Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Survival is the key word to remember

After finishing up Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close I was prepared to start reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Then part of me said "Really? You just finished a book that deals with a boy who lost his father in 9/11 and now you're going right into a rape book? Try again." So I decided to go for something light in between.  And by "light" I mean The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks. Because reading a survival guide about monsters is a good segue between the 2.

Like World War Z, this book is written as if a zombie uprising is a real possibility and what you can seriously do to survive it. You'll find the book in the humor section because zombies are funny but this isn't a humorous, sarcastic story. Actually it's not even a story. There's no narrative and no characters. It's more like the Worst Case Survival handbooks. But for zombies.

I know I've said this before and nothing has changed: I will never survive a zombie attack.  Having read this I can say I could be the annoying member of your survival party that keeps quoting this book but I don't actually provide any actual survival help. You need someone who knows how to use several types of weapons? Someone with basic medical, mechanical, agricultural knowledge? Now all I know is all of the skills I would need that I do not have.

For those who like putting together zombie contingency plans (and who doesn't??) this book is a lot of fun and will most likely destroy whatever plan you've put together with its logic. As much logic as can be applied to a zombie uprising that is.

As stated on the back of the book, here are the 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 a 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.

Title quote from page xiii

Brooks, Max. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. Three Rivers Press, New York. 2003