Saturday, 30 October 2010

‘The Zombie Survival Guide’ and ‘Recorded Attacks’ – Max Brooks (Three Rivers Press)

You all know my views on how important it is to be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse so I won’t repeat myself. If you haven’t taken crucial information on board by now, from this very blog, then I’m afraid that there’s really no hope for you when the dead come walking down your street. Don’t say I didn’t warn you...
I’ve made it my mission to have as much zombie content on the blog as I can fit in, so that you will all have the best idea of what to expect, and I haven’t done a bad job so far. A week or so ago though, it was pointed out to me that I’d somehow missed out the most important zombie text of all; perhaps the one book you all need to make room for in your survival kit on that long trek through zombie infested territory. Suitably chastised for my almost criminal negligence, I’m bringing it to you now.



If you’re smart then you already have a plan mapped out that will deal with any manner of zombie infestations. If you’re even smarter then your zombie survival plan will be based around Max Brooks’ ‘Zombie Survival Guide’. Here is a book that covers absolutely everything that you will need to take into account when the dead start walking and it’s all covered in the stern authoritative tones of a man who knows exactly what he is talking about. While I might have issues with the way in which all the information is laid out (I’d say that home defence should be a lot nearer the front of the book for a start) and the attention paid to certain subjects over others (too much information on what zombies are when all you really need to know is not to let them get anywhere near you...), you can’t deny that it’s all relevant and Brooks certainly covers all bases. If you have a question about what to do when faced with zombies you can bet that Brooks has answered it. I particularly liked the section on how to spot media cover ups of zombie outbreaks, makes you wonder what’s really happening close to home...
The density of information makes ‘The Zombie Survival Guide’ a difficult book to pick up and read straight from the first page to the last. If you treat as the reference book that it is though then just opening the book on a random page is like opening a treasure chest. What’s inside is not only invaluable but could save your life...




‘Recorded Attacks’ arose from the ‘Zombie Survival Guides’ section of the same name that details recorded zombie attacks from the dawn of history to the present day. In this graphic novel, you may not be treated to the same kind of timeline but what you do get is collection of recollections (taken directly from the ‘Zombie Survival Guide’ nicely illustrated by Ibraim Roberson. I wouldn’t have minded seeing some different stories, for some added variety, but the overall presentation is good. Zombies have been with us throughout history and Brooks gives us a selection of ‘historical zombie events’ and events that may have actually happened for different reasons than those given to us by history. I liked Brooks’ explanation as to why Hadrian’s Wall was really built...

If you’re a fan then ‘Recorded Attacks’ will round off your Brooks collection nicely; if not then you’re probably best sticking with ‘The Zombie Survival Guide’. Both books can teach us a thing or two about zombies though and they are lessons worth learning...

‘The Zombie Survival Guide’ 9.5/10
‘Recorded Attacks’ 7.75/10 (Liked the presentation but marked down for basically retelling the same story...)

2 comments:

yllektra (force-oblique) said...

My brother ordered me the first book and I can't wait to get my hands on it! :)

I know they must be awesome!
Max Brooks rocks!

Emmet said...

What I love about both books is that Brooks packs them full of different genres, that now just happen to feature zombies.

I also like that it does not offer an explanation for the zombie epidemic.