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The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead Paperback – April 6, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Zombie Combat Manual kicks undead ass! Roger Ma saves the day with this smart, funny, and thoroughly practical book on fighting the living dead. Now we have a chance!"
-Jonathan Maberry, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Patient Zero and Zombie CSU, and member of the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame

"As a practitioner of martial arts, and a former US Army Ranger, I cannot stress enough how important empty-hand fighting is. Weapons can be lost, weapons can run out of bullets, weapons can be taken away and used on you. You must make yourself a weapon; a weapon you can wield 24/7 in any situation. There are many survival books out there on how to deal with the living dead and then there's this one. Roger Ma's book should be on the short list of handy manuals to take with you to the zombie apocalypse."
-Don Roff, author of Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection

"One of the things you can never be sure of in a zombie apocalypse is which weapons you'll be able to lay your hands on when the dead come for you. Now that I've studied The Zombie Combat Manual I'll always be prepared with whatever is nearby, even if my trusty Zombieville Slugger is out of reach."
-John Joseph Adams, editor of the bestselling anthologies The Living Dead and Wastelands

"... The Zombie Combat Manual gains a tremendous amount of depth by narrowing its focus: Instead of discussing the roots, history and process of zombification, it assumes the eventuality of infestation so you can begin to prepare for it right away... The best compliment I could give the book is that several times, I found myself agreeing with some discussion before I caught myself and said, "Wait, this is about freaking zombies.""
-Tony Deconinck, AOL News

"Delivered in the manner of a straightforward urban survival manual this tongue- in-cheek, everything you ever wanted to know about zombies guide seeks to educate readers on the fine points of surviving flesh-eating hordes when they sweep through your neighborhood... This is great good fun for the zombie obsessed. The line drawings, interviews, personal observations and scientific studies create an air of authenticity... Of all the books that cross the review desk, this is the one I had to pry away from coworkers and hide."
-Sandy Amazeen, Monsters and Critics

"If you're a reader who likes books about zombies that never "blink" and keep up the intensity for the entire read, then The Zombie Combat Manual is the book for you." -Scott Kenemore, Scott Kenemore's Zombie Blog

"Lots of zombies. No guns. No problem. That's the basic premise of Roger Ma's The Zombie Combat Manual, an in-depth analysis of the tools, techniques and concerns inherent in facing the living dead mano-a-corpso."
-Cory Casciato, The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse blog

"With a fresh take on a tired subject and an emphasis on violence and physical preparation, The Zombie Combat Manual deserves a place on your bookshelf. Right between the .357 magnum revolver and the Viking Axe, rated at over 200+ zombie engagements."
-Robert Fure, Film School Rejects blog

"The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead just might be the supreme manifest of how to fend off attacking members of the undead. It's a guide for unskilled, inexperienced and slightly out of shape humans threatened by the return of the dead and cites basic combat skills and ordinary household objects as the primary weapons of your defense. Basically, when it comes to the Zombie Apocalypse, this book may be biblical."
-Allie Townsend, Techland.com

"The book is both well-written AND a treat to the eyes. It is, in my opinion, a must-have to any zombie enthusiast's book collection."
-Stuart Conover, BuyZombie.com

"[T]here are quite a few guides that could aid your survival in the coming apocalypse. However, most of these books assume that there is still food to be looted and ammo to be found. What happens when all that runs out? This is where the The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead comes in, it doesn't talk about why the virus started, or what the best place is to hide from the zombies; but instead it looks at how ordinary citizens can fight their impending doom...It is a great read and I suggest it to anyone wanting to survive the apocalypse."
-Erik Loki, The Dead Walk?! blog

About the Author

Roger Ma is a writer and the founder of the Zombie Combat Club, a civilian organization dedicated to providing accurate training and information to fight the living dead without a firearm, and survive. He is also a Team Chief for one of New York City's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which assists first responders in the event of a city emergency - including zombie attack. He lives in Brooklyn.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 3.7.2010 edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425232549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425232545
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Zombie Combat Manual is not a mere retreading of Max Brooks' The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. This book takes one small aspect of Brooks' book and delves deeply and broadly into it.

The Zombie Combat Manual not only discusses various weapons to use in lieu of a firearm; it also acts as a training manual for anyone in any physical condition, featuring physical assessments and exercise programs.

Of course it has the obligatory chapter on offensive and defensive equipment, which is seemingly exhaustive, but it also touches on a topic that Brooks omits, which is carrying and protecting children. Imagine being a parent of a newborn or toddler and having to not only survive but protect them as well. Being a father, I could appreciate this section greatly.

Additionally, there's an entire chapter on combat strategies and techniques for fighting the undead. With this chapter, Ma practically creates a new form of martial art with step-by-step illustrations showing how to position, maneuver, and strike with various weapons in various situations of melee combat with a zombie.

If you're a fan of Max Brooks' interviews in World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, then you'll enjoy the interviews in this book as well. In fact, one could almost plant these same stories into the World War Z setting.

Overall, Lovers of Max Brooks' work, as I am, should not look at this book as a competing product, but instead should see Ma's contribution as a complementary product. The content of this book will only better prepare you in the event that you find yourself having to engage in melee combat with a zombie despite all of the tips and strategies followed from Zombie Survival Guide.
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So far, the five star reviewers before me have pretty much voiced my opinions quite nicely. What I will add is that comparing Roger Ma's book to a rip-off/retread of Max Brooks' work (of which I am a huge fan) is like saying anyone currently writing vampire romance is ripping off Dan Curtis's Dark Shadows (or, if you want to go further back, Bram Stoker's Dracula). Both the vampire and the zombie genre have room for many variations on the original themes. Did Brooks include the Bum's Rush in his book as a survival tactic? No, he did not. Both Brooks and Ma have a place on my bookshelf, and both authors deserve kudos for their work.
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I just finished reading this book, and if you're a zombie fan and have wondered how to not simply survive, but to battle and defeat the zombie undead, you will love this book.

As a huge Max Brooks (Zombie survival guide), George Romero (Night, Dawn, Day of the Dead Trilogy) and Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead) fan, this book takes a unique angle to the zombie mythology by focusing where these other writers have not, specifically hand to hand combat against the undead. The book goes into detail about specific types of weapons- long, medium, short ranges, how to best utilized the most battle hardened weapons, such as a katana or battle axe, to the more accessible and practical garage tools like the shovel, pitchfork, or hunting knife. Interweaved within these techniques are some pretty graphic and intense first hand accounts and interviews from those who've battled the undead one on one. Well written (unlike some other zombie pub schlock) this book I think will entertain all hardcore fans, as well as the casual one's who ever wondered how they would handle oneself when encountering a zombie confrontation firsthand.

I can attest after reading this book that it is NOT a rehash of Brooks' work, as some others have previously suggested, but rather a great addition to the genre. My favorite and most original chapter for me is on how to protect your children against the undead. Stroller vs. baby bjorn. Great stuff!

The illustrations are great as well that give visual context to the techniques and weapons discussed. I would definitely recommend it to anyone into horror and zombies. Don't trust the online trolls- when there's no more room in hell, there's enough room in the zombie world for Brooks and Ma to coexist together. And from what I'm seeing from the other reviews online, they agree as well.
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People typically look at "zombie preparedness" as a joke, something that only obsessed fans and basement dwelling survivalists would pay attention to. Problem is, it's those people who are the ones you see rioting in the streets or whining on the news whenever *any* disaster strikes-whether earthquake, flood, or fire-because they're also the type to refuse to get around to *any* basic self reliance and preparedness.

Books like the ZCM and the ZSG on the face are about preparing for an impossible situation-but the truth is, preparation procedures for "undead" awakening are the same common sense ideas that help in many other situations. Where the ZSG gets you thinking about how to prepare the material and plans necessary to protect and comfort you and your family in the event of most natural or man-made disasters, the Zombie Combat Manual makes it more personal-your body and your fitness become the ultimate survival kit.

Inside the blood spattered cover and between fictional anecdotes are techniques to train for and combat "the living dead"...techniques that just also happen to work well to promote general fitness in day-to-day living. It's an entertaining motivation to get your kids out running and making it into the same sort of scenario as their favorite video games-and unlike trying to do it yourself, it's backed up with a real published book to make it "cool". Works with motivating adults as well.

The improvised weapons section is handy for making sure you have inexpensive but useful tools to handle both a zombie outbreak and many suburban chores. Some of these "improvised weapons" are super helpful in the outdoors and much cheaper and much more durable than purpose built stuff at your camping supply store or cheap Chinese steel at the surplus shop.

All in all, a fun read with a bunch of practical, real-life useful tips hidden inside. The perfect companion to the Zombie Survival Guide.
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