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February 13, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Books | February 13, 2009 |

I really think this is labeled humor, because it defies category. It’s assuredly hysterical, but only because it takes itself so incredibly seriously. It’s just what the title suggests: a handbook on how to survive a zombie uprising.

But, my God, it’s literally an in-depth study on the history of zombies and zombie attacks. It goes into different categories of zombie outbreaks, the virus that causes zombie infection (Solanum), and a listing of the pros and cons of various weapons and environments. It also breaks down a pretty intensive list of necessary supplies for surviving. The book wraps with an account of various zombie attacks through history. (Which is my favorite part of the book by far.)

Brooks favors the shambler zombies — the category I support as a Romeroist — and he builds and conforms to an incredible mythology. His commitment to the material is what makes the survival guide work so well. At no point is he joking. At no point is he making clever winks or aside. It’s almost like the conspiracy theorist novels I’ve been reading. What he speaks of is vaguely outlandish, but entirely plausible, and he handles it seriously.

I am really anxious to read World War Z now, because Brooks has already built his world, so now I get to see his methods in action.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. Details are here and the growing number of participants and their blogs are here.

Cannonball Read / Brian Prisco

Books | February 13, 2009 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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