This book is only really for those hardcore zombie enthusiasts image error It s a funny coincidence that I m probably going to get killed by an angry, mindless mob for saying this, but allow me to be the only one with the guts to say that The Zombie Survival Guide is hugely overrated As others have suggested, the angle is supposed to be that this is a fact based, real world take on what to do when the dead finally rise, but Brooks breaks out the science still can t explain card way too often for his premise to really work Which is problematic because while the central concept is that it s all about bringing zombies into the real world and throwing out the silly notions hoisted on us by works of fiction, Brooks has, in all honesty, just created another zombie universe with its own silly inconsistencies Likewise, the repetitive structure and obsession with ridiculous minutiae Shaolin spade, anybody both strain the authors credibility and push the limits of what s bearable to sift through outside of an owner s manual Do I really need to know the difference between how to run from zombies in an SUV versus a Truck No The answer is no, I don t The best, most readable part of the book is the chapter on recorded attacks, but that s because it reads much like zombie fiction and that s exactly not what this is supposed to be TZSG scores plenty of points for concept, attitude and design the outbreak journal in the appendix is especially inspired , but as an actual book it borders on annoying and I couldn t wait for it to be over. Yes Brooks, but what about is what I often found myself asking while perusing the Zombie Survival Guide It s clear it is meant to be humorous I first went looking for it in non fiction, and was disappointed to find it in the Humor section I spared the Barnes and Noble employee a lecture on the dangers of being woefully unprepared for the coming Zombiepocalypse Brooks went to some trouble to make it appear as if he put plenty of thought and research into this, and that helps make the tongue in cheek tone really stick.However, he could have done both for humor s sake and those of us who take this so seriously our families try to medicate us But what do they know They ll be the first ones eaten, and I still won t take those pills Anyway, I digress He covers a remarkable amount of ground, but nothing really in any great detail It reads like an encyclopedia of random stuff , rather than an actual useful resource It gives me things to consider, but little usable field information beyond the initial seed idea Some quips and pop culture references are funny, but we ll see who s laughing when facing a scenario he avoided by saying, Science cannot explain Areas which I found lacking included group composition and psychology, weaponry, viral epidemiology, and tactical organization A Level III or higher outbreak requires tough choices I don t remember Brooks being ready to handle in regards to human group dynamics He acknowledges the difficulties of human psychology, but really doesn t delve into any one of countless areas to address How best do you deal with children who just slow you down and endanger the group How do you contend with the fact that, in all likelihood given the stresses of the situation, members of the opposite sex will likely be snogging the daylights out of each other every semi private moment That leads to pregnant, and slower, demanding, and vulnerable party members How does a party leader attempt to prevent or deal with the issue if it s too early to repopulate the world Tough question, and one Brooks doesn t address that I remember.Also the weaponry section is terribly lacking in specifics Brooks does do something right in stressing hiding and stealth throughout, but when you have to fight, he only discusses a few ideas for arming yourself What I REALLY think the book could have used was a region specific common chambering guide In former NATO countries, even though the AR 15 or M 16 and variants may be lacking in reliability and zombie clubbing prowess to the chunkier Kalashnikov and SKS variants, one hardly wants to find oneself carrying a 7.62 in a 5.56 world Choose a regional weapon based on the ammunition you are likely to find available issued to your local police, military, and paramilitary forces A large, convenient table would have been a nice addition A discussion of crossbow draw strength versus range to give people an idea what they d have to contend with, but worth it given the excellence of the weapon as a silent, reusable option, would also have been nice.I still feel I understand precious little about the virus itself I wouldn t consider this an issue except for the implied knowledge Brooks has through his statements, discussion, and supposed historical outbreaks he mentions Share How do we protect ourselves Is there a practical way to intervene What are the hazards and best ways to protect group members during what he refers to as clean up following a battle What are the possibilities and repercussions of mutation, considering this IS a virus, after all.I won t get into the tactical sections other than to say most of his suggestions would require people so battle hardened, cool, intelligent, and collected they would likely be able to develop better plans on the fly This they would almost certainly have to do, given the changing nature of all battlefields, much less ones with very difficult undead enemies Instead of trying to paint unrealistic scenarios, just cut these chapters short by saying, Find fearless tactical geniuses, and go kill with them Don t get me wrong, I liked the book He raises and discusses an issue few people are taking seriously enough He glances over some good points And he s somewhat funny in parts He tries to deliver a compact but useful guide covering an entire world s worth of issues However, the most damning thing I can say about the Guide is that, when the undead rise, the book is not something that will be in my pack when I start running I would much rather save the valuable weight and space for a region specific weapons guide, field first aid manual, resource for local flora and fauna, or even just an extra few iodine tablets or strips of beef jerky.P.S Yes, I get the joke Do you get mine Max Brooks is a crazy man On the surface, this book functions as humor What to do when zombies take over, that s fun, right What becomes obvious once you start reading it is that Brooks spent a lot of time thinking very seriously about this And that s funny too Part of what makes this book great is how humorless it is, even though you will find it in the humor section at the book store.The you read, the you realize that Brooks has a very specific agenda in mind He doesn t waste time comparing the different types of zombies from movies i.e fast zombies vs romero zombies He defines the threat in very specific terms with clearly defined rules Through his no nonsense shop talk and historical references, he hints at a parallel reality where zombies are a legitimate threat and you, the reader, should beware.This is where you begin to doubt his sanity His instructions are so specific and his accounts are so detailed that you become convinced that he takes his writing very seriously He has created a authentic feeling, fictional world and you begin to wonder if he thinks he actually lives there.As a humor book, it misses the mark It s just not that funny, at least not in the way other humor books are meant to be take your Jeff Foxworthy, your Dilbert If it is humor, it is way too dry or ironic to register with most people whose sense of irony is not as keenly developed as my own In order for this book to make sense, you should read it in one of two ways either as a novel, or as I prefer, the ravings of a paranoid psychopath. You ever find yourself thinking what you would do if a zombie suddenly came up the hill in front of you Would you run and try to tell the world Would you think its already too late and fend for yourself Would you just go take care of the ghoul yourself These are the questions I kept asking myself, especially while listening to The Zombie Survival Guide late at night while driving up the hill to my apartment Not a good idea if you don t want to really creep yourself out.I figured zombies would be a good follow up to the vampires from Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter It was actually kind of funny since each book described historical events from the perspective of their particular ghoul Both actually describe the disappearance of the colony at Roanoke Island to be from zombies vampires respectively.The Zombie Survival Guide is a manual for people to use to prepare for a zombie uprising The premise of the book is that zombies are already common or at least known, but have yet to overrun humanity Plus, they ve been around for ages, it s just been a cover up.The Zombie Survival Guide is an insanely well thought out book Brooks really mapped out all the possibilities of a zombie uprising and prepares the reader for every contingency Here s just a taste from the blurb Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack 1 Organize before they rise 2 They feel no fear, why should you 3 Use your head cut off theirs.4 Blades don t need reloading.5 Ideal protection tight clothes, short hair.6 Get up the staircase, then destroy it 7 Get out of the car, get onto the bike.8 Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert 9 No place is safe, only safer 10 The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.The book is divided into different sections that detail everything from what to do on the run to how to organize and attack There s even a section on recorded attacks throughout history as described a bit above.One of my favorite sections was about weapons use He describes a large array of weapons detailing which work well against zombies The problem is that they can only be killed by head shots so he ll often go into popular movies and say why those instruments will or will not work.For instance, he says that a chainsaw that you always see in the movies is one of the worst weapons because it s not only extremely heavy, but it s gas powered This means it probably won t last you very long especially if you re trying to survive for than a couple days On the other hand, a Shaolin Spade is one of the best weapons you can use because it is light and long enough to keep you safe.When Should You Read The Zombie Survival Guide While The Zombie Survival Guide was entertaining and fun, it s still a guidebook There s no story arc and there are plenty of lists, but of course this is exactly what s promised If anything, The Zombie Survival Guide was a really good set up for Brooks World War Z and I m really excited to see how that plays out, especially in light of what I ve learned about Zombie survival.3 out of 5 Stars Liked it I did not finish this one sadly While I enjoyed World War Z, this one was too bogged down in the weapons section Perhaps I just wasn t in the mood for it Great for detailed information on types of weapons and their uses though I mean hell, I know an aluminum baseball bat isn t the greatest weapon now against a zombie after a couple of attacks. What can I say this book gives my life complete and utter meaning It s so informative and precise The illustrations are freaking amazing.Max Brooks is a truly incredible author and he isn t afraid to go there.The books makes me wanna get fit and buy all the equipment I need, and you know what I will I mean we will never ever know what could happen in the future will we In one sense because of the movies, books and TV shows I really want a zombie outbreak, but on the other hand I am really a huge fan of The Walking Dead I call them munchers What I m saying is I ve seen Maggie s reaction to MAJOR TWD SPOILERS Glenn s death and Rick s reaction to Lori s death and I could go on but then the entire 8 seasons will be spoilt for you guys Yes in fantasy a zombie apocalypse would be awesome but in reality all the loss and pain would be too unbearable for anybody really Any kind of apocalypse would be unbearable.Anyway back to the book I find that a prison based camp would keep you safe for a while even so it s a pretty secure base Personally I would set up base in a prison considering how secure it is or maybe an abandoned town where lots of people can come and stay safe and unlike the walking dead there would be no cannibalism or governors I ve got to stop with the walking dead If there was ever to be a zombie outbreak I d rather have a full blown crew and struggle for food and resources than be on my own I would man the bow and arrows of course I know it s fictional what I m about to say but a book like this for vampires would be super What bothers me is the animals that would get killed, knowing my luck I d be the first to die Anyway this book is an incredible read and whether you are into zombies or possible dystopian futures you still need to read this book It may save your life one day On a side note I am so buying this book. updated 01 Nov 2011 raaar GGRRR UURRRG roooorrr RAAAAAAAR uurrg OOOOOR oooor ggrrrr RAAAAR GGRRR oor UUUGGG uugg aahhhhh Yes I m mastering the zombie language If you don t know what that means you re in deep sh t You might want to get some books and start learning a few things..Every person on the planet should own this book you can never know when the next attack is going to be.To do list buy a machete buy an M1 Carbine buy leather suit cut hair short buy supplies buy a dirtbike or horse, whichever is available create a voodoo zombie become a professional zombie hunterHere are some personal results from my research.Stay safe And in case you turn into a zombie stay out of my way or eat lead Don t be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset life This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead It is a book that can save your life.Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack 1 Organize before they rise 2 They feel no fear, why should you 3 Use your head cut off theirs.4 Blades don t need reloading.5 Ideal protection tight clothes, short hair.6 Get up the staircase, then destroy it 7 Get out of the car, get onto the bike.8 Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert 9 No place is safe, only safer 10 The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on. I started this book because I read World War Z and enjoyed it, for some value of enjoyed which also includes being seriously freaked out This book further cemented my freaked outedness I now recognise that my home is inadequate protection against the zombie menace, that not only do I not have any sort of weapon handy which could decapitate without putting me in harm s way but even if I did I would have no skills to use it, and that I am not fully prepared for even a level 1 situation were it to occur near me.Plus I thought I saw a zombie the other day This guy was walking down the street and I swear he looked like one Damn you, Max Brooks Damn you.