Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ZomBlog Review: "The Zombie Survival Guide"

“The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead”
Writer: Max Brooks
255 pages

I know I am a few days late in posting this, but listen to me: Get supplies, store them; grab the guns, load them; know the area, patrol it.
Any dabbler into zombie lore has been approached and has an answer to the “What would you do?” question when it comes to a zombie apocalypse.
Me? I would high-tail it to Andrews Air Force Base in lovely Suitland, Md., where the presidential Air Force One goes from engagement to engagement on a fairly weekly basis. Hell, if the security there is sound enough to protect a president, then it would be great for an outsider, right?

Fuck, no.

I would be shot at the gates in the event of a zombie uprising.
Author Max Brooks spent a whole lot of time researching real-life scenarios, realistic situations, terrains, weaponry and various other contributing factors in putting together his fantastically interesting, if not overly-researched, “The Zombie Survival Guide” back in 2003.
When Brooks put this modern-day “Anarchist’s Cookbook” together, zombies were not yet en vogue. Brooks splashed a great mortar-hole into zombie-lore with “World War Z” and started kicking rules into brains with this guide which tells the reader — if you take the subject matter as realistic (um, look, zombies are going to rise up; it is just a matter of when) — how to prepare for every possible encounter, on every possible terrain, with every possible weapon (crossbows are nice, but reloading takes too long [sorry to my fellow close-range fans; I will be a machete and sawed-off shotgun person, myself), then this is a must-have guide to surviving what could be the end of mankind as we know it [yes, this was a shallow attempt to shatter Andrew’s long-ass bracketed/parentheses laden entry a few months ago].
Brooks succinctly examines every detail, even those that laymen might forget (dangers of terrain, the possibilities of sleep-deprived paranoia, having not one but several escape plans, the weight of supplies, etc.). He concludes the book with several “documented” scenarios of undead attacks throughout recorded history, some based on actual historic events, others based on nothing more than spirited imagination. As a nice little touch, he includes an appendix where the modern-day survivor might keep a journal and checklist for supplies.
While I admit I was not a fan of the repetitious parts, there were many moments where I had an, “Oh, wow, I never thought about that” moment. Again, for anyone to take what we write on this blog too seriously is a waste. We know zombies are a non-threat (today). We are unafraid of zombies rising up and taking over the world (at this moment). Those stinking rot-gutted, slow-moving slack-jaws are of no concern to me (until I close my eyes and live the apocalyptic showdown night after tedious night).

I might be kidding.

Romero Rules Followed: Brooks loves the slow-moving, bite-spreads-disease zombies. And, the known method for killing the suckers is a brain-blast. All are followed.

Gore factor: Very descriptive in how the undead are dispatched, but if this were a high-school how-to-guide, it would easily be PG-13. So, fairly low.

Zombies or Wannabees? Absolute Zombies (I need to patent that vodka drink)

Classic, fine, or waste of time: Classic.

Additional comments: Look, if someone can spend as much time as Brooks did in researching a fictitious scenario as how one could survive an undead uprising, you know it will be an entertaining read. And it is, at times. Sadly, his attention to details detract from the actual fun at points. I still love the book and chuckle at certain points (his entries about idiots hauling tons of supplies across a waterway always makes me smile). Oh, and not to draw too much attention to myself or the blog, but THIS IS ENTRY NUMBER 50, SUCKERS! In all seriousness, we thank you for caring as much as you do for our endeavor. We appreciate your attention to our mistakes, details, and that you just come along for the ride. At least I do.

Andrew appreciates nothing.


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