never know if such a weapon will come into your hands.

I think about this too much.

Hellboy
11-30-2004, 05:47 PM
Now this is a book that I could really get into. Thanks for the recommendation RooJay, based on your comments I think I'll be adding this to my X-mas list. My family will probably think I've lost it but they already think my fascination with horror and the undead in particular is a bit bizarre. :Ogre:

RooJay
12-01-2004, 09:50 PM
Being a naturally creative person soon as I finished the book I got the idea to customize my copy! I haven't done it yet, but if I get bored enough I just might make up my own outbreak account for the appendix journal, dirty up/dog ear the pages, tear off the cover and stick it back on with duct tape, splatter it with fake blood, and maybe add some bloody teeth marks and handprints on random pages. I think it'd make for a great converstaion piece! ;) Of course, maybe I should just wait until the real thing happens...

Since you guys seem to be zombie fans as well as book fans, I have another recommendation for ya: The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. It's a monthly ongoing comic currently being published by Image. The trade paperback of the first six issues came out just a while back (still available through Diamond) and the second hit just last week. I highly recommend this one as well. The intent of the writer is to present as realistic an account of how a group of survivors reacts to such a grim situation over an extended period of time. He fully intends for the series to represent years in these characters' lives, and the story is already off to an incredible start! Both trades are available at your local comic shop for only $9.95 each, and issue 13 just shipped last week.

James Boba Fettfield
12-02-2004, 05:54 PM
I have never heard of that particular comic. Sounds very interesting.

If it does ever happen, I am going off looking for a Peter Washington type guy to care for me. Then I can play that whole Roger part, "We got this by the a**!"

Thanks for the info, RooJay.

Hellboy
12-02-2004, 06:13 PM
That sounds like a cool comic. Seeing as how I'm usually behind on my comic book reading I'm not surprised that I missed this. Since the trade is out I'll look into getting it next time I pick up my books from the local comic shop. :cool:

Darth Jax
09-19-2006, 03:06 PM
Max has a new book out now - World War Z - detailing the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. picked it up today at border's (30% off), but haven't gotten a chance to read it yet.

Patient Zero
09-19-2006, 03:33 PM
The rights to the film version was bought by Brad Pit's production company about six months ago. No joke.

2-1B
09-19-2006, 07:25 PM
I saw Max at the Fangoria Chicago show back in March, he was on stage talking about the Guide but I didn't catch too much of it since I was in the Slither line...I never did get around to checking out his first book and now it looks like I have even more catching up to do.

Phantom-like Menace
09-19-2006, 11:20 PM
I had a friend who worked at Borders sell me on the survival guide. It really is extremely in depth. The only problem I had was in the weapons section. While I completely agreed that a flame thrower would be a Bad Idea, I really feel the author discounts the shot gun too much. I understand fully the idea of not wanting to get that close to a zombie, but if a zombie gets the drop on you a long range rifle is going to be a particularly poor stick. I say carry both.

JimJamBonds
09-20-2006, 12:28 AM
The most valuable thing I learned was how impractical a flamethrower would be during a zombie attack. Not that I would ever have a flamethrower or anything, but in a zombie attack you never know if such a weapon will come into your hands.

Its easy to make a homemade flamethrower...

Lighter + can of WD-40 = minutes of fun!!!

Blue2th
09-20-2006, 12:44 AM
I had a friend who worked at Borders sell me on the survival guide. It really is extremely in depth. The only problem I had was in the weapons section. While I completely agreed that a flame thrower would be a Bad Idea, I really feel the author discounts the shot gun too much. I understand fully the idea of not wanting to get that close to a zombie, but if a zombie gets the drop on you a long range rifle is going to be a particularly poor stick. I say carry both.
It's like when experienced hunters are in Grizzly country. They carry a large caliber handgun and big knife for close encounters, as well as their hunting rifle which they may not be able to bring to bear in a suprise attack........Corporal Hicks (Aliens) carried a shotgun for close encounters.:yes: