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The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead Paperback


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The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead + World War Z (Mass Market Movie Tie-In Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (September 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400049628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400049622
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 3.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this outrageous parody of a survival guide, Saturday Night Live staff writer Brooks prepares humanity for its eventual battle with zombies. One would expect the son of Mel Brooks to have a genetic predisposition to humor, and indeed, he does, and he exhibits it relentlessly here: he outlines virtually every possible zombie-human encounter, drafts detailed plans for defense and attack and outlines past recorded attacks dating from 60,000 B.C. to 2002. In planning for that catastrophic day when "the dead rise," Brooks urges readers to get to know themselves, their bodies, their weaponry, their surroundings and, just in case, their escape routes. Some of the book's more amusing aspects are the laughable analyses Brooks proposes on all aspects of zombiehood, and the specificity with which he enumerates the necessary actions for survival-i.e., a member of an anti-zombie team must be sure to have with him at all times two emergency flares, a signaling mirror, daily rations, a personal mess kit and two pairs of socks. Comic, though unnecessarily exhaustive, this is a good bet for Halloween gag gifts and fans of Bored of the Rings-esque humor. 100 line drawings.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

'A bloody-minded, strait-laced manual for evading the grasp of the undead' Time Out 'So meticulous and well researched that it's more scary than funny' Esquire 'A tome you start reading for fun and then at page 50 you go out and buy a machete just to be on the safe side' New York Post --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

The New York Times bestselling author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, Max Brooks has been called "the Studs Terkel of zombie journalism."
He lives in New York City but is ready to move to a more remote and defensible location at a moment's notice.
Max Brooks's The Zombie Survival Guide formed the core of the world's civilian survival manuals during the Zombie War. Mr. Brooks subsequently spent years traveling to every part of the globe in order to conduct the face-to-face interviews that have been incorporated into World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

Customer Reviews

I gave this book to a friend as a Christmas gift.
EDR
You'll get all the tips you need on battling and surviving zombie hordes with suggestions on the safest places to take refuge as well as weapon selection.
Tim Janson
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks is amazing.
W. P. Dutton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

510 of 532 people found the following review helpful By J. N. Mohlman VINE VOICE on January 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Let's face it: at one time or another we've all faced a zombie scare we aren't prepared for. And yes, the local constabulary usually cleans things up with a minimum of fuss, but what happens when things go wrong and the cavalry doesn't arrive? That, my friends, is the day that Max Brooks' "The Zombie Survival Guide" saves your life. With several millennia worth of field experience distilled into a manageable 254 pages, everything you need to know to survive the coming war with the undead can be found in these pages. Your life and the lives of those you love are at stake, act now and be prepared!
OK, so that paragraph was obviously tongue in cheek, but hopefully in conveys some sense of what Brooks' remarkable "The Zombie Survival Guide" is like. While obviously a parody of both the horror genre and civil defense/survivalist manuals, it maintains an "all-business" demeanor, never once cracking the façade to reveal the underlying humoristic intent. The result is a book that is, when taken as a whole, a funny, incredibly thorough work of satire. However, at the same time, page-by-page, it is a rather accomplished addition to zombie horror.
Starting with zombie physiology and then moving on to weapons, tactics, long-term strategy and history Brooks has produced a manual which has a thoroughness that belies the absurdity of its subject. Point by point he discusses the pros and cons of rifles, machetes and flamethrowers, then considers the optimal defensive positions for various types of outbreaks. After an extensive discussion of survival in a zombie doomsday scenario, he lays out zombie outbreaks through history, and what their implications are.
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161 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Ethan D Van Vorst on December 19, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Max Brooks has put together a rather unique book that it's simply impossible to classify. Part field guide, part arcane zombie history book, and part disaster-training manual, it also manages to keep things serious enough to make you wonder if what it's talking about is real. I began to wonder if Brooks actually believed what he was writing, and that's a big plus point in the book's favor.

The book is separated into several portions, ranging from zombie physiology, what zombies can do and can't do, an overview of Solanum, the microorganism that gives life...or "unlife" to the zombie, as well as a pretty fascinating look at what weapons are best matched against your undead opponents and what kind of structures to barricade yourself in should an outbreak occur. At the end of the book is a pretty extensive collection of "historical" zombie outbreaks throughout human history. The whole thing is written so seriously that you'll laugh out loud when you get to the end of the book and see several Zombie Action Checklists for the owner's use to keep track of outbreaks.

Here's what I've learned should an outbreak occur:

-Grab an M1 Garand and lots of ammo

-Machetes and trench spikes are superior to machine guns

-Get a bicycle...zombies can't hear you and you can always carry your bike over rough terrain, and all without reliance on gasoline

-Chainsaws are fun, but will give you a false sense of power (sorry Bruce Campbell!)

-Flame throwers are the ultimate zombie-killing weapon. But carrying 70 lbs. of equipment on foot will make you slow enough for zombies to catch you.

-Off-shore oil drilling rigs are the ultimate hideout!
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152 of 175 people found the following review helpful By T. Harris on November 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
Watch out Stephen King.
Another reviewer was right when he/she said this book isn't laugh out loud funny. It's not. But it is very amusing, considering it's not tongue in cheek at all. It's tone is straightforward and very serious. Survivalists, bodyguards, law enforcement and military personnel might get a kick out of how some of their standard weapons and statics are used against zombies because some of the advice rings very true for real defense encounters. And I think horror fans, especially fans of George Romero or the Resident Evil videogames will really like it. It's classic textbook zombie stuff, right down to zombie physiology. ;)
But by far, the best and scariest part of the book is the Recorded Attacks section near latter part of the book. These short stories are hella creepy and make for some great camp fire yarns. They are so very well done, especially the one about the gangs in L.A., for a second, you'll be wondering if it's really a parody.
I was expecting something crappy and cheap, but I was surprised. It's a neat little read.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Finally, a decent tome to guide the common man through any zombie armageddon. It is near-perfect, and it offers overall sound advice. Brooks is entirely wrong, however, when it comes to the M-16 (modern variants, incl. the M4) v. AK-47 question. The reliability issues that Brooks cites haven't applied to the M16 in over 25 years. If kept clean and happy, the M16A4 and the M4, are many times more accurate and reliable than the AK-47. In fact, some would say that it is more suited to combatting the living dead than the living, as long-range accuracy is key. Moreover, the M16A4/M4 are common to American military and law enforcement, and no domestic zombie survivalist should pass one up. The author also ignores the proven zombie-killing action of the modern tomahawk: smaller than an ax, bigger than a hatchet, and easier to use than either. One last point, although Brooks is correct in saying that large vehicles are potential death traps, nobody should overlook the break-out power of a good solid trash truck. It won't get you far, but it will get out of the neighborhood in a hurry.
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